LADY AND THE TRAMP – Spaghetti and Vegan Meatballs

Tonight was our very first official “dinner and a movie” night featuring Disney’s Lady and the Tramp, paired with (what other than) spaghetti with vegan meatballs!  Vegan meatballs are pretty easy and there are many different ways to make them.  We have made them several times before but never wrote down our recipe until tonight.  My kids LOVED these and ate every bite on their plates and then wanted more – which was ultimately our goal!  Often it seems kids are the hardest critics to please :)

Spaghetti and Vegan Meatballs! Oh no you did-ent!

First, we wrote down the recipe of what we usually put in our meatballs.  Next, we scoured over a few online recipes to see that other people put into their meatless meatballs… Many people added walnuts, which I DO use in my meatloaf, but have never tried in meatballs.  Hmmm… maybe next time.  Beans?  Another popular favorite… though I’m not sure about a bean-based meatball, though two of my favorite cookbooks use beans as a meatball base.  I guess that means I’m gonna have to try a bean-ball soon.  Click here to see my homemade pasta sauce recipe.

Speaking of “trying”, we have tried several frozen meatless meatballs and rice balls.  There are many brands out there, some of which are only vegetarian and not vegan (like Boca and Morningstar)… if you are just going for non-meat, you should check them out.  I have found that I’m definitely not a fan of fennel in my meatballs, which the rice balls contained… not to mention, the kids spit those out! One brand that we have had and really love are the original and mushroom meatballs made by Nate’s.  My husband and I gobble those up, but for some reason, they are not a hit with the kids! (Darn it!)  In fact, I can’t remember a time before tonight, with our homemade meatballs, when the kids asked for more meatballs! (Good job whipping these up, Dad!  I think your addition of vegan worchestshire and liquid smoke was just what they needed.)

Many people online seemed to have a hard time having their faux meatballs stay intact, but that wasn’t an issue for us at all! These babies were solid! In fact, my husband and I agreed that the only way these may be better was if they were a teeny tiny bit more crumbly within and less perfect! Hahaha :) Perhaps adding some smart ground crumbles to the mix or some tvp (or even rice, oatmeal… or walnuts!) may make that slight “crumblier” inner change we were looking for.  Otherwise, pop in your dvd and get to cookin’!

Vegan Meatballs

  • one tube Gimme Lean (vegan) ground beef
  • 3/4 cup medium onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • about 3 tsp italian seasoning (<1 tsp basil, <1 tsp oregano, <1 tsp parsley, <1 tsp rosemary)
  • 2 Tbsp Annies vegan worchestshire sauce
  • < 1/2 Tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1/4 cup ketchup

Mash all ingredients together by fork or use your hands. Form into 1″ balls. Place spaced apart on a baking sheet, sprayed lightly with non-stick spray.  Bake  at 375 for 25-30 minutes until browned.  Shake the tray throughout cooking to ensure more even browning. Toss with sauce and serve!

Mmmm! They are delicious right from the oven…

… and in homemade sauce on top of spaghetti!

YUM!

These meatballs may also be cooked, cooled and frozen to eat another time :)

 

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