|Eggplant meatballs over zucchini noodles, sauteed spinach, roasted okra and roasted cauliflower with tahini dressing.|
Several months ago I found a recipe for lentil meatballs. It would be harsh to say they were horrible so I won't go that far, but they were mediocre at best. Due to that not so great experience I was a bit hesitant to try this recipe, but I am so glad I did! Last week I had my friend Katie over for Bible Study. I also cooked her dinner to thank her for taking Josh and me to and from the airport for our trip. She got up early and stayed up late and we were so appreciative. Thankfully, she's always up for my veggie adventures. (Or, she's really good at faking her excitement!) Usually, I don't try new things when I have people coming over, but since it was a close friend I decided to gamble. I knew she liked to eat eggplant and if we had to order pizza last minute it wouldn't be a big deal. Thankfully, no pizza was needed that night and I found a keeper of a recipe.
This recipe also came with a basic red sauce to make with it and I followed that as well, but obviously, you can top this with your favorite sauce.
One thing I have noticed since I quit eating meat is that I eat WAY more carbs. I always choose whole wheat, but I still eat too many of them. That being said, I wish I could say I put these eggplant meatballs over zucchini noodles because I was actively trying to eat less carbs. As good as that sounds and as much as I need to work on that, it isn't the truth. If I'm being honest, it was because I wanted to use my new mandolin! I've been wanting one, but the ones I have looked at were super fancy and around $50. A couple weeks ago I was at Aldi and found one for $5. FIVE DOLLARS!!! Sure, it's plastic and may not last a lifetime, but it works. It's absolutely perfect for my at home use.
I need to give credit to my Mom for this recipe. She posts the yummiest looking stuff on Pinterest. So, when I set out to make new recipes I go straight to her Pinterest page and I find tons! This one came from a blog: http://midwestveg.com. This blogger is vegan, so she used vegan cheese and egg replacer and I just used regular stuff so I'll type it out here how I did it.
Ingredients1 medium sized eggplant, peeled, diced
2 tbsp onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp salt
In a large non-stick skillet saute the onion for about 5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the eggplant and continue to cook for about 15 minutes or until eggplant is soft and gray in color. Allow to cool.
Dump the eggplant mixture into food processor and process until smooth and sort of pasty. Add to breadcrumb mixture.
Add the egg and mix well. Form meatballs using a measured tablespoon and roll into balls.
Place meatballs onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper lightly sprayed with cooking spray. I sprayed the tops of the meatballs as well. Bake for 20–25 minutes at 375° flipping half way through to ensure even browning.
This recipe makes about 17 meatballs and comfortably serves 4. (I used my cookie scooper and made these a little bigger than she did so I didn't get quite as many.)
Quick and easy tomato sauce recipe below.
Ingredients1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
pepper to taste
dash crushed red pepper
Mix together in a saucepan and heat.
This is the "grayish" color it turn to once it's soft and done cooking.
All the ingredients mixed together.
My $5 mandolin. :)A few quick slides across and...
...beautiful zucchini "noodles". I put these in boiling water for about 2 minutes and then drained so they were warm. I can't wait to add these meatballs to spaghetti, pasta and so much more!