A wholesome raw vegan dinner featuring zucchini noodles aka zoodles, simple marinara sauce, and veggie balls aka mock meatballs. Rich with flavor and hearty texture, it’s hard not to love this recreated raw Italian dinner.
The mock meatballs are made from meaty sun-dried tomatoes, carrots, pumpkin seeds, flax seed, red bell pepper, and flavors such as onion, garlic, basil, cumin, and fennel. For a little kick, I added an ancho chili I had leftover, but you could use any hot pepper you prefer or have on hand like jalapeño, serrano, chili, etc. If you use a dried pepper, just soak it with the sun-dried tomatoes; if fresh, use sparingly.
Any nut or seed could work in this recipe, for instance sunflower seeds or walnuts in place of pumpkin seeds would be delicious. But you don’t want to replace the flax seed because they are the binder, your mock meat balls might not hold together as well without them. However in place of flax seed, if you prefer sweet meat, use date paste, a simple mixture of 1/4 cup dates and 1 tbsp water.
It’s very easy to put together, you just have to process all the ingredients in a food processor and shape the “meat” into balls just like a regular meatball. Then, drizzle a bit of olive oil on top and dehydrate at 165F for about 4 hours or until the excess moisture has evaporated.
With a spiralizer we’ll spiralize the zucchini into noodles, salt them and let them sit at room temperature until softened, or you can dehydrate them to soften and warm for up to 20 minutes. You may even want to leave the zucchini noodles as-is, raw and crisp, especially on a hot day.
I used a yellow zucchini, and let it sit with a pinch of salt, while I made the tomato sauce.
The tomato sauce is also quite easy to make. You just blend your tomatoes, spices, and herbs until you get a nice thick sauce, so simple!
Herbs and spices are completely up to you, for this recipe I used sage, rosemary, and basil. Sometimes I’ll use thyme oregano, parsley and/or fennel. I encourage you to play around with the spices and herbs, everyone’s preference is different.
Zoodles, Marinara & Veggie Balls
- 2 medium zucchinis; spiralized
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1.5 cups tomatoes; roma
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes; soaked
- 1/8 cup onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/8 cup fresh basil
- 1/2 tsp jalapeño
- 1/2 tsp rosemary
- 1/2 tsp sage
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp peppercorn
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 cup red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup carrots
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup flax seed
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/8 cup basil
- 1/8 cup fennel
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin seed
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Soak 1.5 cups of sun-dried tomatoes for about an hour, or until soft.
- Grind pumpkin seed and flax seed until they turn into flour.
- Add all of the veggie ball ingredients, except olive oil, to a food processor and process until it looks like ground meat.
- Shape the veggie meat into approximately 10 balls, and drizzle olive oil on top.
- Dehydrate at 165 degrees for up to 2 hours. Check to see if done, they are done when the excess water has evaporated, turn down to 115F for the remaining 2 hours. Or if you want to make these over night or while at work, dehydrate at 105F for up to 8 hours.
- Blend all of the marinara sauce ingredients together until you get a thick sauce.
- Use spiralizer to make zucchini noodles.
- Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the zucchini and let it sit until softened. Discard the excess water.
- Dehydrate for up to 20 minutes to further soften.
- Add zoodles to plate, pour a good amount of sauce on top, mix it together, and top with meat balls and a garnish of fresh herbs.
To reheat, dehydrate at 165F for 30 minutes to 1 hour.