Meatballs! Without the meat!
Mmm meatballs. A staple dish that I grew up eating, on both sides of my family! Here, you'll get a 2 in one recipe. The straight up meat(less) balls to pop in your favorite sauce or totally on their own, and the sweet onion-y sauce if you want to go a different route.
Either way ya swing it, you can't go wrong!
So just to brief you on my childhood and family background- my dads side is 100% Italian, which means Sunday's (or really any day) at my Nana's house, you were guaranteed to eat a big meal. Every Italian out there can agree that you will never go hungry when your Italian grandmother is cooking, especially when it's a huge plate (errrr, plates) of meatballs, and you're a child with no self control. Although I haven't had 'em in ages, I can still taste them and remember the exact smell of the house when she was cooking and how I would drooooool.
Now my moms side. Another place you go to and never leave hungry. My grandparents on my Moms side are Jewish, which means the food you get by them is much different, but still just as amazing! Til this day, if I'm coming home, my Papa has a huge container of fresh tuna fish whipped up just for me. Seriously, so good. I just leave my empty plate on the table all day, and continue to refill, in between my naps on the couch. Living the liiiiiife. But my grandma would always make these potted meatballs growing up, in a recipe that's her own. Other than my Nana's meaty meatballs, my Grandmas were sometimes made with turkey, and the sauce has a much sweeter taste than your typical tomato sauce. Serve it over some pasta (and normally egg noodles), and you're set! One of the best meals by far!
So since I don't eat actual meatballs these days, I was missing those childhood memories and how good a plate of these suckers tasted, whether they were drenched in sauce or not. So why not make my own vegan friendly version?! VOILA! Here it is, folks! Hope you'll give it a go, and if not, at least try these protein PACKED meat-less balls, adapted from the talented Minimalist Baker. PERFECT for a Sunday night dinner! Enjoy :) xx S.
| Vegan |
I N G R E D I E N T S:
- 1/2 cup white onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 flax egg (1 Tbs of ground flax seed + 2 1/2 Tbs of hot water)
- 8 ounces Tempeh
- 1/3 cup vegan parm
- 1/2 tsp of dried basil
- 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used Panko!)
- 2 Tbsp of tomato sauce (or just combine a little tomato paste & water)
- Olive Oil to saute
- Salt & Pepper to taste!
- 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup of Ketchup
- 3/4 cup of Veggie broth
- 1 Tbs of Paprika
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp of Cane Sugar
- 6 small onions (or 4 large onions!)
- Olive oil to saute
- Salt & Pepper to taste!
'MEAT'BALLS!: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small dish, combine your flax seeds and hot water, whisk well and set aside to thicken for at least 5 minutes. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat a splash of olive oil and toss in your 1/2 an onion and 3 minced cloves of garlic. Saute until soft- just about 3 minutes. Set aside. Now, in a food processor, add your tempeh and pulse until broken down. Add your sauteed onion & garlic, flax egg, plus the remaining meatball ingredients. Mix until it becomes almost a dough, or the consistency that'll work for forming meat balls. Add some salt and pepper here as well, but don't mind the bitterness- it'll get better once cooked :). Roll your dough into little walnut size balls, and separately, mix an additional 1:1 ratio of vegan parm + breadcrumbs on a small plate. Roll to coat each ball in this mixture. Now, in the same skillet, over medium heat, add a thinnnn layer of oil! Cook the meatballs until browned, just about 5 minutes total. Add to a baking sheet and pop into the oven for about 20-25 minutes- or until fairly firm to touch. Set aside (or eat them all as is mmmm)
ONION-Y SAUCE!: Dice up all of your onions and set aside. I know it seems like a lot, but it is SO worth it! Add a large swish of oil and heat over medium. Once hot, add in your onions and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes, and then add your paprika plus some salt & pepper. Cook for another few minutes. Once they begin to soften and turn translucent, pour in your tomato sauce, ketchup, and broth + sugar. Mix well and taste. Adjust to your preference! But remember, once you pop your meatballs in and simmer, the sauce flavor will taste MUCH better. Cook for a few minutes, and then reduce heat to low. Pop in your meat balls, and cover. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Taste and add additional salt & pepper to your preference, or more broth if you want to thin it a bit. Serve with some noodles or on it's own :)
Notes: You can't really mess up this sauce, and you can adjust to how you like it! Sometimes, if I feel I want it a little sweeter, I'll add more ketchup, or if its too bitter, I just add more broth. All to how you like it! ;)