Tag Archives: Spaghetti and Meatballs

Vegetarian TVP Beefy ‘Meatballs’

My friend Anne Marie and her little man Emmet were coming over today to hang out as their floors are being replaced in their home. I thought it might be nice to send my vegetarian friend home with some dinner as I’m sure her and husband Rick will be more inclined to move their furniture back in then cook a healthy meal. I scoured the internets to find a vegetarian ‘meatball’ that had a beefy flavour. I found one and decided to give them a try. They come from the blog A Vegan For Dinner  and due to her daunting request to reference her I thought it was in my best interest! 😉 “But this recipe is so fab, if I ever find out you stole it and didn’t give me credit, I will so figure out where you live and sign you up for weird sexual newsletters and/or incontinence catalogs through the mail. That’s a promise.”

These would be great with a simple tomato sauce over spaghetti or sweet and sour sauce over rice as she references. Anything with an asterix * beside it means I’ve either changed her recipe or made an addition to it. I’m hoping she won’t mind!?

Vegetarian TVP Beefy ‘Meatballs’

In a small bowl, mix:
1 cup hot water
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon ketchup
2 tablespoon soya sauce
2 tablespoon vegan beef bouillon
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon thyme
*1/2 teaspoon oregano
*1/2 teaspoon basil
*1 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
*1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)

*Saute in olive oil till translucent: (I couldn’t help but add a little fresh onion and garlic)
1/2 minced onion
2 cloves garlic crushed

Then Stir In:
3/4 cup TVP crumbles
Allow to sit until cool. *I reheated liquid in microwave before adding TVP.

Vegans: Mix 1 Tbsp ground flax *or chia seeds with 3 Tbsp water. Beat with a fork, then lit sit until it begins to gel. Set aside.
*Vegetarians: Wisk up one egg.

In a large bowl, mix:
2 tablespoon cornmeal
1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoon flour
3 tablespoon vital wheat gluten flour

When TVP mixture is cool, stir it into the dry ingredients along with flax/or egg and water/TVP mixture. Mix well and knead dough into a solid ball. *Let this rest for around 5 minutes and allow the gluten fibers to form and relax.

Shape into 32 “meatballs” and fry in oil until brown. Alternately, you can bake on an oiled pan at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. *I divided the dough into 4. Then each of those into 8 small balls. I placed the salt shaker in the picture so you can see how small they are. I also forgot to add the chili flakes so i sprinkled them on the balls after putting them on the cookie sheet for baking.

Use as you would any other meatball, like spaghetti or sweet and sour sauce. Do not allow the meatballs to sit in the sauce for an extended period of time; add close to the end of the cooking period, just long enough to heat thoroughly. *I grated a ton of mozzarella and fresh chopped Italian parsley on mine. I seriously couldn’t tell it was not meat. Great recipe Tracy!!



Filed under Meats, Vegan, Vegetarian

The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs

I randomly watch TV almost my entire day as I go about doing other things… cleaning, cooking, child rearing. Oh who am I kidding… The Food Network is an old standby when nothing else of interest is on. A show called ‘Chef at Home’ with Canadian Chef Michael Smith is one of the few shows that doesn’t quite grate on my nerves. His meatball recipe caught my eye a while ago and I decided to try it out. They were AMAZING. So juicy and flavourful. I’ve made them several times since and have come up with a tweaked version that I just love. What makes these little babies awesome is the breadcrumbs that have been soaked in milk and my addition – a mixture of 3 types of meat instead of just ground beef. Sorry my vegetarian friends, this recipe is strictly for meat eaters…


1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup milk
3/4 lb ground Beef
3/4 lb ground Pork
1/2 lb ground spicy Italian sausage
(around .30 kg each. You could use all beef, no pork)
1 ½ onion peeled then grated on a cheese or potato grater
6 cloves garlic finely minced
2 egg yolks
1 small bunch parsley chopped
1 cup grated parmesan optional
salt n’ pepper to taste
2 pinches of nutmeg
olive oil
(picture shows recipe being halved)

Put the breadcrumbs into a small bowl and pour the milk over them. Stir to combine then set aside the mixture until the crumbs have absorbed all the milk. It will look like baby food. The wet breadcrumbs keep the meatball unbelievably moist!

Place all of the ground meat (the spicy Italian sausage is a must!) into a large bowl and add the grated onion, minced garlic and egg yolk, parmesan. Add the breadcrumb mixture, nutmeg and parsley. Season with salt (around 1 teaspoon), pepper and nutmeg and mix well with your hands.

Form into 1.5 inch large meatballs.

Pre-heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When it’s hot add a splash of olive oil (or garlic con fit), enough to cover the bottom. Add the meatballs!

Patiently sear them until they are well browned on all sides, turning every few minutes. I lean them up against each other when I get to browning the sides. Do your best to brown all sides, but if having trouble doing so place in a 400 degree oven and bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until golden brown – keep your eye on them!

Drain off any excess fat and crack a can or jar of your favourite tomato sauce and simmer until the meatballs have cooked through about 15 to 20 minutes. Cook the spaghetti in a big pot of boiling salted water, drain without rinsing.

Serve pasta with the meatballs and sauce,  garlic bread and/or side salad to compliment this nicely.

This recipe is doubled up and yields 4 cups or around 34 meatballs. It can be easily halved. I like making lots as I freeze the uncooked meatballs in ZipLocks for future quick dinners. Place uncooked meatballs on a baking sheet and place in freezer until frozen (around an hour). Remove and put them in freezer bags!

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Filed under Meats, Pasta