Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tempeh-Grain Non-Meat Balls

MMmm. It's a red-and-green sorta night. Homemade marinara, homemade pesto, and some hearty tempeh-grain "meat" balls. All from the freezer.

Forgive the quickie iPhone picture, but I'm without a "real" camera these days... Just thought I'd share these, since they're another of those "family freezer favorites" that we rely on often.

This is a great way to use tempeh, especially when you've bought a package of the stuff, thinking you'll be all creative - and then you discover it's been sitting in your fridge for a week with no creativity in sight!! Not that I ever do that, but... yeah.
As a bonus, these can be very easily made gluten-free if you choose soy tempeh, gluten-free binders (chick-pea flour instead of wheat gluten flour, for example). I don't profess to be super-knowledgeable about gluten-free stuffs, but just thought I'd throw that little bit of helpful info out there for those who may be...
These are a HUGE favorite here, simmered in marinara or BBQ sauce, or with "sour-cream' gravy for Swedish Meatballs. SO YUM!!

So here's what you do:

Tempeh-Grain "Meat" Balls

  • 1 8 oz. package tempeh, any variety, crumbled
  • 1 c cooked grain: rice, quinoa, oats or whatever grain you want (if you use oats, make sure they're fairly "dry"-cooked and not mushy)
  • 1/2 c very finely chopped onion (like in food processor)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • Olive oil to saute
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. Egg-Replacer Powder, chick-pea or gluten flour
  • 2 Tbsp flax seeds, ground and blended with 1/4 cup soymilk
  • 1 Tb. soy sauce or vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tb. powdered sage
  • 1 Tb. oregano
  • 2 Tb. chopped fresh parsley
  • all-purpose flour (or chickpea, or potato flakes) as needed
  • salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 350°.
Crumble the tempeh with your hands, then saute with onions in a little olive oil at low heat, until mushrooms are cooked and onions are translucent. Set aside to cool. Add rice or other grain and mix well.

Mix in the olive oil, flour and flax-seed mixture with the tempeh/grain mixture. Add soysauce and herbs.

Stir well and then mush mixture together with your hands until it holds together and is "moldable" - if too sticky add more flour (or dry potato flakes work well here too), if too dry, add more soymilk... Add salt or pepper if needed.

Form into one-inch balls.

Bake on sprayed baking sheet for approximately 15 minutes, turning several times to brown evenly, OR fry in olive oil until firm and browned on all sides.

When firmed up and browned, these can be frozen, stored in the fridge as is, or simmered in marinara, gravy or BBQ sauce. Yummmm.

3 comments: said...

That package of well-intentioned tofu sitting in the fridge for a week? It's in my house! I was going to make Tempeh bacon but the inspiration is fading. I have some spaghetti sauce in the freezer right now, so I could totally make these for dinner tomorrow night! Thanks for the recipe.

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

This looks so delicious. I'm really craving meatballs now. I'm never made them with tempeh before.

Jen said...

i'm psyched about making some sort of meatless ball this week. i think i'll try this one. other recipes tend to call for browning sauce, and i'm ashamed to admit i don't know what that is.

btw--i'm giving you a stylish blogger award because i think you're amazing. i can't wait to meet you this august! see my blog for details.