Veggie Meat(less)balls

My son Adam who has given up meat for lent begged me to make spaghetti and meatballs. “but Mummy” he added “it should have no meat!’  Now, I could take the easy way out and just buy the frozen veggie meatballs, but they are all soy and pretty much tasteless and won’t be winning me any mother of the year awards. I looked around in the grocery store for ingredients that would look like meat and pack some intense flavor. The only challenge I would have is getting it all to bind together and stay together.

In the end, I was pretty happy with the flavor but had some challenges keeping the balls nice and solid. I fried some without a breadcrumb coating which the kids preferred but rolled some in breadcrumbs so they would hold their shape. The next time I try this I will add some soy granules, which I didn’t have at the time. If you want to skip the meatballs all-together, this makes a great alternative to ground beef and I could see it work in a lasagna or meat sauce easily.

1 can red kidney beans drained well
2 cups cremini mushrooms
½ red onion finely chopped
1 celery stick finely chopped
1 pod garlic finely chopped
1/2 cup grated mozarella
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp hot banana peppers
2 slices of bread - fresh whole wheat breadcrumbs
2 eggs
2 – 3 more slices of bread for breadcrumbs if making a coating.
Fresh ground pepper

Pulse half the mushrooms till a coarse pulp and finely chop the rest. Pulse the kidney beans and add to the mushrooms. Add the red onion, mozzarella, garlic and celery stick. Puree the hot banana peppers and add. Add the cumin, salt and pepper and mix together with the eggs and breadcrumbs.

Heat some oil in a wok. Gently form a ball with two spoons and fry two at a time. If coating with breadcrumbs, cover the ball with crumbs and fry. If using this as a ground beef alternative,  just sauté in a pan with a little oil.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds yummy. I wonder if you would get a better bind if you tried chickpeas and tahini. I bet they were good even if they were crumbly.