Make Ahead

Plantain-Black Bean 'Veggie Balls' with Coconut-Cashew-Ginger Sauce

March 26, 2018
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Photo by recordsintheden
  • Makes 12
Author Notes

I like to make veggie burgers/balls at home for a few days of meals for the week. Breaks up the monotony...think sandwiches, think salads, think easy. The basic idea of combining veggies, a binder and some aromatics is pretty adaptable. Here I used green plantains (starchy) to bind the balls with some homemade peanut-flax meal. —Sharon Brenner

What You'll Need
  • For the veggie balls
  • 1 green/under-ripe plantain
  • 5-6 medium sized mushrooms (crimini, white button), roughly chopped
  • 4-5 spring onions, thinly chopped
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup peanuts, unsalted*
  • 1/3 cup flax seeds*
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon generous tsp of chili flakes
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • salt and pepper to season
  • For the sauce and sandwich assembly
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 knob ginger about equal size of the garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • pita/lavash/wrap or other bread of choice + salad greens and more cilantro
  1. *This is to make a peanut-flax meal to bind. Alternatively you can try garbanzo bean flour or almond meal and it probably won't alter the flavor/texture too much. Use ~1/2 - 2/3 c of flour/meal of choice.
  2. Heat 3 - 4 c of water in a saucepan until boiling. Roughly slice the plantains ~1.5 inches thick and boil in the saucepan on medium-high heat until tender to a fork, ~20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a pan, saute the mushrooms and spring onions with the coconut oil. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender/cooked through. Set aside.
  3. If making the peanut-flax meal, in a high-power blender or food processor pulse the peanuts and flax seeds together until you have a flour/meal-like consistency. You may need to scrape the sides periodically to prevent it from becoming a paste. Set aside.
  4. When the plantains have cooked, drain and let cool until cool enough to touch. Peel the skins off and add the cooked plantain to a high-power blender or food processor. Blend until mostly smooth. It should come together relatively quickly and may form a sticky/semi dough-y ball. To that, add the black beans, lime juice, cooked mushrooms and onions, garlic, cilantro, chili flakes, and a generous dash of salt and pepper. Blend until mostly blended and no large pieces of food remain, but not totally smooth. This is more a personal preference as I like some of the components to still be distinguishable but not large pieces remain.
  5. Transfer to a bowl and add one half of the peanut-flax meal. Combine with a spatula, then add and combine the second half. The consistency should be sticky but not wet, enough that you can roll the mixture into balls that will retain their form.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350F/170C. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, roll the dough into 12 equal-sized balls about the size of a golf ball, placing ~1 inch apart. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the heat up to 375F/190C and bake for another ~15 minutes checking halfway through. They're done when they start to brown on top and barely form a crust.
  7. For the sauce, in a small bowl, soak the cashews in boiling hot water for ~3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  8. Open the can of coconut milk and gently scoop the cream from the top and place in a blender. You can keep the liquid for another project. Blend the coconut cream, cashews, lime juice, ginger and garlic until well combined.
  9. Assemble the sandwich with the greens and cilantro (can also make these into patty shapes for burgers!) or have these in a salad. I like to add a few extra chili flakes and a dash of olive oil. Also great with fried eggs.

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