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The past few weeks have been insane. I’ve had DJ gigs every weekend for the past month; I hosted family for Thanksgiving; and I went out of town for a wedding. The unfortunate thing is that I still have a ton of things left to do: my boyfriend’s mom is in town tonight, I’m deejaying twice this weekend, and in two weeks, we’ll be heading to Anaheim for Christmas.
I’ve been so busy that I even missed the season premiere of my favorite show: Vanderpump Rules. For those of you who are unaware, VPR is a sloppy reality show and it’s full of juicy drama, hookups, and laughs. I strongly recommend it!
I made vegan goat cheese balls as an homage to the show, and if I had my ducks in a row, I would’ve posted it last week with the premiere of season seven! Goat cheese balls are a staple on the menu at SUR, the restaurant most of the cast works at, and they’re Stassi’s fave. Aside from pasta, it’s the most mentioned food on the show (unless tequila counts as a food).
I’ve always been intrigued by the idea, so I decided to make my own! These goat cheese balls are awesome! They’re crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and make a great hors d’oeuvre. Making them is kind of a process, so you should allow yourself a couple hours to prep because of the freezing downtime.
I tried a couple different ways of making these. First, I attempted to pan fry them, but found the panko crumbs would fall off and burn, and stick to the ones I fried later. Baking them seemed to be the best option, which also allows the frozen cheese mixture to thaw and warm completely, plus less calories.
It’s not super involved, but being patient for the balls to freeze is key. All you need to do is soak the nuts overnight, blend the ingredients – I used a Nutribullet, so don’t feel like you have to have a Vitamix or a Blendtec to achieve a creamy well incorporated product – and freeze. Then shape, freeze again, coat in flour, coconut milk and flax, and breadcrumbs, then bake!
I am so excited for this season of Vanderpump Rules. From what I’ve seen, the season is off to a strong start: Jax’s narcissism is at an all-time high, Lala and Ariana probably hooked up, and Tom Tom presents new opportunity for chaos.
Will James ever invest in some CDJs? Will Raquel ever stand up for herself? Will Tom Sandoval ever stop being a misogynist prick? The answer to all these questions is no, but I’ll keep watching in hopes for some character redemption. If Kristen Doute can do it, so can you!
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment or tag me at #hellyesitsvegan on Instagram. Cheers!
Vegan Goat Cheese Balls
- baking sheet
- mixing bowl
- small casserole dish
- Soak cashews and almonds in water for at least one hour.
- Drain nuts. Combine all the goat cheese ingredients and blend on high until evenly incorporated. Spread the mixture evenly across a small casserole dish and freeze for 30 minutes.
- The mixture should be semi-solidified. Using a small scoop (I used my Tablespoon measuring spoon) or a spoon, gather a heaping tablespoon of cheese and plop the mixture directly on a clean baking sheet to form a ball. They won’t be perfect, but you can get them to look semi-uniform by shaping them with your fingers. Continue scooping and shaping until you run out of cheese. Place the balls in the freezer for an hour or until completely frozen.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, garlic powder, paprika, and sea salt in a small bowl. In another small bowl, whisk together the flax meal and coconut milk. In a third, simply add the panko bread crumbs
- Coat a clean baking sheet with olive oil. Remove the balls from the freezer and wiggle the pan back and forth to free them. They should pop right off, but if they don’t you can always use a spatula.
- Coat each ball one by one. First, run the ball under the sink or dip in a bowl of water (this helps the flour stick). Then dip in the flour mixture, then the coconut milk and flax, and lastly the panko. Line across the olive oil coated sheet. Repeat until you run out of balls.
- Spray the top of each ball with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes. Then broil at 400 for an additional 5 minutes until golden brown. Be sure to watch the balls to ensure they don’t burn.
- Serve immediately with marinara (optional) and top with sea salt and Italian seasoning (also optional).
Recipe loosely based on this recipe by Sweet Paul Mag.