Hold. The. Phone.
No, really - you need to prepare yourself for these. Maybe you should sit? Are you sitting? Okay, hang onto your pants, folks.
These Stuffed Veggie Loaf Balls are pure perfection. They are nothing short of cheesy, gooey, crispy-on-the-outside, melt-in-your-mouth-on-the-inside goodness that will leave you fighting your family for seconds.
Years ago, one of my dearest friends gifted me the cookbook Eat, Shrink & Be Merry! by Janet and Greta Podleski. Having just recently moved out on my own, this cook book quickly became my go to for delicious and nutritious recipes that were sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. One of my favourite recipes to make from this cookbook was called One Loaf to Love - zesty vegetable and cheese stuffed meat loaf. Currently, my husband and I are on a transitional diet, so to say, and most of our meals throughout the week are vegetarian/vegan. As such, I often brainstorm about loved and cherished recipes, looking for ways to make them fit into our current diet lifestyle. Late last week in a fit of comfort food cravings, it struck me how I could take this much loved recipe of mine and veganize it: lentils!
The final result was amazing! Maybe even better than the inspiration recipe.
These veggie loaf balls combine the goodness of carrots, celery, onions, broccoli and red peppers with the heartiness of lentils to create a flavour masterpiece. But wait, there’s more!
At the centre of these little balls of veggie magnificence lies it’s cheesy, gooey core: daiya! Each of these veggie loaf balls is stuffed with cheddar daiya cheese, taking this recipe to a whole new level. For those of you with picky eaters at home, this recipe is for you - it hides all sorts of healthy and nutritious veggies within the loaf and rewards the lucky person eating it with a little cheesy prize in each bite. Pure bliss! Top all this off with a sweet and tangy homemade Black Currant BBQ sauce and it’s a flavour party for the whole family.
Needless to say, these Stuffed Veggie Loaf Balls have become a new regular addition to the monthly meal rotation, right up there with my all-time favourite comfort food: Vegan Mac n’ Cheese.
Try this recipe out for yourselves and let me know how it is. Tag it on Instagram with #glutenfreeveganpantry so I can see your own take on the recipe. I’m sure you’ll love it as much as we do!
Lots of love & happy eats,
- 1½ c red lentils
- ½ c green lentils
- 2 carrots, grated
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- ½ c broccoli, diced
- ½ c red pepper, diced
- 2 tsp dried mustard
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1½ tsp thyme
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- ½ - ¾ c rice bread crumbs
- 5 tbsp daiya cheese
- ½ c black currant jam
- ¼ c ketchup
- 3 tbsp agave syrup
- Add lentils to 4 cups of water. Bring to boil, then reduce to medium-low heat. Cook, uncovered for 20-30 minutes, adding water if needed so lentils are just barely covered. Once soft (mushy is fine too), drain any remaining liquid and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375F
- In a large skillet, sautee onions over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, adding water if they start to stick. Add in remaining vegetables and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add paprika, salt, pepper, thyme, basil, garlic powder, onion powder and liquid smoke to the vegetables. Add in lentils and stir until mixed.
- Use a ramekin or a 1-cup measuring cup to form the mixture into balls. Scoop enough mixture into the ramekin so that it is half full. Form a well in the centre and place 1 tbsp of daiya cheese in the centre. Fill remainder of ramekin with vegetable/lentil mixture. Invert the ramekin onto a flat surface (such as a cutting board) and then shape into a ball.
- Place rice bread crumbs into a shallow bowl or pasta dish. Roll/press the breadcrumbs into the formed veggie ball.
- Place breaded veggie balls onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until tops are lightly browned.
- While the veggie balls are baking, add black currant jam, ketchup and agave syrup to small saucepan. Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer for five minutes. Pour sauce over cooked veggie loaf balls.