Veggieballs of mung bean sprouts: when meat is not required
Time: prep 10 mins
cooking 10-15 mins
Yield: 2 servings
After tasting these vegetarian mung bean sprout balls, you’ll think to invite your friends for dinner to brag about your culinary skills. Let’s just keep it between us, they’re very easy to prepare. They have a texture that is very similar to meat, which can come as a pleasant surprise to many omnivores and non meat eaters. Thanks to the sprouting process (see here how the sprouts are prepared), the concentration of anti-nutrients such as phytates in legumes decreases significantly, while the digestibility of proteins(*) increases. In addition, the use of plant-based ingredients makes it possible to create a tasty and satiating meal, with less cruelty, less pesticides and more sustainability for all. As if that were not enough, the cost is truly negligible. Which is in contrast to the commercial ones, which are affected by the current fashion (vegan burgers). Almost all the food brands we know offer a veggie line, which bodes well for the growth of conscious consumers and interested in sustainability. However, when a 200-gram pack of plant based burgers costs as much as the 400-gram of meatballs, this does not make it an affordable solution for everyone’s pockets. Aside from the cost, these products, are not always very healthy; they often contain high amounts of salts, fats, carbohydrates and also many extras such as food additives. In addition, they use many resources for packaging. So, as long as you can, prepare them yourself: this allows you to reduce waste in the kitchen, creating delights with an infinite number of ingredients.
We can also prepare them for more servings and freeze the extras: when you really need them, they will be ready for use, just like those that we buy at the supermarket on double / triple prices (but much better in every sense).
So what are you waiting for? Soak these legumes and let them sprout!
approx 10 balls:
1 zucchini cut in mini cubes of 150-200 grams
1 glass of mung bean sprouts (prepared from 1 small coffee cup of mung beans)
20 g of crumbled tofu
2 slices of wholemeal bread, soaked in milk/water and squeezed well, or 3 tablespoon of wholemeal bread crumbs
1 clove of garlic
1 cup of fresh herbs to taste (I used parsley)
50 grams of string cheese
salt, pepper, paprika, curry
1.5 tablespoon of oil
In a large pan let the sprouts and zucchini cubes soften with a half tablespoon of extravergine olive oil: 5 minutes over medium-high heat is enough. Then, turn off the heat and let them cool. Put all the other ingredients in a large bowl, and make a homogeneous mixture using only your hands, or with a blender; finally add the sprouts already cold. Give them the shape you want by hand, or with two spoons (for these veggieballs of sprouts and zucchini in the picture I used simply my hands), otherwise use a professional burger mold. Now handle them with care, and transfer them inside a non-stick pan, already hot and oiled. After about 4–6 minutes of cooking over medium heat, when the underside of the veggieball no longer sticks to your spatula, turn them on the other side. Cook for another 3 minutes, and they will be ready to put on table.
As in the photo I created a bed of lettuce seasoned with lots of lemon an little olive oil, and then I garnished the veggieballs of sprouts and zucchini with thick natural yoghurt, flavoured with mint and paprika. Moreover, in the two little bowls you can see two sauces: one is humus (for the recipe click here) of about 2 spoons, and the other is carrot sauce with mint, made with one big grated carrot and then sautéed in a pan with a little oil and garlic, finally added with 4 spoons of unsweetened soy drink to make it more spreadable. What can I say, a cheap, healthy and sustainable dinner, with so much taste that it has nothing to envy to the typical dishes of fast food!
Enjoy your meal and good revolution to all
(*) Kataria A., (1989). Antinutrients and protein digestibility ( in vitro ) of mungbean as affected by domestic processing and cooking. Food Chemistry, ISSN: 0308-8146, Vol: 32, Issue: 1, Page: 9-17