Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Grandma Margie's Quickie "Meat" Balls

I needed to have spaghetti and meatballs tonight, so I whipped up some veggie balls quickly and painlessly.  Again, I was going for the flavors my mom uses.  You can find the original, from scratch, soy-free version with the secret ingredient, here.

For this quickie version, I just used a whole tube of Gimme Lean Sausage Flavor (which I had in my fridge forever, because I rarely use faux meat stuff) and put it in a big bowl with two minced garlic cloves, about a tablespoon of olive oil, about one or one and a half cups of home made, fresh Italian breadcrumbs (**recipe below), a teaspoon or so of really good 18 year balsamic vinegar (I might try a tiny tiny bit more next time but I just wanted to add depth and not have them taste like vinegar, so I stuck to a small drip), and probably around 1/2 a cup of organic raisins (I love raisins in my meatballs, if you don't, no worries, just leave them out. However, you won't be making Grandma Margie's meatballs!), a little ground red pepper and kosher salt (probably around 1 tsp).  You can't get away with mixing with a fork here, you have to mix it with your hands because the sausage mix is pretty stiff and to incorporate everything fully (especially the raisins) the only way is to mix it with the two things at the ends of your arms :-)

P.S. If I had fresh parsley, it would have gone in, about 1/4 cup, loosely packed.

**To make breadcrumbs, put: 2 slices whole wheat white bread, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, (just use whatever seasonings you want, really) into your food processor. Pulse bread and seasonings into crumbs.

Once your veggie ball mix is incorporated, line a rimmed baking sheet/jelly roll pan with foil and oil it well with olive oil, like there should be a bit for them to swim in.  I use a large Oxo scoop to scoop the meatball mix out, then I roll it into a ball with my hands and plop them on the baking sheet.  Spray or brush exposed tops of veggie balls with more olive oil.  Bake at 375 for 12-14 minutes, then take them out and flip them over, bake another 10 or so minutes.  You want them to be golden brown and perfect!

Serve with pasta and marinara sauce, what else??
This pic so needs a sprig of parsley, but I didn't have it! Oh well.

What did you guys make for dinner tonight?


  1. These "Meat" Balls look amazing! I have been craving spaghetti meatballs lately, so this would be perfect to help with that craving.

  2. Wow, that looks great. Suddenly needing "meat balls"!

  3. They are super easy, guys, and taste amazing (we ate all of them save two in one night). My husband is a huge fan. Let me know if you try them!

    I am going to up the raisins next time, too :-)


  4. They look great, my boyfriend would love these. Raisins in meatballs is something I have never heard of but is pretty interesting. Nice. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  5. Raisins in meatballs, for realz? That kind of breaks my brain, but now I have to taste it.

    We don't really do the faux meat much anymore either - I think one of the great things about learning how to make vegan food is you discover there's this whole wide world of delicious food that isn't meat-centric. That said, we still love "meaty" stuff every once in a while, especially Logan!

  6. Allysia, hi! I was raised with raisins in my meatballs, so, for me, it's necessary :-)

    But, if you don't think you'd like sweet + savory combined in your balls, you can leave them out, but don't tell me you did (shame on you!).