Howdy everyone! As part of my commitment to keeping Allysia sane throughout this Mofo, here is another blog post brought to you by me, Mike. Maybe if I do this enough I’ll eventually think of a not-awkward way to introduce myself.
Today I got to have an extra-long lunch break, so I decided that I would make the two of us a delicious and fairly healthy lunch. The idea came from a meal that Allysia and I made a few months back, but I’m not sure we ever posted it. If we did, we certainly didn’t post a recipe for the things that we made!
The spaghetti noodles were made from a few small zucchini put through a spiralizer. I’m sure that spiralizers are nothing crazy, and that most people have seen/used them before, but I was completely amazed the first time I saw that thing in action. Entire veggies turned into beautiful, curly noodles right before my very eyes. For this recipe we salted and pressed the noodles to get rid of some of their water.
The sauce was made the way I make a lot of my sauces: buy something pre-made, then jazz it up with a bunch of fresh, delicious ingredients! We had half a jar of some generic tomato sauce left in the fridge to which I added half of an onion, sauteed until translucent, a few cloves of garlic, lots of pepper, and a few roughly chopped tomatoes. The tomatoes just add more heft while simultaneously diluting the saltiness of the pre-made sauce.
Now onto the main event! The meatballs involved a few too many ingredients to describe in paragraph style, so I’ll just list everything below.
1 package veggie ground round
1/2 onion (chopped)
1 clove garlic (minced)
8 soda crackers (crushed)
3 tablespoons soft tofu (blended)
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
sizable squirt Sriracha
pinch of salt
lots of pepper
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and start to heat a small drizzle of oil in an oven-safe saute pan on the stove top. Take all the ingredients and combine them in a mixing bowl. Make sure to get messy and mix the ingredients with your hands! Form the mixture into small balls and carefully set in the hot pan. Once all the meatballs are made and in the pan, put the pan in the oven. After ten minutes you can carefully turn the meatballs and return them to the oven for another 10 minutes. The balls will be fragile and slightly crumbly until cooked, but they will hold together better afterwards. These aren’t the craziest, most complicated vegan meatballs I can think of, but they are tasty, easy, and definitely not dry.
Immediately before serving I chopped up a bunch of fresh basil and mixed it into the zucchini noodles. The plating was pretty simple, but I added some olives and Daiya on top of the sauce to give it an extra boost of flavor.
All things considered, this was a beautiful meal that satisfied the stomach and the soul. Nothing like a blast of healthy comfort food to get you through the rest of a work day. The only thing I would change? If I could I would go back and make this meal at supper instead. That way it could be served with a nice glass of wine.