Monday, February 9, 2015

Meatless Meatballs

 

I stumbled upon this recipe while trying to make a meal that was both hearty and delicious for a vegetarian friend.  This turned out really nice and the texture is surprisingly similar to a meaty meatball.

One caveat - I tried making the veggie meatballs even healthier by omitting the frying and that version wasn't nearly as tasty, or as textured, as the fried version.  Oil, you win again!  Bake for health or fry for flavor! 

Yield:  about 20 appetizer sized meatballs 

Ingredients:
Olive oil, for frying 
4 cloves garlic, minced 
1 medium white onion, finely chopped 
1 pound mushrooms, finely chopped
1 large zucchini, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 
1 cup panko crumbs
1/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped 
2 large eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: 
Coat large pan with olive oil and heat to medium-high. Add garlic and onions to hot oil and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add mushrooms, jalapeno, and zucchini.  Cook until softened, then transfer to a mixing bowl.

Add cheeses, panko crumbs, and herbs to the vegetable mixture and mix until well combined.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the eggs and stir until the mixture comes together.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

Once the mixture has chilled, form into firm meatballs with your hands or a scoop.  Add more olive oil to a pan, bring to medium-high heat, and fry the meatballs for about 10 minutes, until crispy and golden brown.  For a healthier version, bake the meatballs in 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until brown.

Serve with pasta and marinara sauce as an entree, or try adding a little extra cheese to the top and serving as an appetizer with some marinara on the side.  Enjoy!

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