Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Eggplant-cent "Meat"balls

Meatballs are universally loved and I have been struggling to find a veggie friendly meatball recipe that comes close to tasting like the real thing. Today's post does! 

You might think it's an easy task, but finding for a recipe that ends up with crispy, juicy, and flavourful balls that actually stay clumped together is hard. Most recipes seem to fall apart when I tried to make them and I ended making a "hash" for those dinners. But this recipe stuck together - and can be made without even the use of a single egg!  

I know that I'm excited to share this recipe, inspired by one from Connoisseurus Veg. It's delicious!

Eggplant "Meat"balls - makes about 24 "meat"balls

1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/8 inch cubes
1 onion, peeled and cut into 1/8 inch cubes
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons flax seeds and 1/4 cup water or 1 egg
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese or 1/4 nutritional yeast flakes
1/3 cup fresh parsley or basil, finely chopped
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Toss eggplant, onion, and garlic with the oil and sauté in a pan on medium to low heat from about 20 minutes or until all veggies are cooked down and very soft.

2. While veggies are cooking, swirl together the flax seeds and water, if using, and let sit for about 10-12 minutes or until a slurry forms that's about the consistency of an egg.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Scoop out balls about the size of a golf ball, swish together, and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

4. Bake eggplant "meat"balls for 30-45 minutes, turning balls once or twice during the cooking process.

5. Serve with pasta or spaghetti squash tossed with tomato sauce and fresh basil. Since the eggplant "meat"balls don't stay super crispy when they get moist, serve them on top of the sauce.

Note:  This recipe is best eaten when fresh from the oven, but we've never had been able to save a lot of leftovers anyway!

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