‘Meatballs’ With Spicy Gravy

'meatballs' with spicy gravy plantbased pantry

A couple of months ago I had a rant about naming plantbased foods after the meats that they are supposed to resemble but never do. I arrogantly refused to do it because it sends the wrong message…as in, here carnivores, come and taste this delicious vegan chicken! There’s no such thing. You’ll be disappointed, I’ll be mad, vegans will get bashed. Nobody wins (except the chickens who escaped that time).

Yet here I am, proudly using the word meatballs in my title. Yes, they’re in quotation marks. But I can basically see the eye rolls. I briefly considered writing Bean, Seed & Oat Balls instead. Not only is it too long to fit stylistically, I’m trying to actively not scare readers away. I mean, did that get you excited, those beans and oats? Not so much. Sometimes it’s best to proceed with less information so you can be pleasantly surprised at the end. Sometimes it’s better to use smoke and mirrors. *ducks to avoid flying objects*

Now that I’m #sorrynotsorry for the minor deception, try this recipe. The original is from Elavegan and she is amazing, enough said.

‘Meatballs’ With Spicy Gravy



  • One  can sugar or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup mixed seeds
  • 1/2 cup oats (I used Jungle Oats)
  • 1/2 can chopped tomatoes (to make tomato paste)
  • 2 heaped tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ground flax 
  • Spice mix: 1 tsp ground basil, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for frying


  • 1 1/2 cups veg stock
  • 1/2 can coconut cream
  • 1/2 the homemade tomato paste from above
  • Ground spice mix: 3 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp basil, 1 tsp sage, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp chilli flakes, 1 tsp coconut sugar, salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour to thicken (can use cornstrach)
  • 1/4 cup nut flour ( I used macadamia but any will do)
  • Fresh parsley to garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 390 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Prepare potatoes, rice or pasta of choice – I used baby potatoes baked in the oven. Add greens if desired (I sauteed spinach and zucchini).
  3. To make the ‘meatballs’, put all ingredients except oil into a food processor or blender and pulse til combined. My blender is too small for this so I used a magic stick which worked perfectly.
  4. Roll the mixture with your hands into balls, about 1 tbsp per ball. I made 7 large balls.
  5. Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan and fry balls for about 6-8 minutes over medium heat. Shake the pan from time to time to fry the balls evenly from all sides.
  6. Transfer balls to a baking tray lined with parchment and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.
  7. To make the gravy, start by making the tomato paste. Add 1/2 can tomatoes to a pan and cook down until it forms a thickish paste. Pour in the coconut cream, veg stock and spices and whisk until smooth.
  8. Cook for a further 10 mins to soak up the flavour and thicken slightly, then add nut flour and tapioca flour (mix separately with cold water to prevent clumping)..
  9. Simmer for a further 2-3 minutes and remove from heat.
  10. Plate up, pour gravy over ‘meatballs’ and enjoy!

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