Baked veggie-based meatballs that hold their form! Finally. Made up of tofu, TVP, vital wheat gluten and a whole heap of spices, these bake up in under 20 minutes with 10 minutes prep time. Because of the hearty amount of spices and small amounts of typical "binders" and meat-substitute staples, you don't get the overwhelming amount of tofu / TVP / wheat gluten which is a welcome change. Don't be overwhelmed by the ingredients list - a huge part of the list is spices. Add your favourite spices if these seem too 'Italian' for you. Try Cajun themed, garlic and onion based, and so on. Allowing these to cool for about 5 minutes will yield a firmer meatball.
Upon calculating the grand total for this recipe, I found this entire recipe to cost me approximately $3.20 - right on!
For storage: Freeze, refrigerate, or eat 'em in a worrisome hurry - it's up to you. To re-heat: bake, fry, or nuke 'em.
This batch makes 25-30, depending on the size. I used a heaping teaspoon of the mixture for mine and got 26.
This recipe takes 1 bowl, a few spoons and a food processor. Not bad! Reserve the extra tomato paste from this recipe and check out my recipe for Meatball Subs here.
4 oz extra firm tofu (1/2 cup, or, 1/3 package of Sunrise Extra Firm Tofu)
¼ cup sunflower seeds (use any kind: raw, roasted, salted, unsalted..)
¾ cup TVP
1 tsp garlic (freshly minced or jarred)
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp arrowroot powder
½ cup nutritional yeast flakes
¼ cup panko
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp BBQ sauce
1 tbsp vegetable stock powder
1 ½ tsp basil
1 ½ tsp oregano
1 ½ tsp coriander powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp hot chili flakes
¾ tsp fennel seed
¾ tsp mustard powder
Salt and pepper to taste
6 tbsp vital wheat gluten
2-4 tbsp water, reserved
In a food processor, place all of Ingredients I in and select the "chop" function (anything but puree/mince will do). The mixture should resemble something like this:
Next, place this mixture in a bowl and add in Ingredients II. Mix this up a heap until well-combined, and taste test for spices. Add in salt and pepper to your liking. I used 1/2 tsp salt and a big pinch of pepper.
Lastly, add in the vital wheat gluten and stir up until the mixture is good and firm, able to be rolled into balls. Should this mixture be a little dry, add the water in 1 tbsp at a time. I used a total of 2 tbsp water. If your mix is a bit too wet, add in 1-2 tbsp vital wheat gluten.
Roll into balls. I used a heaping teaspoon and rolled up tight. They were about 7/8" in diameter. Grease up a pan (I baked in 2 batches. but feel free to use 2 pans) and fit no more than 6 x 3 meatballs to a pan.
Bake for 10 minutes, flip the meatballs, and bake for 9-10 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let cool.
Serve with pasta, or gravy and mashed potatoes. Enjoy in a sub. Alternatively, brave the storm and create your own IKEA poutine.
Find more recipes over at The Hardcore Herbivore!