Vegan No-Meatballs

no meatballs

Vegan no-meatballs or lightly-spiced rice and lentil no-meatballs on a bed of mushroom and tomato sauce with steamed broccoli. It may be true but it’s just not catchy enough is it?

These no-meatballs were going to be made with completely different ingredients originally – I was thinking of buckwheat and tofu, but I hadn’t realised my buckwheat was out of date and the shops were closed for the fair so I couldn’t get tofu. Then I remembered I had both brown rice and lentils in the fridge so obviously I used those!

no meatballs

I think I may have mentioned before that we like our food lightly-spiced, if you want your meatballs with more of a kick just double (or triple) the amount of spices you add. The tomato and mushroom sauce is slowly reduced to give it a very concentrated flavour so it would hold up well to a spicier no-meatball.

Ras-el-Hanout is a spice typical in North African cuisine and there is no one fixed recipe for it. It’s slightly hot and has a deep flavour. Some brands contain salt so you should adjust the salt you add to the recipe accordingly. If you live in Spain, like me, I found it in the supermarket Carrefour in the international products section. I imagine most well-stocked supermarkets in the UK would sell it too. If you can’t find it, I’m sure you can swap it for curry powder.

no meatballs

I accompanied it with steamed broccoli which tasted so good in the rich tomato sauce. I’m lucky enough to have a steamer basket which fits on top of my saucepan so I made the tomato and mushroom sauce in the bottom and steamed the broccoli on top, saving on energy use.

I’m sharing this recipe with Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck

Preparation Time: 20 minutes                              Servings: 2                                               Cooking Time:         30 minutes                                                                                                     Total:  40 minutes (there’s some overlap, while one part is cooking, you are                                                                prepping the next)

Vegan No-Meatballs


3/4 onion

1 carrot

1tsp ras-el hanout

4 mushrooms

5 plum tomatoes

100ml aprox. vegatable stock

1/2 broccoli

extra virgin olive oil

150g cooked lentils (I used tinned)

120g cooked brown rice

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax with 2tbsp of water and left to set in the fridge 15minutes)

1. Start with the sauce. Finely chop 1/2 an onion and saute in a tablespoon of olive oil. Slice the mushrooms and the tomatoes. Add to the pan with the onion. Once the mushrooms have cooked a little (about 5 minutes) add the stock and cover. Cook over a low heat for about 30 minutes. Add a little water if the sauce gets too dry.

2. Meanwhile in a saucepan, saute 1/4 of finely chopped onion. Peel and grate the carrot. Add to the pan with 1 teaspoon of ras-el-hanout and a teaspoon of salt. After about 10 minutes add the rice and lentils and allow to absorb the flavour. Remove from the heat.

3. Wash the broccoli and separate into florets. Steam for abour 20 minutes or until cooked.

4. Add the flax egg to the rice and lentil mixture. Mix well. Form “meatball shapes” with your hands. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a saucepan and lightly fry the no-meatballs until slightly browned on the outside.

5. Serve the no-meatballs on a bed of tomato and mushroom sauce with the broccoli on the side.

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Stuffed Courgettes

stuffed courgettes

This dish is a request! While talking to a friend the other day she asked me to post this recipe that I made for her over ten years ago. I can’t believe she remembered it but at the same time I´m enormously flattered that she did. This is another meal which is excellent for entertaing as it needs to be finished of in the oven, giving you time to spend with your guests.

stuffed courgettes

I love courgettes because they are so versatile. They can be used in everything, maybe I’ll turn into a courgette one day! I think I go through about 4 or 5 a week! Especially now they’re in season, you get all the flavour and the price is great.

If you’re lucky enough to have some leftover rice in the fridge that will make it much quicker for you to cook this recipe. I’ll give you instructions for cooking from scratch or for using up leftovers.

stuffed courgettes

On a completely different note I now have a twitter account so you can follow me there. Not only will I be reminding you everytime a new recipe becomes available on the blog but I will retweet any recipes that I see around and sound good!

