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Vegetarian "Meat" Balls


Paul Bacino
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I'm want to make a Marinara sauce, and add some vegetarian ball to the sauce. I absolutely have know idea how or what to make? Binders or ingredients ? Curious for help .

Paul

Its good to have Morels

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The late great Dom DeLuise had a great recipe for Father Orsini's Eggplant Balls in his book "Eat This, You'll Feel Better"; the recipe also appears in Father Orsini's book. I've used it as a vegetarian meatball with great success.

3 tabelspoons EVOO, 3-4 cloves of garlic minced, 1 large eggplant peeled and diced, 1 tabelspoon of water, 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs, 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped, 2 eggs beaton, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, marinara sauce if desired, more grated parm.

In a large saucepan heat oil and gently saute garlic until golden brown. Add diced eggplant, the tablespoon of water , cover and simmer under low heat until eggplant is VERY soft. Combine eggplant, bread crumbs, parsley, eggs and cheese in mixing bowl. Let stand for 20 minutes. Form into balls and you can either fry in olive oil or in a 325* oven, bake for 30 minutes, add the extra cheese and marinara on top and bake another 10 minutes.

"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" 

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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Franci,

You are correct, and I understand you thoughts, but it is what the heck they call it around my parts, a simple garlic, onion, herb and plum tomato sauce . For the most part.

Now is cheese considered Vegan, I'm not spitting hairs on nomenclature, I think my friend is totally no animal thing.

Paul

Its good to have Morels

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. . . . I think my friend is totally no animal thing.

Paul

Do 'meat' balls have to be involved? Couldn't you just add mushrooms instead, or something?

Sometimes, substitutions just aren't worth it (I'm basing this conclusion on the combined experiences of growing up in a vegetarian – although not vegan – household, and trying to diet my body down to a skeletal state when I studied ballet).

Growing up, much family-dinner hostility was generated by my mother's vegetarian 'meat' loaf (my Dad's 'You will eat the nut loaf, it's delicious.' v. my 'No.'). Perhaps if you're raised on this stuff you can appreciate it, but otherwise, honestly, the meaty flavour is the primary thing that meat loaf/balls has/have going for it/them; apart from that, you have a dampish, dense-ish clump of stuff that doesn't have the most appealing texture under the best of circumstances. And given that the binders/lighter bulking agents (e.g. eggs, cheese) traditionally used in vegetarian dishes of this sort are off the table in this case, you're pretty hamstrung.

Of course, if you adore crazy-making challenges... :wink:

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Marinara sauce American style doesn't have fish, right?

That's something I've struggled with over here, I think it's basically napolitana sauce. Why you'd call it Marinara is completely beyond me. It's on par with calling a pizza a "pie".

James.

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Michaela,

Yeah, I might be leaning toward, something mushroom to add as a topping.

Something fried/ baked with Ramps, breading, pine nuts , parsley and Balsamic.

But I like the challenge of using eggplant, I might be able to, puree some as a binder with some chopped and other ingredients, roll in crumbs and fry them?

Still listening?

Its good to have Morels

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Ok, vegan, no vegetarian. I'd also go with Michaela suggestion: pure and simple. Another option would be to make some "rolls", or stuff some vegetables, like imam bayildi, a little summery but it is nice with a tomato sauce.

Sorry for being such a meathead... :cool:

Its good to have Morels

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Michaela,

Yeah, I might be leaning toward, something mushroom to add as a topping.

Something fried/ baked with Ramps, breading, pine nuts , parsley and Balsamic.

But I like the challenge of using eggplant, I might be able to, puree some as a binder with some chopped and other ingredients, roll in crumbs and fry them?

Still listening?

Yep, still listening, but I can't say that pureed eggplant ever struck me as having particularly cohesive properties, it's more... slithery. But I've never experimented with it, and there's only one way to find out, right? :wink:

I love falafel (Doodad's suggestion), but am having difficulty wrapping my head around it paired with tomato sauce (no idea why; I've often eaten it with chopped tomatoes).

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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There are a number of vegetarian kofta made in Indian cuisine. Most traditionally they do not use egg as this is not considered vegetarian, but dairy is often a factor. Often grated vegetables are mixed with spices and gram flour is used to bind it all. Then balls of this are deep fried. Other kofta are made with paneer or khoya. They are generally quite rich and delicious dishes.

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There are a number of vegetarian kofta made in Indian cuisine. Most traditionally they do not use egg as this is not considered vegetarian, but dairy is often a factor. Often grated vegetables are mixed with spices and gram flour is used to bind it all. Then balls of this are deep fried. Other kofta are made with paneer or khoya. They are generally quite rich and delicious dishes.

I was going to suggest something like Nawabi Malai Kofta but just swapping out the Indian herbs and spices with Italian stuff. A well done Kofta (especially ones with cauliflower) seem to be the closest analog texturally to Italian meatballs (I made them once for a vegetarian friend and she got angry as she was convinced I had fed her meat).

Edited by BadRabbit (log)
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Good suggestions...im headed to vegas,will make food for my. Guy friend.

.. as he wants meatballs

..and shes is vegan...and im just winging it for her. (Cuz i have the meat balls covered. )when i get back..try to report

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2

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I've done eggplant-based ball things before and found them to be quite lacking in the meatball-substitute stakes... taste pleasant enough in their own way but really a different beast - that mushiness totally changes the texture.

The ones I mentioned above are the best I've found for texture, and they don't exactly taste meaty but have a distinct savouriness to them which fills the same role for vegetarians/vegans (of which I am one). Adding some garlic and herbs is always a good idea too.

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While I usually steer clear of processed fake meat (I do eat tofu and other traditional soy products, tempeh, and seitan), I have had pretty good vegetarian "meatballs", mostly seitan based. Honestly, while it's maybe cheating a little bit, the frozen ones at Trader Joes (vegan) are really not that bad (nor do they contain anything that weird), and there are some other commercial products that are Ok too. Once they're cooked in sauce or plopped on a sandwich, they're pretty good.

You could also use tofu or ground seitan as the base, combine with breadcrumbs and seasoning. Even with some kind of starch to help bind it, it may be hard to get it to hold its shape unless you deep-fry them first. You can also buy vital wheat gluten flour (for making your own seitan without having to wash all the starch off of regular flour), you can take this, combine it with water or stock, and other seasonings, shape it, boil it in broth or water, and then use them, however, I'm not sure if the texture will be right.

Edited by Will (log)
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