(Gluten-Free, Vegan | Paleo-Friendly) Summer is BBQ time…AKA the best time! I absolutely love the combination of being outside and eating delicious food, which is probably why two of my favourite things are picnics and BBQs. Many of my vegetarian friends, however, tend to get a bit forgotten in the BBQ meat fest and end up eating basic veggie burgers. With this recipe, though, you’ll be able to wow your veggie and meat-eating friends alike with vegan meatballs that include another one of my fav things…buffalo sauce!
This recipe can also be used to make vegan burgers if that’s more your style. For my London friends, Frank’s Buffalo Sauce can be found at most large Sainbury’s or on Amazon. If you can’t find it (or don’t like it), you can just omit the buffalo sauce and add other seasonings that you like instead. Enjoy! x Ingredients
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- ½ tsp salt
- Oil for cooking (avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil)
- 2 cups (about 300-400g) mixed cauliflower, aubergine (eggplant) and carrots, chopped
- I cooked one whole cauliflower, one whole aubergine (eggplant) and six small carrots, took 2 cups of this cooked mix for burgers and then used the remaining vegetables for packed lunches
- 185 g (1 cup) cooked quinoa
- 300g (1½ cups red lentils)
- 2 Tbsp flax, chia seed mix
- 2 Tbsp mixed seeds (sunflower seeds, sesame and pumpkin seeds is what I used)
- Handful of fresh basil (or any fresh herbs), chopped
- 1 tsp spicy paprika
- 1 tsp garlic
- 2 Tbsp Franks Buffalo Sauce (+2 more Tbsp to drizzle once cooked)
- 28 g (¼ cup) spelt flour (or another dry base such as 45g (½ cup) oats)
- In a large frying pan, heat a few tablespoons of oil (I used extra virgin olive oil) on medium-high heat and then add onion, garlic and salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the chopped veggies and cook until soft for 5-10 minutes. I didn’t have a frying pan big enough for all veggies, so I had to divvy them out across two pans.
- If you have food processor, throw the 2 cups of cooked veggies (and all other ingredients) into it and pulse to combine until blended. I don’t have a food processor, so I put half of veg mix in blender, pulsed and threw into large mixing bowl. I then repeated with other half of veg and added other ingredients to bowl for hand mixing. You can use a potato masher or a simple wooden spoon if you’re doing things this way.
- Press the mixture between your fingers to check that you can form a ball. If it’s too crumbly, add some liquid (1 tablespoon at a time) until it sticks together. If the mix is too wet, add some of your spelt flour or oats (1 tablespoon at a time) until you get the right consistency. Check the mixture for taste and add salt, pepper and whatever other seasoning until you love it.
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
- Scoop 1 Tablespoon of mixture at a time and form into ball. Repeat with remaining mixture to make around 20 ‘meat’ balls.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Evenly space meatballs on frying pan and let cook for 2-3 minutes on each side (or until browned) before turning. I used chopsticks to keep turning meatballs until browned on all sides, but you could also use tongs.
- Transfer browned meatballs onto baking sheet, drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp of buffalo sauce and bake for 10 minutes until piping hot.
Tips: Serve with greens, celery and bleu cheese (if not vegan). These also freeze very well to have some grab-and-bake goodness in the freezer for later!