Sweet potato spaghetti & beetballs is a recipe which has been rattling around in my head for months, but I haven’t had the time or ingredients to try it out. I love spiralising vegetables and if you follow my Instagram you will see courgette ‘spaghetti’ crop up a number of times. This recipe uses spiralised sweet potato, which gives the dish a subtle sweetness and a splash of colour. I don’t think I have ever eaten a real meatball so I can’t tell you whether it tastes anything like the original, however 3 friends tried the beetballs and all made approving noises. The quinoa flakes add a lovely nuttiness and keep the recipe gluten-free, but if you don’t have these you can substitute oats. I think the beetballs would also work well in wraps like falafel, on pizza or even on sticks served with the smoky tomato sauce as a canapé.
I buy my smoked paprika and smoked chilli in bulk from this wonderful couple who own a spice and olive stall at the back of Gloucester Eastgate Market. They will tempt you in with free tasters of olives marinaded in their homemade spice blends, then give you an enormous pot for less than £3. They also make their own houmous and harissa paste, two dips which I LOVE! It is situated right at the back of a dingy and dated market, but I recommend you track it down if you are ever in the area as you will find some unusual and excellent quality spices, all served with a beaming smile.
I adapted the beetball recipe from an an old favourite blog of mine (and one that inspired me to start blogging myself), FatFree Vegan. Susan uses nuts instead of quinoa flakes and the method is different but the basic principal is there. Liquid smoke is is flavoured wood smoke which has been turned into a liquid. It can be difficult to find in the UK, but coincidently the weekend before I was visiting my sister in London where we visited Fulham Wholefoods who stock it. Otherwise you can buy it online, it is great to add depth of flavour in stews, soups and marinades.
Gluten-Free Vegan Beetballs
Takes around 45 minutes to prep and cook. Serves 2-3. The beetball recipe will make around 12 golf ball sized balls, which can be frozen before baking and reheated in the oven for around 45 minutes.
- 1 Medium Cooked Beetroot (vaccuum packed NOT in vinegar)
- 1 400g Can Chickpeas/ 240g drained weight
- 100g/ 4-5 Closed Cup Mushrooms
- 100g Quinoa Flakes/ Oats
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 Medium Onion
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- 1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 Tsp Smoked Chilli
- ½Tsp Fennel Seeds
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- ¾ tsp Sea Salt (or to taste)
- ¼ Tsp Liquid Smoke (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add the oil.
- Finely chop the onion and add to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until turning translucent.
- Roughly chop the mushrooms and crush the garlic, then add to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the garlic does not burn.
- Meanwhile, wash and drain the chickpeas and add to a blender or food processor, along with the quinoa flakes, nutritional yeast, paprika, chilli, fennel seeds, salt and pepper and liquid smoke, if using.
- Roughly cube the beetroot and add to the blender, along with the cooked mushrooms, onion and garlic.
- Pulse on a low setting until the ingredients are combined but are still a little chunky. You do not want a paste, ther e should be texture to your beetball mixture.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take a golf ball sized scoop of the mixture and roll into a ball. Repeat until you have used all your mixture up. The recipe should make around 12 beetballs.
- Bake until the balls are brown and slightly crisp on the outside, about 35 minutes.
Smoky Spiced Tomato Sauce
The smoky spiced tomato sauce is very versatile and can be used as a base for many recipes from pizza base tomato sauce to shakshouka. Make this while the beetballs are in the oven. Takes less than 10 minutes to make in 1 pan.
- 1 Can Good Quality Chopped Tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1Tsp Smoked Chilli
- 1 Organic Vegetable Stock Cube
- Freshly ground Black Pepper
- Add the olive oil to a frying pan and place over a medium heat.
- Crush the garlic and add to the pan, stirring so the garlic doesn’t burn. Cook for around 1 minute or until it begins to take on a little colour.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and stir for 30 seconds, or until the vinegar begins to reduce.
- Add the tomatoes, paprika, chilli, pepper and stock cube, crushed into the pan. Add a splash of water to loosen.
- Turn the heat down low and let it reduce a little until you are ready to use it.
Sweet Potato Spaghetti
Vegetable spaghetti is an excellent way to increase your vegetable intake in a meal, whilst adding flavour and colour. A spiriliser is an excellent piece of kitchen equipment, but you can also create spaghetti using a julienne peeler or even a potato peeler, which would give you vegetable tagliatelle. Takes around 10 minutes, create whist the beetballs are in the oven.
- 1 Medium Sweet Potato
- ½ Tsp Salt
- 150ml Water
- Wash and peel the sweet potato.
- Using a spiriliser, julienne or potato peeler, create the spaghetti along the length of the sweet potato.
- In a sauté pan set over a medium heat, add the sweet potato spaghetti, water and salt and sauté for 6-8 minutes, until the spaghetti is soft with a little bite. Add a splash more water if the pan begins to become dry.