Golden Beet Veggie Balls with Almond Sage Cranberry Crema
Comfort food cooking doesn’t have to focus on decadent casseroles, pounds of meat, and indulgent desserts. You can boost the delicious, health potential of these special meals with more plant foods, such as whole grains, beans, and seasonal vegetables. This also goes for holiday meals. After all, some of the most delicious items on the celebration table—green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and stuffing—area all about plants. If you’re trying to shine the light on plant foods this season, try making a plant-based entrée alternative. One of my favorite options is veggie “meatballs”—savory little balls filled with the goodness of beans, grains, vegetables, and herbs. These crispy Golden Beet Veggie Balls are filled with the earthy, winter flavors of golden beets, cannelini beans, sage, and hazelnuts. Serve them with this easy, plant-based almond crema dip flavored with cranberries and sage. These veggie balls make the perfect party appetizer, holiday entrée, or comfort food meal. Just watch meat-eaters and plant-eaters alike gobble them up in no time.
These vegan Golden Beet Veggie Balls are filled with the nutrition and flavors of golden beet roots, cannelloni beans, mushrooms, hazelnuts and herbs—they are excellent served as an entree or appetizer with this Almond Sage Cranberry Crema.
- 1 bunch fresh golden beets (about 5)
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed drained (about 1 ¾ cups)
- 2 green onions, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
- ½ cup fresh chopped parsley
- ½ cup finely chopped hazelnuts
- ¼ cup ground flax seeds
- ½ cup whole wheat breadcrumbs (may use gluten-free)
- 1 teaspoon sage
- 1 teaspoon tarragon
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 lemon, juiced
Almond Sage Cranberry Crema
- 1 cup peeled, slivered almonds
- 4–6 tablespoons plain, unsweetened plant milk (i.e. soy, almond)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground sage
- Sea salt (to taste, optional)
- 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped sage leaves
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
To make Veggie Balls:
- Trim beets and scrub outside surface, leaving peels on. Shred beets with food processor or box grater.
- Place beans in a large mixing bowl and mash slightly with a potato masher to achieve a thick mixture with some lumps.
- Add beets, onions, garlic, mushrooms, parsley, hazelnuts, flax seeds, breadcrumbs, sage, tarragon, thyme, smoked paprika, and black pepper. Toss together well.
- Mix in soy sauce, tahini, and lemon juice—using hands to combine mixture well.
- Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour (or overnight).
- Preheat oven to 375 and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
- Form 24 golf ball-sized balls out of the mixture and place evenly on baking sheet.
- Bake veggie balls in top rack of oven for about 40 – 45 minutes, until golden brown.
- Serve with Almond Sage Cranberry Crema.
- Makes 8 servings (3 veggie balls each)
To Make Almond Sage Cranberry Crema
- Soak almonds in water for 2 hours (or overnight).
- Drain water and place soaked almonds in the container of a blender or food processor.
- Add 4 tablespoons plant milk, lemon juice, garlic, black pepper, and ground sage and process to make a thick, creamy dip. If too thick, may add 1-2 tablespoons plant milk as needed to create desired texture.
- Transfer crema to a dish and stir in fresh sage, cranberries, and salt if desired. May garnish with additional freshly ground black pepper and fresh sage. Makes 8 servings (about 2 ½ tablespoons each)
- Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus one hour for chilling)
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Entree
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 312
- Sugar: 8 g
- Sodium: 236 mg
- Fat: 16 g
- Saturated Fat: 2 g
- Carbohydrates: 35 g
- Fiber: 12 g
- Protein: 13 g
Keywords: vegan veggie balls, veggie balls, vegan entree
For other plant-based veggie ball recipes, check out some of my favorites:
Greek Veggie Balls with Tahini Lemon Sauce
Sage White Bean Veggie Balls with Pomegranate Mandarin Sauce
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