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Steve’s Veggie “Meatballs” & Courgetti

Steve Brown


Serves: 6

Prep time: 15-20 mins

Cook time: 45 mins


For the veggie "meatballs":

60g white quinoa

1 medium onion, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

splash of extra virgin olive oil

400g mushrooms, roughly chopped

handful of fresh herbs

handful of grated Parmesan

1 large egg, beaten

For the courgetti and sauce:

2 red onions, finely diced

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 medium red pepper, roughly chopped

splash of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

2 (400g) tins of tomatoes

2 medium courgettes

Veg Portions / Serving: 2


Kitchen Ninja

Recipe donated by Steve Brown/POP for Veg Power. Food photography by Claire Wright | Portrait photography by David N Anderson |

Kwin-oa or keen-wah, who cares?! The main thing is, these little beauties are full of protein and keep you fuller for longer. The sauce is full of punch and the quick cook courgettes are fresh, crunchy and delicious! Although the mushrooms might originally put some people off, they are what gives this recipe it’s meatiness so go on, give them a go! These veggie “meatballs” & courgetti are modern take on meatballs, and a real favourite of ours and (sshhh… don’t tell anybody) but we like them even more than the original! Easy to batch cook and freeze, this is a low-cost, high impact meal that all of the family can enjoy. Happy cooking!


Start by cooking the quinoa. Pop the quinoa into a pan and add 150ml of water and some salt. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid, turn down to low and cook for 15-20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool – the quinoa should be sticky enough to form a ball when you squeeze it in your hand.

In a pan, fry the onions and garlic and add the mushrooms, cooking for 6-8 minutes over a high heat until golden. Mix the quinoa with the mushrooms, herbs, some salt & pepper, the grated Parmesan and beaten egg to bind. Lift spoonfuls of the mixture on to a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake for 20-25 minutes at 180C/160 C fan/gas 4, until golden.

To make the sauce, sweat the onions, garlic and red pepper with some oil, salt and pepper until soft. Add a splash of vinegar and honey and allow to bubble up before adding the tomatoes and boiling down until thick.

Finally, use a peeler to create long, thin strips of courgette (or use a spiraliser if you have one). Toss these in a pan with a little oil, salt and pepper until just softened. Pop the courgettes into a bowl and top with the meatballs, sauce and finish with grated Parmesan.

Kids in the kitchen:

These meatballs are perfect for smaller hands to shape, and using a peeler to make long strips of courgette is simple and fun.

Steve Brown

Steve Brown is founder of Pop, a food business with a passion for teaching people about food. From 8-80 years old, there are always new and exciting things to learn!

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