Food for Joe: Veggie ‘Meatballs’

Although I am not the greatest fan of meat substitute products, this is a quick and cheeky midweek recipe that’s filling without breaking the bank. It’s comforting and full of warm flavours, so make sure you’ve got a nice rich red wine to go alongside it.

So, let’s get the (‘meat’) ball roiling…


For the main event, you will need: 

  • A packet of ‘meatballs’ – you can find these in any of the chilled or freezer cabinets at most supermarkets.
  • An onion
  • A couple of garlic cloves
  • A chili or two (some like it hot)
  • A large handful of mushrooms or a whole pepper (or both…)
  • A can of chopped tomatoes
  • A can of red kidney beans
  • Sweetcorn
  • Cumin
  • Smoked paprika
  • Hot chili powder
  • A bay leaf
  • Something fresh like chopped coriander, parsley or sage
  • A strong tangy cheddar or crumbled feta
  • Sliced spring onion (optional)

Heat oil in the pan and add cumin seeds, smoked paprika, hot chili powder and a bay leaf.Let the spices cook briefly until they release aroma, but be careful that they don’t burn.

Next add onion, garlic and half of the chopped chilli. Allow this cook until onions start to colour. Then add the sliced the peppers and fry for a couple of minutes.

Next add the meatballs, and coat them in the oil, spice and onion mix.

Once they have browned on the outside, add the chopped tomatoes and mix well, season with salt and pepper to taste. Now allow this to cook down for about 10-15 mins so the tomatoes loose their sweetness.

Finally, add a some well rinsed red kidney beans and sweetcorn. Throw in the rest of the chili for a spicy kick.


Top with fresh herbs such a coriander or chives or diced spring onion, also you can crumble over feta or cheddar.

Serve nice and hot, alongside some tortilla chips (Check out our recipe for homemade tortilla chips) or spooned into bloomer bread for a ‘meatball’ sub.

Pure comfort food.



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