My oft-mentioned sister might indeed be a witch, based on the spells she casts in her vegan kitchen.
One of them is the latest, long-awaited, doggedly-pursued dish I have only encountered in legends and in daydreams: Good vegan meatballs.
Better than good, actually. Kick ass.
This is no shimmering oasis on the horizon for a dessert made of parched and inferior balls of beans or soy, oh no. It’s the real deal. Park your weary soul on these marinara shores and tickle your toes with spaghetti; you never have to eat a meatball again.
What you’ll need:
A flax “egg” (add 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed to 6 teaspoons of water and soak for at least 20 minutes).
1 cup quick cooking oats, coarsely ground in a food processor
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 15 oz. can of black beans (rinsed, drained, and coarsely chopped in a food processor)
1/2 onion (finely diced)
1 large or two small carrots (ground)
2 cloves garlic (ground)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
8 oz mushrooms, coarsely chopped in a food processor
Salt and pepper to taste
What you’ll do:
Prepare the flax egg. Turn on the broiler. Sauté onion for 10-15 minutes. Add salt, basil, marjoram, carrot, mushroom and garlic and sauté another 10 minutes. Add beans, oats, flax egg, and almonds, and mix well. Form into golf ball sized balls and place on a baking sheet lined with tin foil. Broil for eight minutes or until almost burned on one side. Press balls gently and then flip, cooking until almost burned on the other side.
Serve as you would any typical meatball.
Note: The balls are very fragile. You cannot put them in a pot of marinara and expect them to hold together. Instead, prepare and then top with sauce.
As an alternative to traditional pasta, these kick ass balls are great on zucchini noodles, which have the advantage of being raw, vegan, and gluten free—not to mention faster, easier, and more nutritious than pasta.
Simply take a vegetable peeler and cut long ribbons from the sides of several zucchini. If you like, heat noodles up in microwave for one minute, or just serve with sauce and allow the sauce to heat them through. You will likely need one or two zucchini per person. Save the zucchini cores for salads, soups or anything else that strikes your fancy.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Jenna Penielle Lyons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons user Fianni