In 1988 I moved from living in the Northern Territory to the big smoke Sydney. I landed a job that gave me great joy, I became a care worker in a group home for developmentally disabled adults. It opened up my world to many things; my very sheltered country being was now experiencing a vividly exciting world, working with people from all walks of life. The care home was in Bondi and I used to walk from the Junction past a health food shop called Manna. This was heavenly for me; we didn’t have a health shop in Darwin. I very often picked up really good organic produce, packets of organic chips and a brown rice ball. I loved these rice balls with the crispy outside and packed with veggies but to be honest now not much flavour. 
Rice balls opened up my world of vegetarianism, I had been cooking vegetarian food since I was sixteen but had never come across a rice ball before. I loved picking up those rice balls from Manna but since then never really thought to make my own until a few weeks ago when I decided to put it on a menu for the Spirit of Light training I was catering on. Who knows what possessed me but I did make them and they were delicious. 
I made them with a cashew cream cheese filling for the training and the day before on my practice run made them with a mushroom filling. Both fillings are worth a try so I have included them both below. I made them with both brown and black rice (black rice is full of iron and has more protein so worth adding wherever you can) and baked them rather than frying them. I made them smaller than the Manna ones so I could eat more than one. They are super filling but I suggest making the full batch as they will keep for the next day and you could freeze some if you wished. 

Brown Rice balls

rice balls


1 cup brown rice 
¼ cup black rice
1 small onion diced fine
Organic avocado oil 
1 small bay leaf
3¾ cups filtered boiled water
2 tsp herb salt 
2 tsp oregano (fresh is always best)
Salt and pepper to your taste
3 tbsp black sesame seeds
Choose one of the fillings

Filling one – cream cheese

Cream cheese with spring onions chopped finely instead of dill
If choosing this filling you will need to make it the day before.

Filling two - mushrooms

180g mushrooms diced finely
2 spring onions cut finely
1½ tbsp corn flour
3 tbsp soy or almond milk


1. Fry the onion in a splash of oil then add the oregano, bay leaf, herb salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is translucent.
2. Add the rice and water and bring to the boil then simmer for 30 minutes or until all the water has evaporated and the rice is cooked through.
3. Mix through the sesame seeds then let the rice cool.
4.  If making the mushroom filling. Splash in a bit of oil into a frying pan and cook the mushrooms with some salt and pepper. In a small bowl mix the cornflour and soy milk. When mushrooms are cooked stir in the cornflour. You may need to add more soy milk. Season with salt and pepper.
5. With your hands shape the rice into half balls (the size is up to you) then put a teaspoon of the filling in the middle of the half ball.
6. Add more rice on top of the filling and shape into a rice ball.
7. Place on baking paper on a tray in the oven and bake at 180°C for 20 to 30 minutes or until crisp on the outside.

It’s not too early to start thinking about the next vegan chef training

Even though the next intake of the vegan chef training doesn’t start until September 2019 you may want to consider thinking about it now as there will only be twelve places offered for the modules 2 to 5 in September and as there is quite a lead up to then, I am certain the space will fill. 
If you are not sure about whether to take the jump and book in you may want to come and do a foundation course first to see if it is something you really would like to do. There are plenty of foundation courses scheduled before September 2019. There are three this year and then five next year. The one in October at this stage looks like it is going to be a small group so it could be a good time for you to join in.
Have a great week everyone
Love Veet 


Tags:rice black rice mushrooms Cheese Gluten Free

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