Vegetarian Meet Balls
Only a few more days of being 29. Next week
something super weird is about to happen, I turn 30. Oh, how I loved being in my twenties. They were just the right fit for me. 30 just sounds so terribly-grown-up-I-have-to-act-appropriate-and-30-like. But what if I simply want to act twenty-something-like? It’s what I have been excelling at the last 10 years, so why give something up I am such a pro at?!
I know nothing about being a woman. I know tons about being a girl. I mean I eat on the couch or in my bed, not at a dinner table. When nobody watches, I lick my plate. I like to dress like a California teen! I don’t want to talk about work stuff with my friends! I eat pasta, tomato-avocado salad, and cake for breakfast, not that whole-wheat-grown-up-almond-soy-chia-stuff! I have only three pairs of socks!
There are three stuffed animals in my bed, and I named them Willy, Marli, and Lotti! I listen to Ellie Goulding! I love my tiny, cozy, girlie, twenty-something studio-apartment. I am scared in the dark. I cut my hair myself! When I run out of clean underwear, I wear my boyfriend’s boxers. I love Fruit Loops! I don’t drink coffee, and all the buttons on my pillow cases are missing, because I am too lazy to sew them back on.
As you see, 30-land won’t be pleased with this new girl joining. But maybe I can teach 30-land how to loosen up a little. I mean if 50 is the new 40, then 30 is the new 20, right? So, how about I just continue to be the Peppa I know, and love! Let the others have dinner at the table, or picture perfect houses, Fruit Loop-free zones, and perfect pillow cases. I’ll do this 30 thing my way!
But enough about birthday stuff. Let’s talk about these amazing veggie meatballs you see in the picture. They are so good you guys. These will even appeal to real meat lovers. I ate them with an ultra creamy mushroom sauce, so this really is comfort food at its best. Here’s the recipe:
For the veggie meatballs:
1 cauliflower, or a bit less
42 g (1,5 oz) red quinoa
2 eggs (m)
180 g (6,4 oz) fine bread crumbs
40 g (1,4 oz) hazelnuts, ground
1 onion, medium, chopped
1 big garlic clove, minzed
1 Tbsp ketchup
1 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp paprika powder
1/2 Tbsp salt
Sunflower oil for frying
For the sauce:
380 g (13,4 oz) mushrooms, sliced
400 g (14,1 oz) heavy cream
1 1/4 cup tomato puree
1 tsp paprika powder
Salt, to taste
Sunflower oil for frying
Cook the cauliflower florets until soft, then drain them well. Meanwhile cook the quinoa in a separate pan, using twice the amount of water of its weight. The quinoa takes about 15-20 minutes until it's done. Once cauliflower, and quinoa are done, set them aside. Then chop up onions, and garlic, and add them to a pan with a little bit of sunflower oil. Turn the heat on to medium, and sweat them for a few minutes.
Do not let them turn brown, they should remain pale in color. Once that's done, set them aside. Now add the cauliflower, and quinoa to a food processor, and mix until a smooth paste has developed. Do not use a regular blender, since a lot of the mixture will get stuck at the bottom. An immersion blender however will work.
Then add all ingredients, including the cauliflower-quinoa paste to a bowl, and use your hands to mix well. Let the mixture stand for about half an hour. Then heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Use enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, add little balls of the mixture to it. The mixture is quite sticky, that's normal. Fry from all sides.
Meanwhile heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (355 degrees Fahrenheit). If you are NOT using a convection oven, raise the temperature about 20 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit). Then add the fried balls to the oven to ensure that they are coked through. Bake them about 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile prepare your sauce. Clean, or peel the mushrooms, and cut them into slices.
Then heat some oil in a pan. The oil needs to be really hot once you add the mushrooms, otherwise they won’t turn brown (the brown part adds flavor). Once your mushrooms have caramelized (browned) nicely, add the remaining ingredients, and stir well. Then let the sauce simmer for a few minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat, and add as much you like to your meatballs.
Tip: The meatballs taste best the next day, or a few hours later, since yummy flavors will develop. If your mixture turns out a tiny bit too moist, you may add a bit more bread crumbs. However, don't add too much, since this makes them less flavorful. If you are too impatient to fry the balls from all sides, and bake them afterwards, you can also shape the mixture into flat burger patties, and fry them completely in the pan. That way they are done much quicker.