Stuffed Courgettes

Preparation Time:  30 minutes                                                    Servings: 2                         Cooking Time:           30 minutes                                                                                                    Total:                            1 hour


2 courgettes

120g cooked brown rice or 50g raw brown rice

1/4 onion

1/2 red pepper

1 tsp dried thyme

30g gound almonds

10g pine nuts

100ml vegetable stock (can be from a stock cube)

extra virgin olive oil


1. Cook the brown rice according to packet instructions. preheat the oven to 200ºc.

2. Wash the courgettes thoroughly and cut in half. Score a line in the flesh of the courgette, leave about 1cm border between your line and the skin. Use a teaspoon to scoop the flesh out.

3. Chop the onion and pepper. Chop the courgette flesh into small pieces. Saute the onion, pepper and courgette with the thyme and a pinch of salt in a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.

4. Drain and rinse the brown rice (if using raw). Once the vegetables have softened add the rice and mix until it’s taken up the flavours. Taste to see if you need to add more salt.

5. Place the courgettes in an ovenproof dish. Salt the insides (if desired). Fill the courgettes with the rice mixture using a teaspoon. Sprinkle with pine nuts and ground almonds.

6. Pour the vegetable stock into the ovenproof dish until it comes up to 1/3 of the height of the courgettes.

7. Cover (I used aluminium foil) and cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Uncover for the last 10 minutes so that the almond meal becomes toasted.



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Classic Pesto

Classic Pesto

I think I may have mentioned that I used to live in Genoa, home of pesto. I spent a semester there as an Erasmus student having the time of my life. And eating trenette al pesto. Lots of it. In Genoa it’s like a religion, it´s got to be done the right way. Your basil needs to come from a certain field (called Pra, in case you didn’t know) and your oil from the area surrounding Genoa, Liguria. Well my basil came from Carrefour and my oil from Andalusia, but I´ve tried to recreate pesto as it’s served in Genoa. Although, hopefully the method is correct I’ve made a few substitutions. Wholemeal spaghetti for linguine, nutritional yeast for parmesan… You forgive me, don’t you?

classic pesto
What is traditional though are the potatoes. Yes, they serve pasta with potatoes. Not for Paleo fans! If you´ve never tried it give it go, it coats the spaghetti in a little starch giving it an extra tastiness. I was also going to add green beans because that’s tradional too, but they didn’t have any at the greengrocer’s so I changed them for courgette. Oh well, maybe not such a classic pesto after all…

I bought a packet of 20g of basil but by the time I had removed the stalks it was 15g of leaves, just so you know…

Spaghetti with Classic Pesto (almost)

Preparation Time:  10 minutes                                        Servings: 2                                      Cooking Time:           15 minutes                                                                                                    Total:                           25 minutes


100g wholewheat spaghetti

2 small potatoes

4 green french beans or a 6 courgette batons about 10 cm long (basically bean shaped)

15g basil leaves

2 tbsp pine nuts

1/2 a large clove of garlic 0r 1 small one

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

3 tbsp extra vigin olive oil


1. Put a large saucepan filled with water on the stove to boil.

2. Cut the potatoes into chunks (leave the skin on) and add to the saucepan.

3. Wash the beans, top and tail them and cut them into 3 equal parts OR wash the courgette and cut it into bean sized pieces.

4. Put the basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, a generous pinch of salt, nutritional yeast and olive oil in a blender and blend until smooth.

5. When the water is boiling add a pinch of salt, a dash of olive oil, the spaghetti and the beans or courgette. Leave to boil for 10 minutes or according to the cooking instructions for the spaghetti.

6. Place the serving dishes on the counter. Add three tablespoons of cooking water to each dish. Drain the spaghetti (and beans/courgette and potato). Put the spaghetti, beans/courgette and potatoes on the plates. Add the pesto on top and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle with more nutrtional yeast if desired.

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