Beet Dumplings (Knödel) with Vegan Cheese Sauce

Knödel are a common favorite German meal. They are kind of like the stuffing used at Thanksgiving time, mixed with a bit of milk and egg to hold together, then cooked (boiled) and served with a sauce. As vegans we use non-dairy milk and chickpea flour as a substitute for the eggs. These are beet dumplings, there are other kinds but these are quite tasty indeed, and a great way to use old bread or the ends of the loaf.

Yield: 12-14 dumplings

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 slices day-old bread
  • 2-3 beets
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk
  • 3 spring onions
  • 3 tablespoons chickpea flour
  • salt and pepper to taste

for the vegan cheese sauce:

  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • ¼-½ cup tofu cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • splash chili sauce (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast

Directions:

  1. Cut the bread into small cubes or process in a food processor.
  2. Place the bread cubes in a large bowl.
  3. Cut the spring onions in small pieces and add to the bread.
  4. If you have a juicer, I would juice the beets, using the beet juice and pulp. Otherwise, cook the beets in water until they are soft, then puree.
  5. Add the non-dairy milk, chickpea flour salt and pepper to the bread.
  6. Mix well, I used a fork.
  7. Allow the bread to soak up the liquid for half an hour.
  8. After half an hour, test the mixture. It should be able to be rolled into golf ball sized balls.
  9. If it is too moist, add 1 more tablespoon of chickpea flour and mix.
  10. Using a serving spoon, take a generous amount of the beet mixture and form into golf ball sized balls.
  11. Make about 12-14 balls.
  12. To make the sauce: Peel the carrot and cut into small pieces.
  13. Cook the carrot pieces in a small amount of water until they are soft.
  14. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and puree to a smooth mixture.
  15. Season to taste with more nutritional yeas, lemon juice, salt or pepper.
  16. Traditionally knödel are boiled in lightly salted water, but often, vegan ones fall apart, so I have learned that they do well in a steamer. I have a traditional Asian bamboo steamer that fits onto my frying pan filled with water.
  17. Steam the dumplings for 5 – 8 minutes.
  18. Serve the dumplings with the cheese sauce, and perhaps garnished with a few mint or basil leaves.
  19. These dumplings were nice as a lunch. They are often used as a side dish, or as a main meal, with mushroom sauce and red cabbage on the side.