January 31, 2012

MmmmmMeat-less Balls!

So I've been doing something very, very important this weekend:  Menu planning!

I came across a recipe for meatless balls.  Now, I will tell you, this was not my first encounter with a faux ball.  I've tried making a couple of meatless balls before, and they have turned out to be either too mushy or too flavor-less.

Well.....watch out vegan Goldilocks 'cuz I finally found one that was juuuuuuust right!

Not only are these yummy balls meatless, they are gluten-free too.  They are firm, hearty and full of whole grains, flax seeds (for your omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, iron, vitamins, etc.), a few veggies, beans (for your protein and fat burning fiber) and some nutritional yeast (gives a cheesy flavor except unlike cheese, it's actually good for you - contains vitamin B12).  Plus, the preparation was very easy and could be tweaked to any way you like it.  I based this recipe off of this one found here.

These would be great at a Super Bowl party this weekend - make them in mini-muffin pans, reduce the cook time, and serve them with toothpicks and a bowl of warm marinara sauce.

This recipe is super kid-friendly and would even impress the most picky meat-eaters!

Meatless Balls

Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Yield: 12 big balls
Print here.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce (homemade or jarred - but if you're not Martha Stewart or a strict Italian, just use jarred like I did)
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
  • 2 15 oz cans of pinto or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 2-3 tbsp soy sauce or Bragg's Amino Acids
  • 1-2 tbsp of vegetable broth (or water if you don't have any)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • A few sliced black olives (optional)
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the marinara sauce with the ground flaxseeds.  Stir to combine and set aside to thicken up.
  3. In a large bowl, mash the bean with a fork or potato masher (note - you don't want them over-mashed - leave them a nice, chunky texture).
  4. Add onion, green pepper, garlic, oats, soy sauce, broth or water, nutritional yeast, spices.  Stir to combine.
  5. Add in marinara/flax mixture and stir until fully incorporated.
  6. Scoop bean mixture into muffin tin, filling almost to the top.  Press each one gently to compact into the pan.
  7. Bake for 17 min, until edges are starting to brown.  Remove from oven, top with a spoonful of marinara and a few slice olives (if you're using - they make me wanna barf so I didn't use them on mine).
  8. Return to oven for another 12 min, until they are firm and set.
  9. Allow muffins to cool for several minutes - they will firm up even more.
  10. Serve with pasta, or a salad and ENJOY!
Ready for the oven

Those are some good lookin' balls right there! YUM!



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