One of the healthiest food trends today is veggie “meatballs”, which are savory little balls of beans, veggies, and whole grains baked into golden perfection and served with a flavorful sauce, as in this recipe for Sage White Bean Veggie Balls with Pomegranate Mandarin 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.
By including more servings of pulses (beans, lentils, peas), whole grains (oats, quinoa, wheat), veggies (sweet potatoes, broccoli, squash), and nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios), you can fill your plate with disease-fighting nutrients, such as fiber, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and phytochemicals—plant compounds that act to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body which can lead to chronic disease. No wonder this plant-powered eating style is so good for you!
How do you get started including more plant-based meals during the week? Start with this 100% plant-based, gluten-free recipe, which features white beans, sweet potatoes, sage, oats, hazelnuts, and more. Mix up the ingredients in a food processor to save time, shape them into balls, and bake them up. Then mix up this gorgeous, flavorful Pomegranate Mandarin Sauce to accompany these Sage White Bean Veggie Balls. Serve them with a brown rice pilaf, and a crisp garden salad for a balanced meal everyone will enjoy. You can even freeze these veggie balls to enjoy later on.
Check out this step-by-step guide for making this recipe.
Check out the video for this delicious, plant-based recipe here.
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 or shredded, 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.