Perfect Balls

If you are like me and try to avoid processed “meats” (and by meat I mean non meat substitutes of course!), then have I got the ball for you! My eggplant meatballs are made from whole ingredients, are supremely delicious, and work perfectly piled on top of pasta or tucked not-so-neatly into a hoagie for a meatball sub! Let me show you just how easy it is to “process” these at home! 😉

First, gather your ingredients.  I always just use whatever I have on hand. These meatballs are made with eggplant, but really you could substitute any bean, lentil, or roasted veggie! For these balls I used:

  • 3 small eggplants
  • 1/2 large red onion
  • 1/2 large yellow bell pepper
  • several cloves of garlic
  • grapeseed oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • tamari
  • liquid smoke
  • mustard
  • poultry seasoning, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper
  • nutritional yeast
  • vital wheat gluten
  • oats
  • panko breadcrumbs

The first thing you want to do is chop the eggplant, onion, and pepper.  Add 5-6 cloves of garlic and toss with 2-3 tbs oil, 1 tbs balsamic, and a few shakes of tamari and liquid smoke. Season with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Roast the veggies for 45 min – 1 hour at 450 degrees F, until eggplant is tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Now put all the veggies into your food processor and add the rest of your ingredients. I apologize, but I do not measure so for the rest of this you will have to trust your inner chef and go by taste and feel. You want the texture to be similar to any other ground meat. You can adjust the flavor to your liking! Sometimes I’ll add a dash of BBQ sauce to the mixture as well and that always turns out nice! Next, you want to roll the balls in whatever size you prefer…

I like mine about 2 bites big! 🙂 Here’s a closer shot:

To cook the balls, you can either lightly fry in some oil or bake in the oven! Both ways turn out great! Bake/fry until lightly brown. Then I like to toss my balls into some warm marinara, like so:

Finally, serve atop some pasta, add fresh baked bread (I’ll save that for another post!), and dinner is served!

I hope you have a ball making this recipe! Heehee!! 😉