I’ve mentioned before that we are a mixed family when it comes to eating preferences. I am a vegetarian while Vishnu is a [white] meat/seafood guy. Sadly for him though, I’m not big into cooking meat at home. Quite honestly, it grosses me out. Plain and simple. He does get his fill with turkey sandwiches, any meals we eat out, and lunches served at school.
But before y’all feel too bad for him, you should know that he eats plenty of delicious (or at least I think so) and protein filled veggie meals. In fact, just today he asked me to make the tofu meatballs from the other night again next week. That’s how I know something is good. And just so y’all know, I have about a 95% success rate when it comes to Vishnu’s taste buds. Not bad!
So I found this recipe while searching for vegetarian meal ideas. It looked easy enough, was something different from our normal dinner eats, and sounded tasty. So I gave it a shot.
It was in fact different and delicious and easy, however the process in getting to all of that was a messy one. Messy and fun I should say! Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
As you can see from the picture above, I used quinoa as the base and topped it all off with some goat cheese. Next time I may use spaghetti squash and mozzarella to change things up a bit. Also, I didn’t have time to make the sauce from scratch, so I used a store bought Bertolli sauce.
And I’m just going to warn all my meat loving friends – the tofu meatballs taste nothing like the real deal. They tasted more like little ricotta veggie burgers. All I have to say is yum.
So without further ado, here’s my version of this great recipe.
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup diced onion
1 teaspoon sea salt + black pepper to taste
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon hot sauce
1 package of extra firm tofu (drained, pressed, and crumbled)
1 large egg
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
For the sauce – 3/4 of a store bought pasta sauce and 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil.
2. Add the onion, salt, and pepper. Cook until the onion is just starting to look transparent.
3. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes.
4. Add the soy sauce and hot sauce. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the mushrooms start to soften up.
5. With a slotted spoon, transfer the veggies to a blender/food processor. Save the liquid.
6. Add the tofu, egg, bread crumbs, and Italian seasoning to the veggie mixture. Blend until combined.
7. Place the tofu mixture in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to harden.
8. Mix the jar of pasta sauce with the reserved liquid from the veggie mixture over medium heat.
9. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and also spray with a little bit of cooking spray.
*10. Sprinkle flour on a plate. Wet your hands with a little bit of water and scoop out 1 – 2 inch tofu balls.
*11. Roll the balls in the flour.
12. Once ready, transfer balls to skillet and cook on each side for a few minutes or until brown. (You’ll likely have to do two large batches).
13. Place the tofu balls in the sauce and let marinate for 10-15 minutes.
*The messy part of the process.
When ready to serve, spoon some quinoa (or whatever base you choose) on a plate and top with tofu meatballs and sauce. Sprinkle your favorite cheese on top and enjoy!
This recipe definitely got two thumbs up from both me and my meat eating husband! And as an added bonus, these tofu meatballs make great leftovers.
See, I told you guys not to feel too bad for Vishnu!!
If you have any delicious vegetarian recipes you’d like to share, PLEASE do so. I’m always on the lookout for new ones to try.