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Plant-based "neatballs" in a rich tomato sauce

I remember eating meatballs at an Italian friend's house that were crumbed and fried and served with a rich tomato sauce. They were moist on the inside and crunchy outside. I thought I’d try to replicate the recipe with a whole plant foods. The result is a healthier version, just as delicious and amazing texture but without the fat and inflammatory compounds. This recipe is super easy and even the kids can get involved. Enjoy!


Neat balls

1 can red kidney beans, drained

½ cup quinoa flakes*

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons chia or flaxseeds, ground

1 carrot, grated

1 clove of garlic

1 tablespoon red miso paste

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

½ cup almond flour for coating

Tomato sauce

1 can diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup of chopped parsley


Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

To make neatballs, in the bowl of a food processor add all ingredients except for almond flour. Pulse until combined but not completely smooth. Take about one tablespoon full and roll into balls.

Coat balls in almond flour. Bake in oven for 15 mins at 200 degrees Celsius until slightly golden and crispy.

While the neatballs are in the oven, blend all sauce ingredients except parsley in a food processor. Add to a medium saucepan, add parsley and cook over low heat until thickened. Pour over cooked neatballs.

*Quinoa flakes are found at any supermarket these days. You could substitute with rice flakes or oats.

Serves 4

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