Quinoa, Tempeh & Kale Meatless Balls

Hello, everyone & happy Monday! Today started off pretty well for me; I went to work, had a smooth breakfast service & then headed to an alumni luncheon, which was such a lovely treat! When I came home, I did some household chores & then decided I was going to prepare myself an early dinner. Over the weekend, I had cooked off a large batch of quinoa & needed to use some of that up. I also had a package of tempeh, some beautiful tomatoes & kale from a local farmstand & a package of brown rice noodles. So the obvious thing to make was a vegan version of spaghetti & meatballs!

I really had no idea how these meatballs were going to turn out, but I was seriously pleased with my end result. I also thoroughly enjoyed making this meal from scratch. Although I didn't make the pasta, I haven't made a tomato sauce in so long & the smells emanating from the kitchen as well as the love I was putting into the meal just made for such a perfect end to the beginning of my week!

To make these meatless balls, you will need the following:

Yield: Approx. 30 balls

1 Package of Tempeh, Crumbled

1 1/2 C Cooked Red Quinoa

2 C Finely Chopped Kale

2 Ea Cloves of Garlic, Minced

1/3 Ea Yellow Onion, Small Diced

1 Flax Egg (2 Tbsp of ground flax seeds mixed with water to form a runny paste)

2 Tbsp Organic Ketchup

1/4 C Fresh Oregano, Chopped

1/4 C Fresh Parsley, Chopped

1/2 C Seasoned Bread Crumbs

1 Tsp Cracked Black Pepper

1 Dash of White Pepper

1 Tbsp Kosher Salt

*To make up for the lack of cheese in the recipe, adding some type of nut would add some more flavor. Unfortunately, I didn't have any at my house, but my suggestions would be ground walnuts, cashews or pine nuts!

-Preheat oven to 375 degress. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl. Mash together and then form into medium sized balls. Line them up on a greased sheet tray & bake for a half an hour in the oven! Make sure to rotate half way through!

 

While the meatballs are in the oven, you can start your tomato sauce! Prior to making my meatballs, I had actually roasted a red bell pepper on the range & set it in a bowl with plastic wrap. For this tomato sauce, you will need the following:

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Ea Cloves of Garlic, Minced

1/3 Ea Yellow Onion, Medium Diced

2 Ea Tomatoes, Large Diced

1 Tsp Cracked Black Pepper

1 Tbsp Kosher Salt

1 Tbsp Dried Basil

1 Ea Roasted Red Bell Pepper, Peeled, Gutted & Diced

2 C Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Halved

-To begin, roast your bell pepper on an open flame & set aside in a plastic wrap covered bowl. In a small sauce pot, heat 2 Tbsp of EVOO  & add your minced garlic & diced onion. Sweat these until translucent, then add your diced tomato. Make sure to season! Next add your dried basil & diced roasted pepper. Cook for twenty minutes then puree in a blender! You can add a little water at this point if you'd like your sauce a bit thinner. Make sure to check for seasoning! In a large skillet, I then sauteed these gorgeous heirloom cherry tomatoes that I picked up from my neighborhood farm stand! Once blistered, I added the tomato sauce & allowed that to simmer while I cooked my pasta.

At this point, your meatballs should be ready! Add them to your sauce so they can absorb some of the flavor & moisture. Serve over pasta of your choice & garnish with fresh chopped parlsey!

 

The best thing about this meal is that is was packed with protein! For those who say that a vegan diet lacks protein, I challenge you to get a little more creative in the kitchen! With the tempeh & quinoa combined, there was well over 30 grams of protein this meal! 

 

I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

XO,

Alex