Vegetarian Meatballs

Vegetarian Meatballs - these are delicious and so versatile! Dairy-free and easy to freeze for later if you're meal preppingThe title of this recipe post is a total oxymoron but Vegetarian “Meat”balls isn’t very SEO-friendly. Neither is Vegetarian Meat(less)balls, which was also heavily considered. Welcome to my extremely stressful job, friends.

I know there are lots of different types of vegetarian diets (and diets in general), so I’ll cut to the highlights to save anyone with dietary restrictions some time:

  • Meat: No
  • Dairy: No
  • Eggs: Yes
  • Gluten: Yes but easily No (use gluten-free bread crumbs)

It’s taken me a lot of failed attempts and tweaking to get this recipe down (texture was hard to nail) and after his fifth forced taste test, Joe turned to me and asked, “Why don’t you just roll your veggie burger recipe into balls instead of patties?”

*silence*

Sonofabitch he had a point.

But I was in too deep. I had to persevere. Again, welcome to my extremely stressful job, friends. Vegetarian Meatballs - these are delicious and so versatile! Dairy-free and easy to freeze for later if you're meal prepping Vegetarian Meatballs - these are delicious and so versatile! Dairy-free and easy to freeze for later if you're meal prepping

Vegetarian Meatballs

Yield: 20-25 meatballs, depending on size

Vegetarian Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c cooked brown rice
  • 1 can chickpeas (15 oz)
  • 1/2 c breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 tbsp packed fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt & pepper to taste (be generous!)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare the ingredients: Drain and rinse the chickpeas, pat them dry with a paper towel. Cook the rice (I usually do 1 c dry rice which makes more than I need and then I save the excess for other meals). If you have a good food processor, you may not need to cut up the other ingredients but otherwise: Mince the garlic, chop the fresh parsley, dice the onion.
  2. Texture is important with these--you DON'T want to over-blend the mixture into a paste. It should be a little rough (see below for a picture). To achieve that, I like to roughly chop up the onion, garlic and parsley beforehand. I then put all ingredients except the eggs into a food processor and pulse until it's fully combined but not smooth.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the eggs (I crack and quickly whisk them in a separate bowl before adding in). I use my fingers to sort of knead the eggs into the mixture.
  4. Roll the mixture into small balls (about 1 1/2"). Place on a lightly oiled baking pan and bake for 25 minutes.
  5. If you're going to eat them right away, they're ready to go out of the oven. BUT I like to heat a super thin layer of olive oil on a skillet on medium-high and then add the meatballs in, rotating occasionally for a couple minutes to make the outsides a little crispy (love the texture!). Remove any excess oil from the pan , lower the heat, and then you can stir in whatever sauce you're using in your meatball dish.*
  6. If you're going to freeze some or all of the batch for later, let them cool out of the oven and then put in an airtight container in the freezer. When you're ready to eat them, let them thaw completely and then use the stovetop method described above. Just make sure they've thawed first so that the insides don't stay cold.

Notes

*If you're short on time, you can skip the baking and just heat oil on a skillet and cook the raw mixture as described. I've done this before and they turn out fine, just softer than with the baking-first method (and I like mine to be firmer).

http://pumpsandiron.com/2016/10/30/vegetarian-meatballs/

Vegetarian Meatballs - these are delicious and so versatile! Dairy-free and easy to freeze for later if you're meal prepping

This recipe is a meal prepper’s dream because you can make a big batch, pop them in the freezer, and thaw weeks later when you need a quick lunch or dinner. Vegetarian Meatballs - these are delicious and so versatile! Dairy-free and easy to freeze for later if you're meal preppingVegetarian Meatballs - these are delicious and so versatile! Dairy-free and easy to freeze for later if you're meal prepping

These are great over pasta, zoodles or spaghetti squash with marinara sauce, pesto, alfredo–you name it. I also like to use these “meat”balls to give salads a bit more substance or to mix into stir-fries. So versatile! If you’re food prepping today, make a batch.

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Roasted Fall Veggie, Kale & Quinoa Bowl with a Maple Vinaigrette

Roasted Fall Veggies, Kale & Quinoa Bowl with a Maple Vinaigrette

Hey fam! (That’s what the kids are saying these days, right?) Before we get to today’s yummy recipe, I wanted to do a little blog check-in. It’s been a bit slower than normal around here this month, in part because I’ve been teaching more than usual but also because I’ve been putting a lot of time into planning for the blog’s future (like the responsible parent I am). How to make it better, defining the goals I have for it–basically just taking time to refocus. So while that has meant fewer posts right now, it’s going to result in so much (hopefully) great content coming your way through the holidays and into 2017.

