Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Vegan meat balls

Here's another great recipe from my recent favorite cookbook, "veganomicon".
This is a recipe for vegan meatballs... a.k.a Bean balls!
Though the recipe calls for using regular wheat spaghetti, I decided to use a spaghetti squash for the noodles and the result was fantastic !!
For those of you who have never attempted to cook a spaghetti squash, I am including a how-to.

To make the bean balls you need:

1 (20 oz) can of black beans
Rinsed and drained
2 tb soy sauce
2 tb tomato paste
2 tb olive oil
2 cloves of garlic grated or finely minced
1/4 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
*I also added some finely chopped onion.

-Mash the beans in a bowl until no whole beans are left.

-Add all of the ingredients into the bowl with the beans and knead by hand for about a minute, until everything is really well combined and firm.

-Roll the mixture into walnut sized balls. ( do not make them too big, they will be difficult to cook.)

-Put a bit of olive oil to coat the whole pan and cook them at medium heat until they are browned . Remember to flip them and cook the other sides.

(Here they are cooked)

Now, to bake the spaghetti squash...

-Slice the spaghetti squash in half. Gently scoop out all the seeds from the inside.

-Bake (inside down/ peel up) in a pre-heated oven at 375* for about 45 to 50 minutes. (Depends on your oven. Mine heats too quickly, so I need less time.)

- Once the squash cools a bit, use a fork to scrape the spaghetti strands off from the squash. You can do that by pulling the fork away from the peel. It is actually quite amazing !! All these spaghetti like stands !!!!

I added a homemade marinara sauce using San Marzano tomatoes and called the dish "veggie spaghetti and bean balls". The whole family gobbled it up happily. :)


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