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Heart-Shaped Seitan Meatballs

What you need: 

3 Ener-G egg replacers
14 ounces ground beef style seitan, crumbled
1/3 cup yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon vegan parmesan
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup Italian style bread crumbs
1/4 cup olive oil, for frying

What you do: 

1. Mix egg replacer according to package directions.
2. Combine all ingredients, except breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup oil, in a medium bowl. Mix well.
3. Heat the olive oil in a medium pan. While the oil is heating, shape the meatballs into heart shapes.
4. On a plate, add the bread crumbs. Roll the meatballs in the bread crumbs. Cook in the skillet until golden brown.
Source of recipe: I wrote the recipe. For more information, please see my blog here: http://veganmiss.blogspot.com/2011/02/valentines-day-spaghetti-heart-sha...

Preparation Time: 
10 minutes, Cooking time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking Time: 
10-15 minutes
Servings: 
4
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

I'm so disappointed with this recipe! :(

I followed the directions exactly... I think it went wrong because of the seitan. I used WestSoy brand because I couldn't find the Upton's Naturals brand that you recommended. I got "ground beef" style though so I thought it would work just the same. Unfortunatly the meatballs were too wet and falling apart. I couldn't get them in to heart shapes. I could barely even form them into balls. I had to mix the bread crumbs in in order to make a meatball shape. They tasted alright. I mean, they were very flavorful. But the consistency was weird. It just wasn't what I hoped for, especially after buying all of those expensive ingredients!

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I made these for Valentine's day and they were totes yummy. I didn't make your pasta sauce to go with it because I was feeling lazy, but I did jazz up a jar of Costco marinara with some ingredients (fresh basil, thyme, onion, red wine) from your sauce recipe and that was really good. The meatballs were a bit "fussy" and I had to make some last-minute adjustments to your recipe in order to avoid disaster. I don't think it's the recipe's fault! I'm a fairly capable vegan cook, but I'm completely useless when it comes to using egg replacers. They never seem to bind ANYTHING for me, so I usually only use Ener-G "eggs" in baking. Also, I used Upton's Naturals ground seitan, and even though I tried to crumble it as fine as possible, I think it was still a bit too chunky. The whole time I was prepping the meatball mixture, I was thinking "These are probably too wet and I bet they will completely fall apart." Sure enough, I was just barely able to wrangle my tester meatball into a heart shape and it disintegrated the second it hit the frying pan.

So I threw the rest of the meatball mixture in the food processor, pulsed it until it was really fine, then transferred it back to a mixing bowl and mixed in the 1/3 cup breadcrumbs I had set aside for rolling. After working the goop with my hands for a minute, the mixture firmed up and became sticky enough to hold together (I also added about two tablespoons of vital wheat gluten for good measure, but I think it would have held together fine without it - I will skip the VWG next time). My heart shapes looked really wonky, so I just formed the rest of the mixture into 8 balls, rolled the balls in more breadcrumbs, and fried them in two batches for about 5 minutes, flipping them around occasionally.

I served the meatballs over spaghetti alongside glasses of this disgusting cheeseball pink champagne and it was an awesome Valentine's day meal. My husband loved these, even though he disliked real meatballs growing up.  He said that he remembers meatballs being boring and bland, but yours were really flavorful and hearty. We're going to make these again soon using my food processor + added bread crumbs modification and use them in meatball subs. I can't wait to try your other recipes. Thanks!!!

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yum! im trying this tonight.. ;)b

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