First big advancement: Your girl got a microphone for shooting videos. FINALLY. This means that in addition to workouts, I can post more information-focused videos (exercise form tutorials, vlogs, etc.). So hopefully no one finds my voice unbearable because you’ve got a whole lot of it coming your way muahahaha. No but seriously, isn’t it always such a bummer when you follow someone on written forms of social media and then you hear her/him speak and are just like wait. What is going on here. THAT’S what you sound like??! It’s like seeing the movie interpretation of your favorite book. Always a disappointment.

*walks to Post Office and returns microphone*

ANYWAY … today’s recipe.

The real takeaway from this recipe is the maple vinaigrette. The rest is totally customizable and I’d consider my choice of ingredients more a suggestion than anything else. Try brown rice instead of quinoa. Spinach instead of kale. Sweet potatoes instead of butternut squash. Add onion to your roasting pan. Try dried cranberries and pecans as a topping. Sprinkle that shit with goat cheese, yo.

It’s the dressing that really ties everything together. Roasted Fall Veggies, Kale & Quinoa Bowl with a Maple Vinaigrette Roasted Fall Veggies, Kale & Quinoa Bowl with a Maple Vinaigrette

Roasted Fall Veggie, Kale & Quinoa Bowl with a Maple Vinaigrette

Yield: 4 servings

Roasted Fall Veggie, Kale & Quinoa Bowl with a Maple Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 1 c dry quinoa
  • 4 c chopped kale
  • 1 1/2 c diced and peeled butternut squash
  • 1 1/2 c halved Brussels sprouts
  • 1 medium honeycrisp apple, cored and diced
  • For the dressing:
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Typically for 1 cup you'd bring 1 1/2 c water to a boil, add the quinoa and bring back to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 10-15 mins.
  3. Prepare the vinaigrette. Mix all ingredients except the oil and then gradually whisk in the oil.
  4. Massage 1/3 of the dressing into the kale and set aside.
  5. Spread butternut squash and brussels sprouts (and any other veggies you want to include!) on a pan and toss with 1/3 of the dressing. Sprinkle on some added salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes (or until squash is soft), tossing halfway.
  6. Mix everything together in a big bowl. You might think there's enough dressing as-is; if not, drizzle the remaining vinaigrette on top.
http://pumpsandiron.com/2016/10/23/roasted-fall-veggie-kale-quinoa-bowl-with-a-maple-vinaigrette/

Roasted Fall Veggies, Kale & Quinoa Bowl with a Maple Vinaigrette Roasted Fall Veggies, Kale & Quinoa Bowl with a Maple Vinaigrette

Hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend!

What veggies would go into your ultimate fall buddha bowl??

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Slow Cooker Corn Chowder (Dairy-Free)

Slow Cooker Corn Chowder - flavorful, filling and dairy-free!I know a recipe is a keeper when Joe eats so much of it that I barely get any myself. This slow cooker corn chowder was a huge hit–and so easy to make! If you’re spending today meal prepping for the week, add this recipe to your list. Slow Cooker Corn Chowder - flavorful, filling and dairy-free! Slow Cooker Corn Chowder - flavorful, filling and dairy-free! 

Slow Cooker Corn Chowder (Dairy-Free)

Yield: 6-8 servings

Slow Cooker Corn Chowder (Dairy-Free)

This easy slow cooker corn chowder is made with under 10 ingredients and no dairy!

Ingredients

  • 6 ears of corn (remove the kernels) or 6 cups corn if you're using frozen
  • 4 heaping cups yukon potatoes (chopped into 1/2" cubes)
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt + pepper to taste (be generous with both)
  • Chives for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the ingredients. Shuck the corn and remove kernels, wash and chop the potatoes, dice the onion.
  2. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker.
  3. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours.*
  4. Transfer 3/4 the soup to a blender. Blend and then mix back into the remaining 1/4.**
  5. Enjoy! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Notes

*In my slow cooker (which is old) it takes 5 hours on high. Definitely check yours after 4--the main thing is you want the potatoes to be soft. **I don't blend part of it because I like having some potato chunks and corn kernels in every bite. If you want a smooth consistent texture, blend all of it.

http://pumpsandiron.com/2016/10/16/slow-cooker-corn-chowder-dairy-free/

Slow Cooker Corn Chowder - flavorful, filling and dairy-free!

Are you guys doing any meal prep for the week? I’m actually off to teach two classes and then meeting up with friends to watch some football so I’m … not. But a batch of this chowder will be made later in the week for sure! Slow Cooker Corn Chowder - flavorful, filling and dairy-free! Slow Cooker Corn Chowder - flavorful, filling and dairy-free!

And that concludes this week’s edition of Gratuitous Food Close-Ups. Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend! It’s been a marathon of teaching for me–15 classes down this week and four more to go today. 🙂

img_5400wearing Alo Yoga goddess leggings

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