Keftedes are a traditional Greek Cypriot dish. They are also one of those meals that make you reminisce to your childhood. There is something so familiar about the smell and taste of them. So I decided to make them Vegan…mostly to prove to my omni husband that you can still have the meals you enjoyed as a child or adult without the added animal torture and murder not to mention all the inflammation that comes with it.
In order to get that meaty texture I’ve used soya mince… I know, I know, soya is so controversial! But seriously Asians have been consuming soya for centuries and studies show that Asian populations have a lower incidence of chronic diseases, such as cancer, than their Western counterparts. Soya is a great form of plant based protein, B vitamins and more. In fact, researchers determined that replacement of meat and dairy with soy would result in significantly improved intake of folate and vitamin K; larger amounts of calcium, magnesium and iron; and 4 additional grams of fiber per day. So embrace soya and make this dish!
Its a wonderful life, when its-a-plant-based life!
“Keftedes” (“meat” balls) / Kεφτέδες
Makes around 20 pieces
– 1 Cup Soya Mince (1 φλιτζάνι Σόγια Κιμάς)
– 3/4 Cup Boiling Water (3/4 φλιτζάνι βραστό νερό)
– 1/8 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice (1/8 φλιτζάνι φρέσκο χυμό λεμονιού)
– Zest of 1 Lemon (Ξύσμα από 1 λεμόνι)
– 2 Medium Potatoes, peeled, grated and squeezed of excess water (2 μέτριες πατάτες, ξεφλουδισμένες. τριμμένες και να στραγγιστούν από τα υγρά)
– 1/2 Large Onion, grated and squeezed of excess water (1/2 μεγάλο κρεμμύδι, τριμμένες και να στραγγιστούν από τα υγρά)
– 2/3 Cup Dry Breadcrumbs (2/3 φλιτζάνι αλεσμένη καπήρα)
– 1/2 Cup Parsley, chopped (1/2 φλιτζάνι μαϊντανό, ψιλοκομμένο)
– 1/6 Cup Dried Mint (1/6 φλιτζάνιαποξηραμένο δυόσμο)
– 1/4 tsp. Cinammon (1/4 κουτ. Κανέλα)
– 1 Flax Egg* (1tbl. Ground Flax seed + 3 tbl. water) (1 Λίνο Αυγό (1 κ.σ. Ισόγειο σπόρος λιναριού + 3 κ.σ. Νερό))
– Salt & Pepper, to taste (Αλάτι & πιπέρι)
– Oil for frying (Λάδι για τηγάνισμα)
* Flax seed can be bought whole and ground up in a coffee grinder and then kept in a jar in the fridge. For the flax egg however, you can use them whole (although i have never tried this, Steph says it works just as well.)
1. First step is to rehydrate the soya mince. In a bowl add the soya mince with the boiling water and leave to soak for 10 minutes.
2. While you wait for the soya mince to rehydrate, make your flax egg. Just add the flax seed and water in a small bow, mix and leave aside for 5 minutes until it becomes gel like.
3. Once the soya has plumped up and is softened, squeeze out all the excess water.
4. After grating your potato and onion it’s important to squeeze out as much excess water as possible so the mixture isn’t too wet.
4. Once everything is prepped add it all to a bowl and mix well with your hands. You may need to add more breadcrumbs, depending on how wet your mixture is.
5. If you have the time, place the mixture into the fridge for about an hr to help it all marinade and stick together nicely.
6. Once you’re ready, start forming your meatballs. I just used my hands.
7. Fry the meatballs until golden brown and drain on some kitchen towel.
Serve with some chips and a Greek salad!