Monday, November 22, 2010

Vegan Meatballs!

Okay Shannon – I did it! My first time making vegan meatballs! And again, I note, this is my first time :)

Just to fill you all in, my friend Shannon is vegan and I am always getting tips and recipes from her! You can check out some of her tips and recipes at The Road Less Traveled. I really love trying new recipes and how you can be so creative when it comes to making vegan foods. Not to mention, it’s also quite healthier :)

I recently had asked Shannon for a vegan meatball recipe. So she gave me a choice between a tofu/fake sausage meatball recipe and a lentil meatball recipe. I decided to go with the tofu one, and as you can see, my meatballs turned out quite lovely. I modified the recipe a little bit to suit my own taste buds, but unfortunately as soon as I put them into my marinara sauce, they did not hold together very well. Okay, so I was a little off on the consistency of the meatballs. Instead of adding bread crumbs, I had decided to go with oats, which may have played a part in this problem. And my other issue – the taste was off. I don’t think I added enough flavor to my meatballs, and unfortunately, I found out that I don’t care for fake sausage. So how about some advice to make these meatballs better? More flavors? Omitting the sausage? Getting the right consistency? I will not give up!

All though this is not my best, I wanted to share this recipe with you. Cooking is always a learning process and I definitely want to learn how to make this recipe better. Suggestions are welcome!

Here are the ingredients I used to make these meatballs. Shannon, I would love any help/tips/advice to point me in the right direction to make these meatballs tastier!

• 1 package extra firm tofu, drained
• 1 Gimme lean sausage
• ½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• ½ cup oats (generous amount)
• ¼ cup grated Veggie Cheese (parmesan flavor)
• 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
• Spices: basil, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper

All of the ingredients were mixed together (using my hands Shannon!) and formed into generous 1” balls. The meatballs were placed on a greased baking pan and baked at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

I served the meatballs and marinara sauce over sautéed, julienned squash and zucchini. I have been on a kick these days replacing pasta with veggies. I got this idea from Teresa Giudice’s (from the Real Housewives of New Jersey) cookbook, “Skinny Italian.” I love it! I then topped the sauce and meatballs with a generous amount of veggie cheese (parmesan flavor) and chopped, fresh basil leaves.


  1. Gimme Lean has a sausage and a beef flavor. Chris hates the sausage, so I generally use the beef flavored one. OR you can always just use nothing but tofu!

    And I have no idea what oats would do to it, I would imagine oats would make them softer. I think the bread crumbs would probably work better. Mine definitely don't fall apart. Perhaps they should have been baked a little longer? There's a chance I wrote down the time wrong. I take mine out when they are slightly browned.

    And as far as the spices go... you just have to use what you like! I free-style it, and am usually very generous with the italian seasonings. Since tofu doesn't have much flavor on its own, you can add a lot to it.

    Thanks for giving it a try, and I'm sorry you didn't like it! I used to saute extra firm tofu with italian spices, and put that on top of my spaghetti, too.

  2. Thank you so much for your advice Shannon! I didn't realize Gimme Lean has different flavors - I think my grocery store is limited though. I would probably like the beef flavor! Thanks again!