As we’re heading into Christmas it can be really tempting to dive head first into traditional christmas foods. Us Swedes will have particularly fond memories of Christmas Eve meatballs as it is something of an institution at home and I must admit I am no exception. But these days I’m mainly veggie and gluten free so I’m not AS tempted… Still, it is nice to have something ‘meat like’ with your kale salad at christmas time which is why these red lentil and sweet potato frikadeller came about. Why red lentils and sweet potato?
1. Red lentils are incredibly versatile when it comes to making filling vegetarian and vegan dishes as they will bulk up almost anything on top of being super nutritious too. Loaded with protein, phytonutrients and B-vitamins they are great for our skin, hormones and memory. They are also a great source of plant oestrogen which can help alleviate symptoms of PMS and menopause. Talk about a super legume.
2. Sweet potato is an anti-oxidant hot house being rich in beta-carotene which our bodies convert to vitamin A and C which are anti-viral, anti-oxidant, boost immunity and help prevent cardiovascular disease. Beta carotene plays an important part in bone growth and vision. Containing both vitamin C and E (one of the few foods that do) it is also a powerful combo for treating wrinkles! Say no more.
I decided that the shape of Danish meatballs, frikadeller, would suit my vegetarian concoction best as they are a bit flatter, sort of like a mini burger. I ate mine with a mixed kale salad and it was absolutely delicious. I added a sneaky dollop of Dijon mustard on the side as I know of few dishes that do not improve with this golden condiment. However, I also had them cold the following day dipped in sweet chilli sauce which means they work as nibbles at a drinks party too. Hurrah!
Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Frikadeller
(Makes about 10-12 frikadeller)
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
2 small sweet potatoes or 1 large
1 small onion, shredded
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1-2 tbsp vegetable stock
1/2 cup ground almonds
salt and pepper to taste
Rapeseed oil for cooking (always choose organic and cold-pressed)
1. Cook red lentils until tender, then rinse. Cook sweet potatoes until tender then drain away water. Mix lentils and sweet potato and place in a sieve until all liquids have evaporated. Leave for about one hour. It is important not to have mixture too watery.
2. Once drained and dry-ish, mix the ground almonds, lentils and sweet potatoes in a bowl and mash-up until you have a smooth paste. Add egg, stock, mustard, salt and pepper and continue mixing until you have a consistency which allows you to make smallish patties. Taste mixture to make sure you’ve seasoned it enough.
3. Place patties in hot pan and gently brown on both sides. Serve with kale salad and brown rice. Enjoy! x