Veggie “meatballs” are one of the healthiest food trends today! They are savory little balls of beans, veggies, and whole grains baked into golden perfection and served with a flavorful sauce. Plant-based dishes like this can be the star of your plate, taking the place of less healthful protein choices. In fact, eating a more plant-based diet is linked with a multitude of health benefits, including lower risk of cancer. This recipe for Sage White Bean Veggie Balls with Pomegranate Mandarin Sauce is sure to be your new favorite.
Sage White Bean Veggie Balls:
- 3 small sweet potato, chopped in chunks
- 3 small red onion, chopped in chunks
- 6 stalks celery
- 24 ounces brown mushrooms
- 1+ 1/2 cup hazelnuts
- 6 garlic cloves
- 6 sprigs fresh sage
- 1+ 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1+ 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1+ 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce
- 3 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- 3 lemon, juiced
- 1+ 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, gluten-free
- 1 + 1/2 cup oats
- 6 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- Salt, as needed (optional)
- 2 (15.5-oz ) cans white (cannellini) beans, rinsed, drained
Pomegranate Mandarin Sauce:
- 3 pomegranate juice
- 3 large mandarin orange, juice and zest
- 9/2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 3/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 9/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 large pomegranate, seeded
Makes 30 servings (4 meatballs + 1/4 cup sauce each).
Per serving: 257 calories, 6 g total fat (1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 43 g carbohydrates, 10 g protein, 8 g dietary fiber, 117 mg sodium, 11 g sugar, 0 g added sugar.
Using a food processor (the shredding attachment works best; but you can also use the blade to process), finely shred or chop the sweet potato, onion, celery, mushrooms, hazelnuts, garlic, and sage very quickly, just until vegetables are chopped but not liquefied.
Mix in mustard, celery salt, black pepper, soy sauce, maple syrup, lemon juice, breadcrumbs, oats, and flax seeds. Season with salt as desired (optional).
Mash the drained beans with a potato masher until smooth, with chunks remaining. Add to vegetable mixture, combining well.
Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Using a spoon and clean hands, shape mixture into about 40 golf ball-sized balls, pressing firmly.
Place veggie balls on baking sheets sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
Bake at 375 F for 55-60 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.
To make pomegranate mandarin sauce, whisk together pomegranate juice, mandarin orange juice, maple syrup, cardamom, and cornstarch together in a small saucepan. Heat over medium until bubbly and thickened. Stir in mandarin orange zest and pomegranate seeds (arils) and chill until serving time.
Serve veggie balls with sauce immediately.
AICR Impact – The American Institute for Cancer Research helps the public understand the relationship between lifestyle, nutrition and cancer risk. We work to prevent cancer through innovative research, community programs, and impactful public health initiatives.