Monday, September 27, 2010

No-meatballs in a spicy tomato sauce, and choccy pudding

Today my beautiful daughter has a VIP day at school where they can invite someone special to come along and see what they get up to all day. She's been practicing songs for a presentation her class is giving and is wildly excited that her Grandma (my mother-in-law) is going! To round off the day nicely, MIL is coming round for dinner afterward and I'm hoping to wow her with some vegan delights. So.... on the menu today is meatballs in a spicy tomato sauce, and some choccy pudding for afters. We love choccy pudding! I made it a few weeks ago as a follow on to the Tofu and Tempeh challenge I participated in, and I just knew it would get wolfed down - I wasn't wrong!
Anyway, on to the recipes... I've bought prepared meatballs in stores before and never really liked the taste. I'm not sure if it's because they tried to make them taste like lamb (I've never eaten lamb so couldn't tell), but whatever, they weren't nice. So these are more beefy tasting and all the family like them so I'm sticking to them lol!
Here’s what you’ll need.
  • ½ cup oats
  • ¼ cup soy milk (I’ve not tried it but I’m sure any plant milk would work fine)
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion (or onion powder)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (use more or less depending on your taste; we love garlic so I want lots!)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1½ cups of TVP (or a bag of veggie burger crumbles)
  • 1½ cup water (if you’re using the TVP)
  • 3 teaspoon egg replacer (I used Ener-G)

Ok. Start by preheating the oven to 400ºF then grab a cookie sheet and some parchment paper. Add the water to the TVP in a bowl to rehydrate it. The amount of water you need varies but I usually add equal amounts of TVP to water, and if there’s an excess of water just drain it off. Leave the mixture for about 10 minutes while you sort out the oats.
Next, soak the oats in the soy milk. I usually do this in the food processor to save on dishes. I find by using the food processor to whiz the mixture up a bit helps it stay together, when I’ve mixed it by hand they still taste great but are very crumbly and can fall apart when added to the sauce later.
When the TVP is rehydrated, drain off any water and add to the oats in the food processor. Add all the other ingredients and whiz for about 30 seconds.
Form into gorgeously yummy balls, then cook for 10-15 minutes until browned.

While they’re cooking in the oven, make the spicy tomato sauce… for this you need;

  • A little oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tin of tomato sauce

Fry the onions slowly in the oil until soft. I usually cook them on a low heat for about 20 minutes or so, so that they don’t go brown. Add the red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning and cook for about a minute longer. Pour in the tomato sauce and heat through. When the meatballs have finished cooking, plop them into the sauce! Easy peasy! Be careful not to move them around too much as they’ll break up. Serve over pasta or on their own and enjoy!

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