My family loves their meat and my teenage boys especially, would probably, given the choice, eat it at every single meal. This means that it is sometimes a bit of a battle to break it up a bit with all of the wonderful greens they could be eating, especially since we’ve been following the GAPS/Paleo diet as a family. Before I knew any better, vegetarian meals for us consisted of quite a bit of pasta, rice and potatoes with salads and other veggies for variety, but looking back these staples were very starchy and not ideal for us, causing bloating and generally exacerbating unhealthy gut flora and consequently dis-ease.
Growing up, Wednesdays and Fridays were always meatless days for us at home and we continue this in our family, (with a bit of moaning and groaning from the kids) as well as extended periods of lent during the year, where we eliminate dairy, meat and sometimes fish from 2 and up to 7 weeks at a time. This can be extremely challenging, especially following a GAPS/Paleo protocol. I find I spend most of my time chopping and prepping veggies for the many dishes and salads I have to have on the go, to satisfy my teenage boys’ appetites. ( As they are more physically active than my husband and me they usually mostly do keep up some sort of animal protein, at least in the form of fish).The variety of veggies that I manage to get into them though, is phenomenal.
From a health perspective, I had once been told by a doctor that this type of intermittent veganism is quite a healthy way of eating and reflects the earlier hunting and gathering lifestyle of our earlier ancestors; as with no supermarkets or markets to buy from, people would hunt and feast on an animal until finished and then revert back to a vegan reset of foraging and gathering for a while until the next successful hunt and so on. I use this time as an opportunity for a detox; both spiritual, emotional and physical and I find as these periods approach, I simultaneously dread and look forward to them; dreading probably the effort and discipline they require but at the same time looking forward to the results that I always reap.
This recipe is one I just pulled together last week when faced with not much in my fridge on a Friday night and no motivation to pop out to the supermarket; literally 1 sweet potato, 1 zucchini and some kale. Although the second time I grated a carrot or two too. This is no hard and fast recipe. Use what you have on hand and experiment with spices and herbs too. They are truly delicious and I hope that it helps you to get some healthy (non-starchy) veggies into your kids too!
- 1 medium sweet potato peeled and grated
- 1 large zucchini, grated
- several kale leaves (not stalks) roughly chopped
- 1 onion finely chopped (I used a red onion but any is fine)
- a few chopped garlic cloves (optional)
- mild chilli finely chopped (optional)
- 3 chia eggs ( 3 tablespoons chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water for each ‘egg’. This will help bind the ingredients. If you prefer, use real eggs) I didn’t grind the chia seeds before soaking, they still turn out fine if you don’t. Your choice.
- sprinkle of flaxseeds( I used about 2 tablespoons)
- 3/4 cup almond meal ( if you can’t use almonds, make meal out of any nuts or seeds you do tolerate)
- spices ( I used salt and pepper the first time, the second I also added a mixture of cumin, paprika and turmeric) Use flavors you enjoy.
- fresh herbs, chopped (optional)
- tapioca flour for rolling in before frying
- coconut oil for pan-frying
- Prepare chia eggs by mixing chia seeds with water.
- Peel and/or grate veggies after washing thoroughly.
- Combine all of the above ingredients, including (chia) eggs, spices, herbs, veggies, almond meal, seasoning etc
- Prepare clean bowl with tapioca flour and frying pan with coconut oil.
- Mix ingredients thoroughly with both (clean/gloved) hands. This may take a minute or two to combine.
- Start rolling about 1 heaped tablespoon’s worth of mixture in your hands until nicely formed ( you choose how large/small/flat/round you like them) I find if you make them too large they sometimes have the tendency to fall apart, just experiment.
- Roll in tapioca flour until uniformly covered.
- Once you have several ready (enough to fill your pan basically), pop them into the coconut oil in your pan.
- Watch them carefully. You will need to turn them over so both sides are a light golden brown.Watch the oil too. After heating it up on high, I always reduce it to a medium heat when it’s hot enough.
- When ready, pop out onto kitchen paper on a plate/dish.
- Continue until mixture is finished.
- If not eating immediately, pop into oven on a low-medium heat until ready to serve.
They are definitely moreish! I hope they are as big of a hit in your household as in mine. Let me know how you go with them and please subscribe by entering your email at the bottom of my homepage if you’d like to receive these recipes directly. Thanks!