• Cath

Mushroom vegan balls with tasty tomato sauce

Updated: Feb 21, 2019

I read an interesting article somewhere in a newspaper recently that said that we are much better off now than we were 60 years ago, because the cost of food is much cheaper than it was back then. People used to spend a quarter of their wages on food, and they spend significantly less these days. Of course they also used to make everything from scratch too! It makes me sad that food is so cheap, because it comes at a cost! We are getting terrible quality processed food, and intensively farmed meat. Many people have forgotten, or never learnt how to cook! Also I am pretty sure that the high cost of modern day mortgages makes up for the fact we spend less on food!

Anyway, this recipe won't break the bank, but it will require you to cook!

Recipe serves 4

Ingredients for the vegan balls

  • 125g sunflower seeds

  • 125g pine nuts

  • 70g shitake mushrooms

  • 50g walnuts

  • 3 tablespoons coconut aminos (or you could use tamari instead if you are ok with soy)

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 large red onion

Ingredients for the tomato sauce

  • Tomato sauce recipe here

  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos

  • 1 tsp pepper

  • 4 tablespoons chopped basil

  • For the spaghetti:2 spiralized courgettes


  1. Make your tomato sauce. You can do this in advance recipe here.

  2. To make the balls:

  3. Preheat oven to 200ºC

  4. Toast the sunflower seeds and pinenuts for 4 minutes on a low heat. (Hold back a few of the toasted nuts to add at the end to give the balls more texture.)

  5. Whizz  the seeds and pine nuts in food processor with mushrooms, walnuts (preferably soaked before hand)  coconut aminos, cider vinegar, and red onion.

  6. Add the few toasted nuts that you held back, and pulse quickly in the food processor to give some texture in the balls.

  7. Use your hands to form the mixture into balls.

  8. Pop them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for 20 mins at 200ºC.

  9. Make the sauce:

  10. Heat your tomato sauce in a wok, or wide bottom pan. Add 1 tsp pepper, a pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon coconut aminos (or tamari as an alternative if you are OK with soy).

  11. Stir together, and taste for seasoning.

  12. Then stir through the 4 tablespoons chopped basil, and the spiralised courgettes.

P.S. If you don't have time to make the tomato sauce, and you opt for tinned tomato then I would add garlic, chilli and cider vinegar for extra flavour!

Serve the vegan balls on top of your tomato and courgette sauce. I like a bit of cheese normally with this kind of dish, so to keep in with the vegan theme I sprinkled nutritional yeast flakes over the top. They add a nice cheesy flavour, and they are a vegan source of B12.

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