For Meatless Monday, I wanted to share one of my favorite recipe, Vegan Cookbook’s vegan, soy-free meatballs. As I told you in my Tempeh Brown Rice post, it has been challenging cooking for children who eat like cavemen and parents who now eat a vegetarian diet. So, I have tried to find recipes that I can simply change the “meat” part of the dish to a vegetarian alternative for the hubby and me.
Why a spaghetti and meatball recipe? What’s not to like about spaghetti and meatballs? All kids love spaghetti and meatballs. Even my most picky. Son #4. So, this is an easy crossover recipe for the house divided.
Why Omit Soy?
Why have I omitted soy? I am not a big fan of the tofu taste. Plus, I am also worried about the extra estrogen I am putting into my body by eating tofu. The Weston Price Foundation lists a whole slew of reasons why you shouldn’t eat non-fermented soy.
Before I start to give you the Anna version, I just wanted to know that these meatballs have a little kick . Just to give you my frame of reference on the spice department, I grew up eating bland so anything with a kick is like throwing a fiery log on my tongue. So you can’t judge by me unless you like your food a little on the blander side. You can increase or decrease the fire if you want.
Another note, you easily can double or triple the ingredients and store them in the freezer. They defrost beautifully. Here is the original recipe from My Vegan Cookbook with my changes in parenthesis.
- “1/2 Cup Cooked Lentils (You need to cook the beans before you start the recipe so you might want to do this ahead of time or allot 30-45 minutes to cook the beans. See here on how to cook lentils. No soaking required.)
- 1 Cup Cooked Brown Rice (Again, you cook ahead and freeze.)
- 1/4 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
- 1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Wheat Germ
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (I used wheat free, low sodium Tamari.)
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice
- 1/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/8 Teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Chipolte Chili Powder (I don’t like the meatballs hot so I only use the 1/2 teaspoon chili powder.)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
- 2 Teaspoons Molasses
- 2 Teaspoons Dry Mustard
Mix ingredients together in a bowl. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Measure out 2 tablespoons of mixture for each meatball and roll into a ball with your hands. Spray cooking sheet and place meatballs on it. Place into oven and cook 15 minutes on one side and roll over and cook 15 minutes on the other side. After they are out of the oven, let stand for about 10 minutes to allow them to firm up.”
Pair the meatballs with your favorite soup and wheat spaghetti. Want to be adventuresome? Make your own tomato sauce! (If you really want to go for the “from scratch part,” you can use a tomato press to make your own sauce. Been making homemade sauce for two years with my manual tomato press.)
Gluten Free Ideas
If you are gluten free, don’t despair. I am sure you can change this recipe to make it gluten free, but you might have to tinker with it. You can change out the wheat germ for ground flax, ground teff, ground Kasha (buckwheat), brown rice cereal, or ground chia seeds. (Read this forum post about substituting wheat germ for a gluten free dish.) I have used chia seeds as a substituted for eggs, and in this case would opt for chia seeds or flax seeds seeds due to their great nutritional value. I like chia seeds better than flax seeds because they do not need to be refrigerated.
What about the whole wheat called for in the recipe? You could substitute a gluten free flour blend for the whole wheat. I use Karina’s (The Gluten Free Goddess ) blend #1 when I making gluten free products. (It calls for almond flour, millet, or buckwheat in addition to sorghum flour. I use millet since I love millet.) In addition, make sure your oats are gluten free. Shelly Case, RD, discusses oats and a gluten free diet and provides a list of where to buy gluten free oats.
You could use rice, quinoa (my favorite) or Tinkyada Brown Rice Penne Pasta with the meatballs. Now, I am inspired to see if I can remake these babies gluten free!
Join the Discussion:
- Let me know if you have a favorite vegan soy free meatball recipe. Link it in the comments.
- Also, what is your favorite dishes to please the carnivores and vegetarians in your lives?
- What are you cooking this week?
Again, try to make every Monday Meatless and help reduce your cooking carbon footprint. Need any of the products, listed above? Just click on the links above to take you to the Green Talk store!