Hello Everyone! Before I begin, I would like to check in with everyone and see if you all were able to guess the theme for this month. I’m pretty sure that by this post, you’ll have an idea of a recurring theme, but nevertheless, I will share it with you guys right here, right now! Drumroll please!
BALL BALLS! Yes, you read that right, ball balls, and here is a little back story to the name – so there was one day, back when I was still living in Australia for my university studies, my then roommate and I were talking about Christmas I guess, well I actually don’t remember the root of our conversation but it was more like I misunderstood, or I didn’t quite hear the pronunciation of the word “baubles” when my roommate had said it. At that time, I assumed that she said “ball balls” and that, that was what those round Christmas ornaments were called. Fast forward to another time, I was correct by someone (sorry I can’t remember who) that it was actually baubles and not ball balls. I was so disappointed at the time because I thought ball balls was such an epic name to call these Christmas ornament. Just recently, and when I say recently I mean like about a year ago or so, Jialing shared with me a folder name in their office server and it was titled BALL BALLS, to which I replied to her “SEE I TOLD YOU THEY ARE CALLED BALL BALLS!” I was just overly excited at the fact that I wasn’t the only dumb one to call them ball balls.
Jialing has been quite helpful this year in a way that she has helped me with some blog themes for this year. At first, she asked me what the theme of my blog would be for the month of December, and we both came up with the idea of doing ball-shaped food as we recalled our “ball balls” story. So, as I do not have a backstory for this particular recipe since I just came across it while browsing through Pinterest, I will just get right in to the recipe. Before you do, check out the original recipe by Erin over on The Almond Eater.
“Add a spicy kick to meatless meatballs with these vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Quinoa Meatballs. With simple ingredients, like cauliflower, quinoa, garlic, and breadcrumbs, they’re sure to be a hit for the whole family!” — Erin, The Almond Eater.
PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 40 MINS | SERVES 24 BALLS
For the cauliflower quinoa ‘meatballs’
- 1 cauliflower head, roughly chopped
- 1 cup quinoa
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-2 tbsp flour (whole wheat, all purpose or oat)
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
For the buffalo sauce
- 1/2 cup hot sauce
- 60g unsalted butter
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
For the blue cheese-yoghurt dip
- 3/4 cup greek yoghurt
- 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp milk
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- Ground salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 190C (375F or gas mark 5). Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and set aside.
- Cook the quinoa in a small sauce pot according to the packet instructions (about 12-15 minutes). While the quinoa is cooking away, steam or boil the cauliflower in a separate medium-sized pot at the same time until they are tender (about 15 minutes).
- Meanwhile, prepare the buffalo sauce by melting the unsalted butter in a heat-proof bowl, in the microwave (or over a stove as well). Once melted, stir in the hot sauce, minced garlic, and chilli powder. Set aside.
- Combine the yoghurt, blue cheese, mayonnaise, garlic, milk, and lemon juice in a medium-szied bowl and whisk together until combined but still chunky. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Once the quinoa is done cooking, turn the heat off and set aside. Once the cauliflower is done cooking as well, drain (if boiled) and place half the cauliflower, along with the minced garlic, into the food processor or blender and pulse for about 10-15 seconds. Remove and transfer the cauliflower into a large bowl before adding the second half of cauliflower to the food processor/blender and repeat the process.
- Stir in the cooked quinoa, breadcrumbs, dried oregano, and half of the buffalo sauce together with the cauliflower and then place the bowl in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes, allowing everything to cool off a bit.
- After 15 minutes, remove from the refrigerator and, using your hands, form the mixture into golf ball-sized balls (or smaller, depending on your preferred size), placing the balls directly onto the prepared baking tray. If the mixture is too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time as needed.
- Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil over the balls and bake for 15-20 minutes and golden brown and crispy on the outside.
- Once done, remove from the oven, Pour a small amount of the rest of the buffalo sauce over the top of each ball, making sure they all get covered with the sauce but without drowning them otherwise they will get soggy.
- Serve with the blue cheese-yoghurt dip and share with family and friends!
– Ally xx