Wednesday, February 4, 2015

28 Day Challenge....Day 3

I love pasta and meatballs.  And when I have to go and do something hard, like changing my habits, I like to eat some comfort food.  After experimenting with lots of vegan meatball recipes, I have hit on this.  This recipe makes 24 2 inch sized meatballs.

1 cup red quinoa, rinsed
2 cups filtered water
1 cup dry textured vegetable protein granules
¾ cup boiling water
2 T. low sodium soy sauce or Bragg's
½ cup reduced fat, firm or medium firm regular tofu, crumbled
1. tsp. garlic granules
1 tsp. onion powder
1 ½ tsp. ground fennel seeds
2 tsp. oregano
2 t. dried basil
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. dried red pepper flakes
black pepper to taste
4 T. red wine or red wine vinegar
2 tsp. liquid smoke
1 cup oat flour ( I grind dry oatmeal in my blender to a fine powder.)

In a medium saucepan, heat over medium high heat quinoa and filtered water.  Let boil for 15 minutes, cover, remove from heat and let sit 5 more minutes.
While the quinoa cooks, pour the TVP into a mixing bowl with the boiling water and soy sauce.  Stir and let sit 5 minutes.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Measure the spices into a small bowl and combine well.  Add the cooked quinoa to the rehydrated TVP.  Stir in the liquid smoke and the red wine.  Add the spice mixture and stir well to distribute the flavors.  Add the crumbled tofu.  Stir to distribute.  Then stir in the oat flour and mix.  The mixture will become stiff.
Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking sheets or parchment paper.  Scoop 2 T. out for each meatball and shape with a fork into a ball shape.  You should get about 24 meatballs.  
Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until the skin of the meatball forms and can be picked up.

Parmesan Cheese-Vegan Style
Blend ½ cup walnuts or toasted sunflower seeds and 4 T. of nutritional yeast in blender until it resembles parmesan texture.  Don't over blend!  Sprinkle as you would dry parmesan cheese on your pasta.

A Word About Textured Vegetable Protein
Here's the info on TVP, from The Almost No-Fat Cookbook,  it is a low-fat, dry product used as a meat substitute.  It is made from soy flour, cooked under pressure, then extruded to make different sizes and shapes.  It has the advantage of being lower in fat than tofu.... textured vegetable protein can be a great transition food for people who were raised on meat.  It will keep for a long time, has no cholesterol, almost no fat and sodium, and is an excellent source of protein and fiber.
I use it like ground beef to make sloppy joes and tacos.  It is easily rehydrated and takes spices well.  

Pasta Sauces
Trader Joes makes an organic spaghetti sauce that does not contain oil.  A very quick pasta sauce is a 28 oz. can of plum tomatoes, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 t. oregano, 1 t. basil blended together and then heated.  Voila!

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