I used to subscribe to Vegetarian Times religiously when I first became a vegetarian. I tried caring about the carrots and the sticks they doled out. I even pretended to care about the alternative health information they were trying to preach. But at the end of the day, it was about one thing, and that was the occasional recipe I could glean from the pages to make and devour.
My admiration for the magazine went away when a new EIC decided it would be a great idea to start introducing chicken and fish recipes into a magazine called VEGETARIAN times to help boost their sales. It irked me that they were now considering vegetarian to include those tasty, meaty vegetables chicken and fish. I hear enough people say, “Oh yeah, I’m a vegetarian but I eat fish.” That makes you a NON-vegetarian. To quote Bruce the Shark, “Fish are friends, not food.” I’ve been told I pick odd battles to fight, and in this case, the semantics and definitions people try applying vegetarian too are one of them. I don’t care what you eat, and I’m pretty much a vegetarian simply for my health, but just get your facts straight, dammit.
Luckily they went back to purely vegetarian content, but by this time the food revolution had hit a fevered pitch online and waiting for a magazine every month for 2 dozen recipes was outdated. But in one of the last issues I received, there was a recipe that turned out to be one of Katie’s favorite dishes ever. We lost the recipe in the move, but that never stopped her cravings for it. This past week I was finally able to search through the Vegetarian Times database and find the recipe.
I made some changes including using real egg instead of egg replacer in the meatballs. It binds the ingredients together better, even if it takes away from the vegan aspect the original recipe was going for. I also made my own seitan instead of purchasing some overpriced Whole Foods brand. And most importantly, I doubled the sauce recipe. If you want a truly hearty meal, you probably want to double it even further. As it is, the sauce gives you only the slightest taste of tomato, making it a lighter meal than your typical spaghetti and meatballs.
Seitan Meatballs w/ Simple Winter Tomato Sauce (adapted from Vegetarian Times)
Winter Tomato Sauce
- 2 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
- 6 Tbs. olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbs.)
- 4 tsp. dried basil
- 16 oz. cubed seitan
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup matzo meal
- 1/4 cup chopped dried parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped dried basil
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbs.)
- 1 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/8 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 eggs
- 16 oz. whole-wheat pasta
- To make Winter Tomato Sauce: Simmer all ingredients in partially covered saucepan 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- To make Seitan Meatballs: Preheat oven to 400F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Blend seitan in food processor until crumbly. Add walnuts, and pulse until combined.
- Transfer to bowl. Stir in matzo meal, herbs, 1 Tbs. oil, garlic, soy sauce and oregano. Whisk eggs until frothy. Fold eggs mixture.
- Shape mixture into 24 balls. Place on prepared baking sheet, and brush with 1 Tbs. remaining oil. Bake 20 minutes, turning once, or until crusty and lightly browned.
- Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain, and divide among serving bowls. Top with sauce and meatballs, and serve. Serves 6