Thursday, October 20, 2011

Meatless mushroom meatballs

Long time, no post, huh?   I know, I know - I always say I will be more diligent about posting here and then I don't.  So if I say it again, call me a liar, ha!  I am just a lazy blogger, I suppose!

So I saw a recipe for meatless meatballs in a magazine a few weeks ago and I thought - DUH!  Why didn't I ever try this?  I'm a pasta-obsessed vegetarian, so why not?!  So here goes.  These delicious things are sooo versatile and you can hide nearly any veggie in them... perfect for reusing purees when you spend an entire day and went WAY OVERBOARD making baby food (or am I the only one with a 14 month old and a freezer full of cubes of pureed peas?)

As usual, my recipes aren't exact because I'm kind of a "this and that" cook.  And I'm often running out of the kitchen to see who is hitting who with what in the other room, so yell at me if I leave out a crucial step here.

Here's what you'll need:

-Some olive oil for the pans
-1 onion, diced
-2 cloves of garlic, diced
-6 oz of mushrooms, chopped - use whatever suits you.  I grab whatever is on sale.  I use about 3/4 of a package, usually white button or mini bellas, but whatever works!
~4 to 5 slices of bread, toasted and ground in the food processor (or you could leave out this ANNOYING step and buy breadcrumbs - maybe a cup or so.  I'm cheap and freeze the ends of loaves to make breadcrumbs!)
-4 eggs
~1/4 c of shredded "Italian" cheese - honestly, you can use whatever.  I've used parmesan, mozzarella, a blend of a few cheese - anything works,
-salt, pepper, oregano to taste
-A couple handfuls of spinach, if you want
-Sauce to simmer these heavenly balls (ha!) in

Here's what to do:

-Preheat oven to 350.  Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil (this is only to make clean-up easier - you can bake on the sheet) and coat with some olive oil.
-Sautee your onion, garlic, and mushrooms with olive oil over medium heat until onions become translucent.  Unfortunately, it doesn't have that lovely smell that onions and garlic get when you heat them, so it'll smell a but funky (care of the mushrooms)  This is just to soften the mushrooms and onions a bit.. it'll take about 5 minutes.
-If you are not using regular breadcrumbs, prepare your toasted bread now.
-In a large bowl, whisk the eggs.  Mix in the cheese.
-Remove your mushroom mixture from the head and add to egg mixture.  Season to your desired taste.  Add the breadcrumbs (and spinach or any veggies if you're using them) and mix.  You're looking mostly for consistency here - the spoon should almost stand up in the bowl.  If the "meat"balls seem a bit watery, add some more breadcrumbs.  When I've added frozen spinach, I just throw extra breadcrumbs in there.
-Form into balls, whatever size you like.  Place on baking sheet.  I usually make them on the large size of medium (am I even making sense right now?  Probably not!) and I get about 15 or 16.

Bake about 8 minutes on one side and flip.  8 minutes on the other side.

Put them in some sauce on the stove and simmer for however long... at least 20 minutes or so, just to get the sauce incorporated in them.   Serve alone or over pasta... or as a "meat"ball sandwich.

I promise you will love them!  My husband, a bonafide carnivore, claims these taste like "gourmet meatballs made with pork from Whole Foods."  Sooo... whatever that means! :)


Oh and I HAD a picture of them.  I swear.  It was a grainy cell phone pic and it disappeared.  But they look very meatball-like so use your imagination!

ALSO!!  If you are a Christmas-crazy like me, my friend and I started a new blog - The Crazy Christmas Ladies!  We'd love you to pop over and share some of your favorite memories, recipes, deals you find, whatever!

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