Meatless Meatballs

Somewhere in between the freezer aisles and the deli section, I decided that I needed meatless meatballs in my life. At that point, I had never seen them or even knew if it was possible, but if it was, it had to be done. About twenty minutes later with my feet hurting from my heels and waiting on the fiancé to finally get his purchase from the deli, I saw them along with the other meatless-products from a popular food line.

One thing you should know about me, I am an all-around do-it-yourself kind of girl. I am not paying for anything if I can do it myself. If I have paid, please believe I am asking questions trying to figure out what to buy in order to do it myself. That’s just how I roll, so naturally, my search began immediately as I looked for recipes that I could tweak to fit into the ingredients I had at home. I made regular meatballs before so I knew the basics: egg, bread crumbs, and seasoning.

What I didn’t know is how to make my meatless meatballs taste somewhat authentic so that the fiancé would at least try them. I am happy to say I didn’t have to twist his arm much on this one.

What you will need:

– 1 onion
– 1/2 of green pepper
– 1/2 of sweet pepper (optional)
– 2 carrots
– 1 TSP of minced garlic
– 1/2 cup of black beans
– 1/2 cup of split peas (optional)
– Seasoning: basil, oregano, parsley, italian seasoning, onion soup mix, season salt, ground black pepper
– two eggs
– bread crumbs

Preparation: Soak your beans over night. While I used split peas as well, that is just what I had at my house already. Boil the beans until they are semi-soft. I cooked mine just enough that they could easily break, but not mushy because I really wanted the texture of the beans in my meatballs. While they are boiling, saute all of your vegetable together. I tend to do mine in waves like the garlic first then carrots because they take longer to cook and so forth.

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Then use a blender or some kind of food processor to blend half of the vegetables with half of your beans. I only did half because, I really wanted the texture of the ingredients. Then add in your seasonings, bread crumbs, and one egg and let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight. I let mine sit overnight mainly because I forgot to pick up hoagie rolls.

The next day add in the other egg and based on the consistency, more ingredients such as the bread crumbs. Form into balls using your hands or an ice cream scooper. At that time, your oven should be preheating at 375 degrees. The meatballs will only have to be in the oven for approximately 15 minutes because everything is cooked. You just want them to harden and get a crust. Then add them to your favorite spaghetti sauce.

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And enjoy!!! I ate mine on a toasted hoagie roll topped with white cheddar cheese.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, they were AMAZING and I am not just saying that because I made them. My coworkers said the same thing. One said they have a similar consistency to turkey meatballs.