Jun 10, 2015

Review: IKEA - Veggie Balls Plate

IKEA Veggie Balls Plate features a helping of 10 veggie balls made with chick peas, green peas, carrots, corn, kale, and red bell peppers, served with a sweet potato sauce in lieu of gravy and a side of steamed vegetables (instead of mashed potatoes).

I paid the IKEA Family price of $4.99 for the combo, which includes a choice of either soup or salad. It will normally cost you $6.38 for the combo without the IKEA Family membership (which is free). Alternatively, you can also just get the plate itself for $4.49.

First and foremost, I am not a vegetarian and love my meat very much. I admit that I ordered the Veggie Balls Plate out of curiosity and with no small measure of reluctance. As I stared down at the somewhat dry-looking veggie balls, I regretted my decision and yearned for IKEA's Swedish Meatballs, which had always been my typical go-to meal whenever I found myself at the furniture chain.

Because my expectations were so low, however, I was pleasantly surprised with how delicious the veggie balls turned out to be. There's no mention of it in any of the advertising in-store or online, but the dish is very much Indian-inspired in the flavor department and that works strongly to its benefit.

The veggie balls themselves, despite being made with chick peas and green peas, did not have a grainy texture whatsoever (as I would expect with legumes). Instead, they were pleasantly soft and had a nice chew to them, very reminiscent of the soft and spongy texture of IKEA's iconic Swedish Meatballs. Here and there, I would come across a bit of whole pea or a small piece of kale, which provided some nice textural variety if not a reminder that I was eating the healthier vegetable option.

Flavor-wise, the veggie balls were surprisingly savory and had a spice-heavy seasoning that reminded me distinctly of the vegetable pakoras I've had at Indian restaurants. I found the veggie balls to be seasoned enough to need no sauce and actually preferred them plain.

The sweet potato sauce (not mentioned in store, but only online) was mildly sweet with a distinctive curry-powder flavor and little bits of sweet potato here and there. Appearance-wise, it reminded me quite a bit of chutney, which is appropos considering the Indian flavor-profile. I found that the sweet potato sauce actually mellowed the spiced-flavor of the meatballs by adding a sweet component.

The only part of the Veggie Balls Plate I didn't enjoy was the steamed vegetables, which were far too hard for my taste and utterly devoid of flavor. Some salt sprinkled on before steaming would do wonders.

Despite eating nothing but vegetables for my meal, I was quite full and remained that way throughout the entire afternoon.

Overall, I really enjoyed IKEA's Veggie Ball Plate for what it is: an Indian-inspired meatball substitute. Would I always choose it over their Swedish Meatballs? Probably not. But I would happily order it if I had a hankering for Indian food while picking up home essentials.

Hello, my name is Renee. I am the newest contributor to Brand Eating and primarily write news articles and fix any post-related errors, although I might continue to do a few reviews here and there--provided that Q and Darius haven't already beaten me to the punch!

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