I don't often cook with meat substitutes such as tempeh, seitan, Quorn or TVP. But I saw this recipe for swedish meetballs a long while ago on Joni Marie Newmans blog Just for food and had wanted to try them out, but was deterred as I had great difficulty tracking down vital wheat gluten in Scotland and it was too expensive ordering it over the web. But recently I came across some Manitoba flour, and decided to try it out in place of the vital wheat gluten. I also tweaked some of the spices in Joni's recipe to suit my taste buds. The result was impressive, the meatballs held very well, plus they were rich in texture and substantial, I could only manage three. D really enjoyed these 'meatballs' and has said he would be happy if I made this a regular dish.
These veggie friendly 'meatballs' are versatile for two reasons. Firstly, you can make a batch of these and refrigerate them. Then during a busy working day, all you need to do is heat them in the oven and add them to a tomato based pasta sauce. Secondly, you can change some of the flavours in the meatballs. I have and have been delighted. So thank you Joni.
Versatile veggie meatballs
Makes about 20 balls or 21 if you have small hands like mine
170g light TVP mince
375ml made with 1 tablespoon of bouillon powder
1 medium onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
75g Manitoba flour
1 tablespoon of dried Italian mixed herb spices or oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp Tamari or soy sauce
Additional oil for frying
Reconstitute TVP mince by pouring the stock over the granules, covering tightly with plate and let sit for 10 minutes.
In a large pan, saute the onions and garlic in oil over gentle heat until translucent and soft. About 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat mix in the flour, Tamari, herbs and seasoning. Let sit until cool enough to handle. With your hands, form balls about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Use a lot of pressure when forming your balls, you don’t want them to fall apart.
Lightly fry them in a small amount of oil, rolling them around in the pan to brown on all sides.
We had them with pasta and a tomato based sauce. Yum.