Sunday, February 20

Spaghetti & Wheatballs.. Homemade!

Since I finished this week's cookbook challenge early this week (and we can't eat dessert for dinner every night), we've been making some simple, but delicious meals this week.  We had snobby joes, taco bar and Thursday night we had spaghetti with homemade sauce and freshly made wheatballs.  For such a simple meal, it was very satisfying.

I made the spaghetti sauce in August with tomatoes from the Farmers' Market.  I had a freezer full by the end of the summer, and I think we now have one bag left!  It was so easy to make and it's great to have this time of the year.  To make it, I blanched (or poached, not sure which term is correct) the tomatoes until the skin split, peeled and chopped into the slow cooker.  I tried different varieties of seasoning, but I think last night was a basic tomato and basil with black pepper.  Next, I just let the slow cooker work it's magic and a few hours later... spaghetti sauce!  

The wheatballs are from a recipe in "Vegan on the Cheap."  I thought we had everything we needed, but we were missing about half of the ingredients.  Last night's "wheatballs" turned into "pantry wheatballs," which turned out unexpectedly better than the original recipe!  Here's what I did:

Pantry Wheatballs (based on Robin Robertson's Wheatballs)

1 can beans (last night I used kidney), rinsed
1 tbsp tomato sauce
3 tbsp veggie broth
2 tbsp fresh parsley
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup prepared couscous (I've also used rice or cashews)
1/2 c bread crumbs
1/2 c vital wheat gluten
1/4 nutritional yeast
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Drizzle a small amount of oil into a baking dish.
2.  Add the first set of ingredients in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, but not pureed. 
3.  Add remaining ingredients into a medium bowl and mix with beans.  Once combined, knead dough 1-2 minutes.  Then, pull and stretch the dough, folding inside out.  Knead a few more times.
4.  Scoop dough by rounded tablespoon and roll into a ball.  Place each ball into the prepared baking dish.  You should have between 12-15 balls.  Drizzle the full pan with oil and shake until the balls are lightly coated.  Bake 20 minutes, flipping 2-3 times.
5.  Serve hot!

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