Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tuna and rice balls - with Grain free and Vegetarian options.

I can't believe I made something a little bit different that Jordi likes!! He ate 2 of these straight after school and is even taking them for lunch. Craig loves them as well so there is another batch in the oven right now. They are another versatile meal or snack that store will in the fridge and you can take them anywhere. Also great served warm with a green salad for lunch or dinner.
The inspiration for this recipe come from Craig doing a 12 week Body for Life challenge. The diet part of the program is fantastic if anyone is looking for good sensible guidelines on how to put together a healthy eating plan for life. You can adjust it to a paleo, vegetarian or pescatarian diet.

Tuna and rice balls
Makes: 8 balls

Rice or Quinoa:
1 cup organic basmati rice or quinoa
½ medium onion or ½ cup leek – diced
1 tsp Vegata delight vegetable stock or Massal vegetable stock powder
1 tsp garlic granules of 1 crushed garlic clove
1 ½ cups water

Crumb mix:
2 slices old bread or crusts
½ cup pepitas, sunflower seeds or almonds - I used pepitas
2 tbs chia seeds
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp Herbamare or Himalayan, Celtic or Kalahari salt

1 ½ cup rice or quinoa
½ cup crumb mix
1 400g tin of tuna or beans drained

Wet mix to add to ball mix:
1 cup cottage cheese
2 free range eggs
1 tbs chia seeds
1 tbs sultanas or raisins
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp Vegata delight vegetable stock or Massal vegetable stock powder


Add all rice ingredients to a medium saucepan and get to a simmer then stir. Leave the lid on and cook for 12mins then turn off and let sit for ½ hr.

Crumbs mix:
Add bread to a blender and blend until fine crumbs. Tip into a bowl and blend the rest of the ingredients until fine on a high speed. Add to the bread crumbs and mix to combine.

In a large mixing bowl add the rice, crumb mix and tuna. Then add all of the wet mix ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth. Then add to the rice, tuna and crumbs and mix to combine making sure that you distribute the tuna and rice evenly throughout. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to thicken then shape into balls and roll in the rest of the crumb mix. Place balls on a plate and set in the fridge for about an hour.
Preheat oven to 180oc. Place balls onto a wire rack and spray with good quality oil so that they crisp up and bake for 40 minutes or until nicely browned. Enjoy them nice and warm or let cool and store in the fridge for lunches and snacks. There nice both warm and cold. 

  1. I usually make the rice the night before as it makes too much for the one lot of balls. Keep enough for the balls and you can use the rest in dinner or other meals.
  2. Any rice will work.
  3. There will be left over crumbs as well. I always store them in a clip lock bag in the freezer for use on other things or for another batch of balls.
  4. The new Vegata delight vegetable stock has not preservatives, additives or msg!! It’s a great find and available at Woolworths and Coles .. if you are lucky!

Grain free and Gluten free options:
Use quinoa instead of rice. Preparation will be the same. For the crumbs use almonds meal, coconut flour or any blended nuts/seeds of your choice instead of the bread. Leftover grain free bread will also work. My Luving life bread is perfect!

Vegetarian option:
Instead of the tuna use lentils or beans of your choice. Make sure they are washed and drained properly. You can leave them whole or mash then gently before adding to the mix.

Perfect for lunch boxes and bags!


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I am not a doctor, registered dietitian or fitness expert. The purpose of my blog is to share my experiences with food, fitness and life and hopefully to inspire you. All content provided on my blog is for informational purposes only. I make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. Karen



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