Veg Greek Meatballs in a Fragrant Tomato Sauce with Goat Cheese

Other, Vegetarian

veg-greek-meatballs

Adapted from vegetariantimes.com

I’ve done vegetarian meatballs before with lentils and several vegetables. I’ve bought Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs. I wanted something different. While browsing through Vegetarian Times, I came across this recipe. Seitan meatballs. Of course. I’d thought about it before. It’s a great vegetarian substitute for ground meat. I also loved the addition of tomato sauce (how my mom makes regular meatballs) and goat cheese.

Yields 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 8-ounce packages plain seitan, rinsed and drained
  • 1 8-ounce package ricotta
  • 1 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 25 ounces tomato purée
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese

Directions:

  1. Pulse the seitan in the food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients except the oil, tomato puré and feta. Mash the mixture with hands or a potato masher until the mixture comes together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F (177C). Coat the baking dish with oil. Scoop the seitan mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs. Place the meatballs in the prepared baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven.
  3. Pour the tomato purée over the meatballs and sprinkle with the goat cheese. Bake for 30 more minutes or until the sauce is bubbly.

Comments: I really loved the blend of flavors in this recipe. If you aren’t a huge fan of plain seitan, you should still try this recipe; you don’t really taste it. The addition of cheese also is the perfect finish. Since it was just me eating, I made a third of the recipe. Here, I wrote down the full one because it’s simpler. I didn’t like grinding the seitan in the food processor; if I had planned it beforehand, I would have bought the ground seitan instead. The recipe on the sight actually uses 1 25-ounce jar of tomato sauce; I like to use the purée instead, but you may do as you wish. The original recipe also uses feta cheese, not regular goat cheese, but I only had goat cheese. Feta would also do nicely; as always, make sure to buy actual goat’s milk feta, not cow’s milk feta. Though the baking time is pretty long, the actual hands-on time isn’t; you can also prepare the mixture ahead of time and chill it for more than the stated 30 minutes. These meatballs work nicely with some whole wheat couscous or in a hot dog bun as a sub.

veg-greek-meatballs-ii

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