Recipe: Kick Ass Vegan Meatballs

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I don't mind calling my own food kick ass. If you've made a few vegan meatballs you've probably noticed a trend - they fall apart, they are squishy in the middle and they taste like nothing that should be called a meatball. I've had this problem. I was thinking it sounded an awful lot like my burger problem that I solved with a Vegan Burger that will blow you away. Really, it's been getting great reviews from friends and testers! And I kind of couldn't stop eating them....

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So the logical next step was to use that basic ratio and make a meatball. made sure to change a few things to make sure they held together if they were simmered in a sauce. Also I added in some spinach because I love it. 

This recipes makes a bunch of meatballs. If you want, you can freeze them after they are baked and keep them in a freezer bag until you want them. Just thaw and heat up. 

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So I just wanted to show you a picture of how awesome it would be on a sandwich but these are fantastic with spaghetti (Hello spaghetti and meatballs, I've missed you!) r you can put them on a pizza or stick a toothpick in 'em and serve them as appetizers. It's totally up to you and your imagination. 

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Kick Ass Vegan Meatballs

makes about 35

  • 8 oz tempeh 
  • 6 oz fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (or 1/4 cup flour if you don't have it / don't like it)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup pizza or tomato sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried fennel

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Depending on the brand you use, you may want to steam your tempeh before adding it to the meatballs. Steam over a pot of boiling water for about 10 minutes. Then set aside to let cool. Once it's cool chop it up until it is pretty fine - about 1/4" pieces max. It should crumble up a bunch and that's good!

Set a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat and add the chopped spinach and 1-2 Tablespoons of water.  Cook until the spinach is wilted. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add to your tempeh and let cool. 

In a separate bowl mix together your vital wheat gluten, flour, nutritional yeast, salt, basil, oregano, dried pepper flakes and fennel.

Mix the pizza sauce, tomato paste and rice with your tempeh mixture. Then add that to your dry mix. Stir to combine and then knead for a minute or so. 

Take a small piece of the mixture out and shape into a ball that is no larger than 1 inch in diameter. You should end up making around 35 - 40 meatballs. 

Bake for 15 minutes and then flip. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Let them cool for 5-10 minutes (this is pretty crucial because it lets inside of the meatball firm up in texture.)

If you would like to you can now simmer them in your favorite marinara sauce for 5-10 minutes to warm them up. Or you can serve them without sauce, whatever you like!

 

Nutritional information per serving : Serving size:  about 6 vegan meatballs

? WWPointsPlus  266 calories, 5.3g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 33.1g carbohydrates, 4.1g fiber, 8.7g sugar, 25.3g protein

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