Meat-ball day is the 9th of March but who cares? Meatballs are the cherry on the cake for spahghetti and what better than to celebrate Meat-ball day than in style. Noone should feel left out of a
random day national holiday,ha! So, here’s a Paleo & Vegan recipe I developed especially for you special snowflakes. Don’t worry, I’m one too so I’m allowed to say it.
I was browsing the interwebs the other day looking for new recipes to inspire me. Since swapping to the Vegan diet I’ve struggled to stay paleo. Paleo is very limited in terms of eating grains,pulses and legumes – something that the vegan diet relies heavily on. So when I can, I try to Paleo-ise and Vegan-ise any recipe that tickles my fancy.
Cooktoria has a wonderful vegetarian recipe for meat-free meatballs but I was gutted to see it wasn’t paleo or vegan. How dare so not cater my ridiculous confusing lifestyle choices. Non-the-less I have fiddled and dabbled with the recipe enough to know that I can cater to both Paleo & Vegan.
Meat-Free Mushroom Meatballs
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium white onion (chopped)
- 500g mushrooms, finely chopped
- *5tbsp quick cook oats
- *5tbsp breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp mixed herbs
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp of garlic powder
- *2 eggs or 1 Tsp xanthan gum, 1tbsp Flaxseed & 3tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 24oz jar pasta sauce
- Basil to garnish
- To change the recipe to paleo you can swap the bread and oats to 4 tbsp of almond flour which is nutty and adds great flavour to the meat-lessballs (or other flour of choice). And Add 1 tsp of flax seeds, 1 tsp of xanthan gum to thicken the mixture.
Serves 3 or around 12 large meat-balls
In a large pan, saute the finely diced onion in olive oil on medium-low heat for about 7 minutes. Add mushrooms, increase the heat to medium-high and cook them until the water evaporates and then keep cooking the mushrooms until they brown nicely. Once you get to the point where there is no water you’ll need to watch them carefully, they can stick quickly once the water has evaporated. This should take around 15-18 minutes. Add garlic, stir, and transfer the mushrooms into a large mixing bowl.
Let them cool down.
Add the rest of the ingredients excluding the pasta sauce to the bowl. Stir the mixture carefully and cover it with clingfilm. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, overnight if you can! For the flavours to develop. Cooktoria recommended this and I completely agree, it changes the recipe entirely!
When you’re ready to eat, using a tablespoon as a measure, form small meat-balls from the mix. Fry the balls in a small amount of vegetable oil until they turn brown.Then bake them in a preheated oven at 200C (Gas mark 6) the original recipe says for 15 minutes but I like the firmer texture so I cooked mine for 45 minutes on a lower heat 180C (Gas mark 4).
Add marinara sauce to the medium saucepan. Place
the meatballs on top and cook the meatballs in the sauce on a low heat for about 15 more minutes. This step really add’s the authentic softness to the centre of the meat-balls and adds another level of flavour.
with something fancy and take somephotos for instagram.
I have happily worked on this recipe over the weekend. Especially since I had all Sunday in the kitchen, to myself! The recipe has been adapted, as I said, but that doesn’t mean it took a lot of tears (mostly from the onion) to develop this further. I learnt a lot along the way, the finer the mushrooms and onion the better the texture.
You can skip the parsley entirely and add a few leaves of basil in the mix. It is a softer texture so I would reccomend replacing it with a dry ingredient or swapping it for basil. Any swaps you make must have an alternative replacement to ensure that lovely texture!
I really struggled chopping up the mushrooms as mine were wilting slightly so a tip is to make sure they’re firm and fresh! I also added far too much breadcrumb to my mix so I did have to cook mine for longer but on my re-take they turned out much better so I have altered the recipe to suit.
Other then that…
Enjoying tucking into a meat-free meal is the best way to end a day full of activity and workouts. Fuel your body with healthy choices for a happier life! If you want to get on track with organising your days and your workouts you can read any of my articles on those topics. Or, if you’d prefer you can browse my vegan and paleo recipes. or-or-or if you’re a lazy watsit you can buy these vegan meatballs from tesco. They’re 100% Amy approved but they’re not made with love, that’s all I’m saying about the matter.
Happy meatball day,