Curried Sweet Potato ‘Neat’ Burger Balls (GF & V)

As we begin to wind down our festive week of Holiday Balls, we bring you a spin-off of our Hemp Hearts Lentil Burger. Your guests will not be missing the meat in these ‘neat’ little burgers which offer your palate a spicy but subtly sweet blend of flavours. In a unique twist, we paired sweet potatoes with curry, ginger, lentils and protein-packed hemp seeds. These can easily be prepared in advanced and reheated in the oven for a delicious vegan appetizer.

Serves: 30+ 1 inch balls
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 75 minutes
Chill time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

1 onion diced
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 c gluten-free dried rice (I use Lundberg short grain brown rice which is important because it takes the same amount of cook time as the lentils)
3/4 c dried green or brown lentils
3 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
1 c sweet potato peeled and cubed
Sea salt
2 tsp ginger
1 Tbsp curry (or more to taste)
2 flax eggs
1/3 c hemp hearts
1/2 c gluten-free bread crumbs (or more as needed)
1/4 c gluten-free flour

Steps:

  1. Prepare vegetables: Dice onion, mince garlic, peel and chop sweet potato, rinse and pick through lentils.
  2. Place a medium-sized pot over medium-low heat. Pour in about one tablespoon of olive oil and add onions.
  3. After a couple of minutes, once the onions have softened and become translucent, add garlic and stir.
  4. Give the garlic 30 seconds to cook before adding the lentils, rice and vegetable broth. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low.
  5. After 10 minutes, add the sweet potatoes and continue to cook for about another 20-25 minutes. Check to make sure you have enough liquid – you may need to add additional broth.
  6. During this time make flax eggs by mixing 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed with 6 tablespoons of water and let sit for about 10 minutes.
  7. Make sure sweet potatoes have softened and rice and lentils are cooked. Turn off and let sit to cool. Mix in sea salt, ginger and curry.
  8. After about ten minutes, place mixture into high-powered blender. Pulse until a smoother texture is achieved.
  9. Add hemp hearts, flax eggs and bread crumbs and stir.
  10. Cool in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  11. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  12. Prepare 1 inch balls by rolling them over a lightly floured surface. Your batter may still be somewhat sticky at this point but once you fry the balls it will come together. If the batter is still very sticky add more breadcrumbs.
  13. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Fry balls by moving them around the pan. You will need to do several batches.
  14. Once the balls have been fried, place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25 minutes until the interior of the balls has firmed up. Remove from oven and allow the balls to sit for at least 5 minutes. Serve with fresh vegetables and desired toppings.

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