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Reply to: Spicy Bean Balls Recipe from Fresh from the Vegetarian Kitchen

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Replying to: Spicy Bean Balls Recipe from Fresh from the Vegetarian Kitchen

Do you remember Mellissa Bushby from The Vegetarian Kitchen? Well, we’re super excited because she’s back with a new cookbook, Fresh from the Vegetarian Kitchen. It’s a collection of favourite recipes from this seasoned vegetarian who has learnt through trial and error. Mellissa Bushby is not a trained chef, but her passion for food and for living life mindfully, is evident throughout the book.

For many non-vegetarians, the thought of giving up meat is a step too far, but Fresh from the Vegetarian Kitchen will tempt even the most dedicated meat-eater to try ‘meat-free Mondays’. Mellissa presents food that sustains and nourishes both body and soul, with a selection of recipes that are perfect for family meals as well as entertaining.

So what better way to temp you than with a recipe! Try Mellissa’s Spicy Bean Balls. We love these and they are so versatile: eat them as snacks on their own, in pita or a wrap, topped with sauce and a tomato©onion salsa, even in a spaghetti sauce. You can even make them for children, just omit the chilli flakes. Use canned beans to save time, they work just as well.

500 ml (2 cups) cooked borlotti and/or red kidney beans
250 ml (1 cup) cooked rice
10 ml (2 tsp) crushed garlic
juice of 1 lemon
30 ml (2 Tbsp) canola oil
30 ml (2 Tbsp) All Gold Tomato Sauce
1 medium onion, finely chopped
60–90 ml (¼–1¨M3 cup) flour
5 ml (1 tsp) ground ginger
10 ml (2 tsp) dried origanum
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
dried chilli flakes, to taste
oil for frying

In a bowl, mash the beans, rice and garlic together. Add the lemon juice, oil and tomato sauce and mix well. Add the chopped onions, kneading the mixture with your hands until everything is well integrated.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the beans and use your hands to bring everything together. (If the mixture is too dry, add a little more oil and 1 or 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce; if it is too sloppy, add a bit more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time; you need to be able to squish the mixture into balls.)

Using either your hands or two dessert spoons, form small balls (about ping pong ball size), placing them on a plate or board as you work.

Heat a little oil in a non-stick pan. Place the balls in the pan, making sure there is enough room to turn them over. Fry over a moderate heat until a crust forms, then gently turn them, using tongs or spoons. Keep doing this until a golden-brown crust has formed all over, then remove them from the oil and drain on roller towel. Don’t be tempted  to turn them too soon, otherwise they will stick.

Tuck a few bean balls inside a wrap or pita, with some shredded cabbage, and a tomato, green pepper and spring onion salsa.

Serves 4

Fresh from the Vegetarian Kitchen is published by Struik Lifestyle.

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