VEGAN SUN-DRIED TOMATO & BASIL MEATBALLS
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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

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VEGAN SUN-DRIED TOMATO & BASIL MEATBALLS

Kelly Mike - Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Ingredients

CHICKPEA MEATBALLS
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp (7 g) flax seed meal + 2.5 Tbsp ( ml) water)
  • 2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) olive oil, divided, plus more for sautéing
  • 3 cloves garlic (~9 g), minced
  • 1/3 cup (22 g) panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed (36 g) chopped sun-dried tomatoes (dry, not in oil)
  • 1/3 cup (26 g) vegan parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • pinch each sea salt and red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
optional
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano (or 2 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped)
  • 1 15-ounce (425 g) chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried
FOR COATING
  • 2 Tbsp (10 g) vegan parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tbsp (12 g) panko bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare flax egg in your food processor or high speed blender.
  2. Heat a large metal or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil and minced garlic. Sauté until slightly browned, stirring often - about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly, then add to food processor or blender with flax egg.
  3. Next add panko bread crumbs, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, vegan parmesan cheese, salt + red pepper flakes, dried oregano, and 1 Tbsp olive oil (15 ml). Pulse/blend until small bits remain, scraping down sides as needed.
  4. Next add rinsed/dried chickpeas (see notes for tempeh) and blend/pulse until a moldable “dough” is formed, scraping down sides as needed. You don’t want the chickpeas to turn into a paste, but you also don’t want any left whole.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added a bit more basil, salt, and panko bread crumbs.
  6. Scoop out rounded 1 Tbsp amounts of dough and gently form/roll into balls - about 15 total. Then roll in additional vegan parmesan cheese-panko bread crumb mixture to coat.
  7. Heat the same skillet you used earlier over medium heat. Once hot, add enough olive oil to form a thin layer on the bottom of the skillet (~2 Tbsp | 30 ml), then add meatballs in two batches, as to not crowd the pan. Add more oil as needed.
  8. Brown for about 5 minutes total, shaking the pan to roll them around to brown all sides. Turn down heat slightly if browning too quickly.
  9. Add sautéed meatballs to a bare baking sheet and transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  10. At this time, prep any pasta you want to serve with your meatballs, as well as your favorite marinara sauce (I love this sauce, warmed up in a saucepan).
  11. Once meatballs are golden brown and fairly firm to the touch, remove from oven. Let cool briefly before serving. They will firm up the longer they cool.
  12. To serve, top cooked pasta with marinara sauce and desired number of meatballs. Top with another sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese and fresh basil (optional).
  13. Leftover meatballs will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, though best when fresh. Reheat in a 350 degree F oven until warmed through, or in the microwave.
  14. To freeze, sauté meatballs as instructed, then transfer to a baking sheet and freeze until completely firm. Then transfer to a freezer safe bag or airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat in a 350 degree F oven until completely warmed through.

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