The holiday season is often regarded as one of toughest times of the year for vegans. The festivities feature many of the comfort foods that we grew up with over the years. Our friends and families may mean well, but the foods they prepare aren’t always adapted to a vegan diet. This is especially difficult if you’re spending it with a traditional family.
Christina and I spent the holidays with her big Greek family. As you probably know, Greek cuisine doesn’t shy away from meat filled recipes. So, we needed to prepare something that would trigger some old familiar thoughts, in a new vegan-friendly way. Behold… Vegan Keftedes (or Greek “meatballs”).
We found this amazing recipe on One Green Planet which was perfect for our occasion. The Greekies were so thrilled to try it that they even forgot that it wasn’t a real meat ball!
- - 4 cups cooked pinto
- - 1 red onion, cubed as small as possible
- - 3 garlic cloves, minced
- - 1 cup chopped parsley
- - ⅓ cup ground flax seeds
- - ¾ cup breadcrumbs
- - 1 cup flour
- - 1 tsp sea salt
- - 1 tsp black pepper
- - pinch of chilli pepper
- - 1 Tbsp mixed dry herbs
- Once your beans are ready (depending whether or not they were pre-cooked in a can or you prepped them yourself), place them in a big mixing bowl and mash them thoroughly.
- Add all the other ingredients, then mix everything till it has a nice thick consistency.
- Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes and then use your hands to form them into little “meatballs.”
- The final step can be done one of three ways (that I know of and recommend). Either you fry the keftedes in your pan on medium heat, bake them in the oven at about 375 degrees for ~ 30 - 45 min, or pop them into your dehydrator. Frying them requires quite a bit of oil (I used Greek Kalamata olive oil). So, it's not exactly the most efficient option. However, it does give the keftedakia a great crunchy exterior. Allowing the balls to bake in the oven is a great alternative; as is the dehydrator. Important to note that it will take anywhere between 12-26 hours to dehydrate depending on the temperature setting (and the humidity in the room).
- However you decide to finalize your recipe, it will come out amazing!