Hi guys! Happy Friday! Is there anything better to round out the week than a lush bowl of tomato spaghetti with vegan meatballs!? I think not! This one was inspired by the beautiful Bettina’s Kitchen, from her cookbook Happy Food, in which she shares The Best Non-Meatballz Ever!
I received this lovely book as a gift from Bettina last week, and upon perusing through the pages, with its beautiful recipes and even more beautiful photos, it was these vegan meatballs that jumped out to say, “make meee!” They looked so big, hearty, and moist! It’s been a long time coming that I’ve wanted to make vegan meatballs. One of the habits with my diet is that I make lots of light and fresh meals, like salads and buddha bowls, which I love. But sometimes I forget that there is a man in the house who needs something a little more heavy. And although my hubby is patient and kind about his 5th quinoa dish of the week, sometimes he wants a lean hearty meal that can best be inspired from Italian cuisine. Cue spaghetti and meatbealls; a warm, hearty, heavy dish full of comfort and flavour. A spaghetti and meatballs recipe like this great for the guy, and also great for entertaining because it’s a sure crowd-pleaser, especially with those vegan skeptics who might not be so delighted by a bowl of kale, quinoa and tofu. A lush spaghetti recipe with hearty meatballs will never disappoint!
What I love about this recipe is just how simple and accessible the ingredients are. The list is minimalist: Made with brown rice, tamari, dijon mustard, oats and black beans. So I had all of the ingredients ready on hand in my pantry. The recipe itself is also super simple, and flexible to modifications. For example, I didn’t have enough black beans, so I added a bit of lentils. And, instead of cooking them the frying pan I baked them in the oven. Bettina offered both options for cooking in her book, and I loved how she was flexible to people doing what suited them best. To be honest, I probably would have cooked them in the fryer except that my burner space is limited. I was also making my spaghetti and sauce, so it seemed much simpler to stick them in the oven and out of the way. The result was an array of soft and supple, meaty vegan meatball that were full of flavour and depth! I couldn’t resist the temptation to pop one in my mouth every time I passed by, like they were going out of style. Bettina you nailed this one!
As for the spaghetti sauce, I quickly threw together my No-fuss Hearty Tomato Sauce recipe using onion, lots of garlic, zucchini, tomatoes and basil. This is a quick and delicious tomato sauce recipe that I like to make in bulk for the week, and to use up any tired looking veg. Feel free to toss in any veg that needs eating – carrot, mushroom and spinach are great additions. I’ve also added a bit of lemon juice to brighten the tomato sauce, and salt and pepper to enhance the flavours. These are the secret three ingredients to making a perfect sauce that you don’t want to skimp on. It helps to make that perfect balance between bright and rich.
All in all it’s safe to assume that Bettina’s non-meatballz recipe is one I’ll be turning to time and again. In fact, her cookbook is top of the stack! I’m just in awe of how drool worthy, uncomplicated and completely lush each and every recipe in this book is. If these meatballs are any indication of her other recipes, she’s got a forever fan!
VEGAN – VEGETARIAN – DAIRY-FREE – NUT-FREE