Vegan alternative to Swedish meatballs
Adapting the Swedish favourite for 21st century tastes
If you were to play a word association game , chances are “Meatballs” would be one of the favourite choices to partner “Swedish”. IKEA apparently sell in excess of 1 million meatballs per day such is their popularity and many a trip to buy the essential Billy bookcase has involved bribery by meatball!
The traditional Swedish “Köttbullar” is rumoured to have been introduced to Sweden by King Charles XII from Turkey, following his exile there in the early 18th century, every Swedish family will have their favourite recipe, usually accompanied by cream gravy, boiled or mashed potato and the sharp, tangy kick of lingonberry jam and cool hit of pickled cucumber to complement the richness of the meat.
In Norwegian kjøttkaker the meat is often beef, sometimes lamb, spiced with nutmeg and even a little ginger, again a savoury brown gravy is the perfect accompaniment. The Danes favour an all pork mixture for their slightly larger “Frikadeller” often serving them with red cabbage, and any leftovers make a fantastic open sandwich topping, that is of course a subject for another blog post!
At Birgitta’s Cheltenham restaurant “Svea” her delicious pork and beef meatballs were always a bestseller, with mashed potatoes, topping open sandwiches or included in the famous Smörgåsbord
With so many of our customers requesting vegan options we have come up with some delicious alternatives to the traditional meatball whilst remaining true to the subtle spicing and flavouring of the original recipe. Enter the “Beanball” which uses darker pulses (black and red kidney beans) along with fresh and dried mushrooms for that essential savoury hit. Pepper and allspice season the mixture as in the traditional meat based recipe. Another successful alternative uses mixed vegetables and chickpeas with a hint of garlic and paprika giving a slightly different but equally delicious flavour.
So, vegans and vegetarians, don’t hold back, Svea’s Kitchen will make sure your Scandinavian favourite is always on the menu. Ditto gluten-free friends, the usual breadcrumbs which help to keep texture to the meatballs when they are cooked are easily substituted with gluten free breadcrumbs or even ground flaxseed. No one needs to miss out!
To find out more about how we adapt our menus to cater for all dietary requirements please use the “Orders & Inquiries” page