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Greek Veggie Balls with Tahini Lemon Sauce prepared by Sharon Palmer R.D.

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About Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN

Sharon has created an award-winning career based on combining her two great loves: nutrition and writing. Sharon is an accomplished writer, editor, blogger, author, speaker, and media expert. In particular, her expertise is in plant-based nutrition and sustainability. Sharon has authored over 1000 articles in a variety of publications, including Better Homes and Gardens, Oprah Magazine, and LA Times. Her book The Plant-Powered Diet: The Lifelong Eating Plan for Achieving Optimal Health, Beginning Today (The Experiment, July 2012) was a critical success, which was followed by her second book Plant-Powered for Life: Eat Your Way to Lasting Health with 52 Simple Steps & 125 Delicious Recipes in July 2014.

She is currently working on her third book on plant-based eating due for publication in 2020. Sharon has contributed to several book chapters on nutrition and sustainability. She also serves as nutrition editor for Today’s Dietitian, judge for the James Beard Journalism Awards, nutrition consultant for many publications and organizations, speaker at conferences, and nutrition expert in the media, including print, online, radio, podcasts, television, social media, and film. Sharon enjoys organizing farm and sustainability tours across the world. And she still has time to blog every day for her popular online community (200 K members strong and growing) at The Plant-Powered Dietitian. Sharon recently completed her Master of Science in Sustainable Food Systems from Green Mountain College in Vermont, and she serves as associate faculty at both Sterling College in Vermont and Prescott College in Arizona on the topic of sustainable nutrition. Living in the chaparral hills overlooking Los Angeles with her husband and two sons, Sharon enjoys tending to her own organic garden, visiting the local farmers market every week, and cooking for friends and family.

Greek Veggie Balls with Tahini Lemon Sauce (Vegan)

Author: The Plant-Powered Dietitian
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutesY
Yield: 6 servings (4 veggie balls per serving)

These little savory meatless balls are filled with the Mediterranean flavors of black-eyed peas, herbs, dates, and sun-dried tomatoes—served with a tangy Tahini Lemon Sauce.

1 medium red onion, quartered
3 cloves garlic
¼ cup ground flax seeds
5 soft Medjool dates (large), pitted
¼ cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes
½ cup fresh parsley
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon oregano
½ teaspoon black pepper
Pinch sea salt (optional)
½ cup whole wheat breadcrumbs (may use gluten-free)
½ cup nut meal (i.e., almond meal, hazelnut meal, or peanut meal)
1 large lemon, juiced
2 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas, rinsed, drained (or 3 ½ cups cooked)

1/3 cup tahini
1 large lemon, juiced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Water, as needed
Smoked paprika

In the container of a food processor, place red onion, garlic, dates, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, fennel seeds, oregano, black pepper, and salt (optional). Process until finely chopped.
Add breadcrumbs, nut flour, and lemon juice to food processor, and process until combined.
Add black-eyed peas to food processor, and process just a few seconds until the peas are mashed, but not pureed.

Remove mixture from food processor and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make Tahini Lemon Sauce by whisking together tahini with lemon juice, garlic, and black pepper. Add enough water to make a smooth sauce, according to your desired texture. (A thicker sauce is preferable served on the side with appetizer veggie balls, while a thinner sauce is preferable served on top of an entrée serving of veggie balls.) Sprinkle with smoked paprika.
Preheat oven to 375 F.

Roll veggie balls into 24 golf-size balls with your hands, and place on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Place on top rack of the oven. Bake for 55-60 minutes, until veggie balls are cooked through and golden brown on surface.

Serve with Tahini Lemon Sauce.

Makes 24 veggie balls, about 6 servings (4 veggie balls each)
Category: Dinner
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serving Size: 4 veggie balls eachCalories: 338 Sugar: 16 g Sodium: 553 mg Fat: 12 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g Carbohydrates: 50 g Fiber: 10 g Protein: 13 g

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