This is one of those recipe where I juts can’t help but compliment myself as it’s sooo tricking delicious! 🙂 I have played around with the different recipes for veggie “meatballs” and this is the definitely the best one to date. These little guys are super meaty and filling and they work perfecty with a rich tomato sauce and a comforting bowl of pasta. If you are not a fan of tempeh or tofu please trust me when I say that you are going to like this one 🙂 The tempeh texture and flavour basically disappeared when mixed with all the other ingredients and you are just left with a meaty flavoursome ball. Ok, that sounded completely wrong, but you know what I mean, right? 🙂
Make a batch on Sunday and I promise you your weekday dinners will be never be so delicious as you can serve with some roasted veggies, mash potatoes, or crumbled up in a salad or buddha bowl.
Makes about 10-12 balls depending on the size
200gr of tempeh
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
1/3 cup of unsalted cashews
1 tablespoon of milled flaxseeds + 3 tablespoons of water
1 small white onion finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon of miso paste (brown or white, they will both work perfectly)
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 tablespoon of olive oil for frying
1/2 cup of ground almond + extra for dusting – you can also use bread crumbs
My favourite way of serving these “meatballs” is with a simple basil and tomato sauce and some brown rice tagliatelle or spaghetti.
For the tomato sauce:
1 small white or red onion finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed (you can use more if you like extra garlicky)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes or passata
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
a generous handful of fresh basil leaves roughly chopped + extra for serving
1 teaspoon of salt
Start by making the “flax egg”: in a small bowl mix the flaxseed with the water and let it sit for 10 minutes until it becomes gloopy.
Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in frying pan and add the sliced onion. Cook for 5-7 minutes on a gentle heat until the onion has soften and become slightly translucent. Add the crushed garlic and cook for another minute continuously stirring to avoid burning. Remove the pan from the heat and leave onto one side.
In food processor add the roughly crumbled up tempeh, add the cooked onion and garlic, cashews, “flax egg”, nutritional yeast, miso paste, ground almond, salt and pepper. Start blitzing until you have a kind of sticky kind of paste.
with your hand scoop out the mixture and roll it into small balls. Dust them in the ground almonds or breadcrumbs.
To cook the meatball you can either fry them or bake in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius, flipping them half way for about 20-15 minutes until slightly crispy on the sides. Make sure you bake them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, otherwise they will get stuck yo the bottom.
I personally prefer to fry them as I like them really crispy on the outside.
To fry them add about 2 tablespoon of oil into a large frying pan and once it’s hot pop in the meatballs, cook them onto each sides for about 3 minutes.
To make the tomato sauce add the oil and the diced onion to a pan, cook for 5-7 minutes on a gentle heat until the onion has soften and it’s slightly translucent. Add the crushed garlic and cook for another minute keeping stirring. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Put the lid on, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Adjust with salt if needed. Just before serving add in the basil leaves and give it a stir. Place some of meatballs into the pan with the tomato sauce and give it a quick toss. Serve with the pasta of your choice, extra basic leaves and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast (optional).