Italian Meatballs with Creamy Cauliflower Mash


By Buffy-Ellen Gill from Be Good Organics.

Buffy-Ellen of Be Good Organics, shares some of her favourite recipes with us from her blog.  All of the red linked items are available from Buffy’s online store.

Did you see our “5 with…” interview with Buffy? You can read it here. 

Buffy always uses certified organic, local and fairly traded ingredients wherever possible.



Meat-Free Meatballs:
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large onion, finely chopped
300g organic tofu mince (or tofu pulsed in food processor)
1c buckwheat flour
1c rolled oats
large handful fresh parsley
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp tamari/soy sauce
1/2 tsp pink rock salt/kelp salt
black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp + 1/2 tbsp olive oil for frying

Italian Tomato Sauce:
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large onion, chopped
2 400g cans chopped tomatoes
large handful fresh thyme/oregano/basil (you can also use dried if you don’t have fresh on hand)
1 tbsp light coconut nectar
1/4c water
1/2 tsp pink rock salt/kelp salt

Creamy Cauliflower Mash:
1 large cauliflower, in florets
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
3 tbsp coconut cream/milk*
1 tsp pink rock salt
black pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)

Cashew Parmesan:
1/2c raw cashews
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp pink rock salt



Prepare Meatballs – mix all ingredients together in a food processor or large bowl, then place in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm.


Make Tomato Sauce – sauté onion and garlic in oil until transparent and fragrant, add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes until the sauce is thick, rich and slightly sweet. Blend in a food processor then return to the pan (switched off) to wait.


Cook Meatballs – roll meatballs into golf size balls (makes ~28 balls), then fry in oil in 2-3 batches for around 10 minutes until brown and crispy on both sides. Add your second measure of oil for the second batch so they don’t stick. Set balls aside on a plate in a single layer to cool slightly (they will get nice and firm here).


Make Cauli Mash – Steam cauliflower until very soft (10-15 minutes), then blend in a food processor until smooth. Return to pan with the remaining mash ingredients and simmer for 5 mins. You can blend again at the end if you want it even smoother (like a cauliflower puree – very fancy).


Add meatballs carefully to your tomato sauce, turn to cover, then heat gently until just bubbling.


Make Parmesan – blend cashews, nutritional yeast and salt in a food processor/blender until a fine powder is formed. Keep in the fridge for 3 months in a sealed container (this stuff is gold).


Serve mash topped with meatballs and sauce, drizzle the edges with olive oil, and sprinkle with cashew parmesan and extra chopped parsley if you wish. I like to serve this with some simple mixed salad greens drizzled in balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil, to freshen up the balance.






The other awesome thing about the elements of this recipe (the meatballs, the homemade tomato sauce, the cauli mash, and the cashew nut parmesan), is that every single one can be used in a different guise as well. So once you’ve mastered it, I guarantee you’ll want to whip out the individual elements in a different form for your next meal. I highly recommend at least making a double batch of the Italian sauce, as it refrigerates or freezes beautifully and the flavours are just delicious. Here are just some ideas of how to use each of the different elements:

  • Meatballs – try them atop of some spelt or black bean spaghetti; on top of a potato and celeriac mash; on your favourite wholegrain toast spread with avocado underneath; as a pizza topping (“meat lovers”!) with a layer of the italian sauce, topped with dairy-free cheese or cashew cheese and basil; with a big salad for lunch; or serve them individually ashors d’oeuvres drizzled in either the tomato or a soy, ginger & coconut nectar sauce.


  • Italian Tomato Sauce – use as a delicious pasta or pizza sauce; as a base for minestrone soup; or heat with some lentils, black beans or cannelloni beans for a quick homemade baked beans on toast.


  • Creamy Cauliflower Mash – use as an easy and light base underneath deviled tofu sausages, chili con carne, or braised lentils; serve with a slice of mushroom and lentil pie and some peas (classic UK pub fare gone healthy!); use as a topping for a homemade lentil shepherd’s pie; mix with some buckwheat or chickpea flour and herbs to make panfried cauliflower croquettes; or mix with spelt or buckwheat flour to make cauliflower gnocchi.


  • Cashew Nut Parmesan – anywhere you’d use parmesan! On top of pasta, pizza, in risotto. This recipe will last 3 months in your fridge and trust me you’ll love it – it’s so incredibly versatile.



“I love living an organic plant-based whole foods lifestyle,and truly believe it has the power to make such a difference to your health, as well as animals, our environment and communities. I’m passionate about sharing my story and knowledge, so you can benefit from these changes too. You can read more about me here.”– Buffy-Ellen



Source:  Buffy Ellen, Be Good Organics

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