by Buffy Ellen
Hello dear friends,
Oh my it's been a while since I've posted a blog (you may have noticed). But I have good reason I promise. At the end of June I was busily studying for a bunch of exams and essays for my Naturopathy, Nutrition and Herbal Medicine degree. Then straight after that I took the most amazing 3 1/2 week holiday to Northern Italy! It was truly bliss. I absolutely love travelling (in a past life I did a Bachelor of Arts at Uni in Languages), and learning about a new culture, language, history and way of living is truly such a special treat for me. I don't think I'll ever tire of it. In fact I'm already dreaming up where I want to go next year!
The trip away also did wonders for my recipe imagination, and I have about 6 different notepads stuck to the fridge right now with recipe ideas I want to share with you all. Lots of them have an Italian influence of course, but then there are others that are kiwi classics that I got a hankering for whilst consuming all that Italian cuisine. It's also of course mighty cold back here in NZ (especially when coming from 30 degrees!), so this week I wanted to share with you a lovely comforting winter meal. Hearty and nourishing, but at the same time super healthy and light due to it being jam packed with veges (my favourite technique).
This delicious recipe combines herby and flavoursome meatballs with a crispy outer, in a rich and luxurious Italian tomato sauce, atop of a deliciously creamy cauliflower mash, and sprinkled with a super quick and easy cashew nut parmesan. The recipe is a bit more labour intensive than some of my normal midweek quickies, but I promise it's absolutely worth it. When my boyfriend tried it he was like, holy moley this is incredible! I promise you'll love it too.
The other awesome thing about the elements of this recipe (the meatballs, the homemade tomato sauce, the cauli mash, and the cashew nut parmesan), is that every single one can be used in a different guise as well. So once you've mastered it, I guarantee you'll want to whip out the individual elements in a different form for your next meal. I highly recommend at least making a double batch of the Italian sauce, as it refrigerates or freezes beautifully and the flavours are just delicious. Here are just some ideas of how to use each of the different elements:
Now onto the recipe. I hope you enjoy it, and really it's wonderful to be back :)
Serves 4-5 (makes ~28 meatballs)
All of the highlighted items below can be ordered straight from our online store, simply click each ingredient link then add them to your cartAlways use certified organic, local and fairly traded ingredients wherever possible
Meat-Free Meatballs: 4 cloves garlic, crushed 1 large onion, finely chopped 300g organic tofu mince (or tofu pulsed in food processor) 1c buckwheat flour 1c rolled oats* large handful fresh parsley 1 tbsp nutritional yeast 2 tbsp tamari/soy sauce** 1/2 tsp pink rock salt/kelp salt black pepper, to taste 1 tbsp + 1/2 tbsp olive oil for frying
Italian Tomato Sauce: 1 Tbsp olive oil 4 cloves garlic, crushed 1 large onion, chopped 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes large handful fresh thyme/oregano/basil (you can also use dried if you don't have fresh on hand) 1 tbsp coconut nectar 1/4c water 1/2 tsp pink rock salt/kelp salt
Creamy Cauliflower Mash: 1 large cauliflower, in florets 1 tbsp olive oil 2 cloves garlic, crushed 2 tsp dijon mustard 1 tbsp nutritional yeast 3 tbsp coconut cream/milk*** 1 tsp pink rock saltblack pepper, to taste 1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
Cashew Parmesan: 1/2c raw cashews 2 tsp nutritional yeast 1/4 tsp pink rock salt
*You can easily make this recipe 100% wheat or gluten free by using gluten free oats, brown rice flakes, or quinoa flakes instead of the oats.**A great alternative to tamari is CocoNot Soy Sauce, or organic coy sauce.***I love using Trade Aid's organic fair trade coconut milk in my recipes (you can order it here). Unlike some coconut milks/creams which separate, it has a beautiful thick even consistency. It's labelled "coconut milk" but is much more like a coconut cream as it has an 18% fat content. The only difference between coconut milks and creams is the amount of water added - however some milks have higher fat contents than creams! I always recommend going for a cream-like product, as you can always water it down yourself if you like.c = 250ml cup, tbsp = 15ml tablespoon, tsp = 5ml teaspoon
PS If you liked this recipe we'd love you to share it on Facebook (hit the like button below), Twitter, or forward to a health loving friend. And if you make it on Instagram, make sure to tag @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics, so we can find you and your glorious creations.
Buffy is the founder of Be Good Organics, and loves creating delicious yet simple plant-based whole foods recipes.
Buffy also oversees our Be Good Organics online store, full of plant based goodies that she personally uses and loves. Sign up for our newsletter below to be the first to receive her weekly recipes.
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I'm Buffy, a food obsessed nutrition nerd, former financial research analyst and investment banker, and now - full time blogger, nutritionist and soon to be naturopath. I live in Auckland, New Zealand with my partner Tony, our two cats Zeus and Luna, and our cute-as-pie little girl Mila. Can't wait to share some healthy recipes with you! READ MORE HERE...
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