Spicy Vegetarian Meatballs

Safe to say, these balls really blew me away.

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Stop. Stop it right now. I can hear you snickering from in front of your screen.

Anywho…I never really find myself craving meat. But sometimes I do crave meaty-type things. That may make close to zero sense if you fancy yourself a carnivorous human, but I’m just going to go with it and ask that you follow suit. For instance, spaghetti and meatballs just sounded like the tits. So I made it. But my way.

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There is something incredibly savory, hearty, and dare I say…meaty about these veggie balls. Not only do they have a chewy, slightly wet texture of a meatball, but they have this incredibly complex juicy flavor that you can’t stop yourself from devouring. And of course, they have a whole lot of spice for that lingering burn I love so dearly. The creaminess of the tahini and dense umami of the tamari mingles with the nuttiness from the sunflower seeds and when it mixes with a tomato sauce…the bite sends you to meatball nirvana.

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These vegetarian balls are filled with gut-scrubbing fiber to keep your belly full long after dinner time. Antioxidants abound in the fresh herbs and sh*t-ton of veggies inside. This meatball is a win-win: loaded with flavor + good-for-you ingredients.


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Spicy Vegetarian Meatballs

Makes 16-18 “meat” balls

For the spice liquid:

  • 1 T tahini or other nut butter
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 1 T water
  • 1 T pesto or Sriracha sauce or other ground chili paste
  • 1 T sesame oil (or another oil)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 T chia seeds + 3 T water, combined in a small bowl for ~5 mins
  • 1 tsp honey or agave syrup

All other ingredients:

  • 1 T oil of choice (for cookin’)
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped very fine
  • 1/2 cup brown mushrooms, chopped very fine
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and diced (optional…if chu want a lil fire, leave the seeds in)
  • 1/2 medium carrot, shredded finely
  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs of choice (I used thyme + oregano)
  • 1 cup oats, processed for 2-3 seconds (not into a flour, just supa’ coarsely ground)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 T nutritional yeast (optional but highly recommended)
  • sea salt + black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds or other nut of choice, chopped finely
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice (I used leftovers from the other day)
  • 1 jar (~3 cups) pasta sauce of choice (I used Vodka sauce….duh)
  • pasta to go along wif them balls
  1. In a food processor or a medium bowl, combine all spice liquid until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high and saute onions and mushrooms for 3-5 minutes. Add in serrano, if using, and cook for another ~30 seconds. Remove from heat and sprinkle with some salt and pepper.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine carrot, herbs, oats, cumin, nutritional yeast if using, and a few more shakes of salt and pepper. Mix in sunflower seeds or nuts, onions, mushrooms, serrano, and quinoa or rice.
  5. Slowly stir the spice liquid mixture into the mixing bowl and stir until just combined. Taste and add more salt/pepper if you fancy more flavor.
  6. Refrigerate this mixture for 20 minutes or simply freeze for 10 minutes.
  7.  Scoop mixture into balls and arrange in a slightly oiled baking dish or cast iron pan.
  8. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, pour in pasta sauce of choice, and let bake for another 10 minutes. So, ~30 minutes total.
  9. Take out of oven, let cool, and serve with fave pasta.

 

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