Almost everyone loves meatballs. Small convenient bite sized morsels that you can just pop in your mouth and enjoy. In my family it’s usually a challenge to make vegetarian dishes that my mother can enjoy while we enjoy our meat. Last year I decided to try my hand at a veggie meatball, since we were having beef meatballs for dinner. Turns out her vegetarian non-meatballs tasted way better than ours, and since then I have been working on the perfect recipe.
Even though there is only once recipe left for the month I can say that this is my favorite vegetarian recipe so far. The flavors in this recipe are perfection. It was absolutely worth the wait. What took so long? You might be wondering; deciding on a sauce. My go to meatballs sauce is sweet and sour, but I wanted something different. I tried Swedish; they were good but lacked that special something. Next was BBQ, but that just ended up over powering the non-meatball. In the end, I decided to go with a sweet sticky ginger honey sauce, just to keep it simple. It was the best choice for these flavorful balls.
My mom and housekeeper devoured the non-meatballs. My housekeeper Rose confessed to snagging spoonful’s of the sauce every time she passed by the kitchen. Even my ever so picky younger cousin Marisol, who hates mushrooms, mustard or anything that's not ackee and saltfish and boiled dumplings, said these were pretty good. And in my book if Marisol likes a dish that means everyone else will.
Ingredients (printable recipe)
Makes 13 1.5 diameter meatballs
1 ½ lb Mushrooms
1 small onion
3 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon oil
¼ teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves shredded
2 ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 ½ cup shredded carrots
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon oil (for frying)
½ cup honey
1 ¼ teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon shredded ginger
For the sauce
- In a pan combine honey, soy sauce, tomato paste, and shredded ginger
- Mix until thoroughly combined and set aside
For the non-meatballs
- Chop the mushrooms and the onions
- In a pot melt the butter and oil
- Sauté the mushrooms and onion until all the liquid has evaporated then stir in salt and shredded garlic and remove from the heat.
- lightly blend the mixture in a food processor or roughly chop into finer pieces then set aside to completely cool
- Shred carrots
- In a dish combine breadcrumbs, carrots, eggs, black pepper, allspice,smoked paprika, salt and sauté mushrooms
- Thoroughly mix together so the breadcrumbs become soft and the mixture sticks together when pressed
- Form into small ball shapes by pressing together
- Fry on all sides for an even brown color. Remove from the frying pan and coat each ball in the sauce before serving
- If you want to really trick some meat eaters you can add 1 tablespoon of browning food coloring to the mix and make sure it colors all the breadcrumbs
- Refrigerate for an hour up to over-night once you have combined the ingredients. This can help with attaining a meat like texture develop flavors and the mixture will form the balls more easily.
- You can substitute 1 ¼ cup of panko for ground oatmeal, so it would use 1 ¼ oatmeal and 1 ¼ panko
- the non-meatballs burn very very easily make sure to keep watch and turn the flames to medium
- for the sauce use one that is rich dark and flavorful