Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Spaghetti and Beanballs

Will these fool your husband into thinking he's getting a mouthful of ground sirloin? Ehhh no. But will he eat them? YES! I put that in the win column. These just feel good to eat, know what I mean? They are nutritious, filling, and way better for your body than meat. Good stuff.

This recipe calls for an ingredient you may have not seen or even heard of before: vital wheat gluten. Don't freak out and give up on this recipe, this is totally do-able. If you saw the ricotta lasagna recipe where we used nutritional yeast flakes, it's going to be just like that. Go to your local health foods store, find the wall o' bins, and get a small scoop of the vital wheat gluten. It looks like little light crunchy dry clumps and it is very cheap. It's used a lot in recipes that need a meat-like texture.

Another cool thing about this recipe is that it's very "hands-on". The only way I could get the beans mashed was to use a fist with the back of my hand. So if you like getting messy and pulverizing things with your fists, this is the project for you... *side eyes*

Spaghetti and Beanballs
adapted from Veganomicon
1/2 lb whole wheat spaghetti
32 oz spaghetti sauce
two 15 oz cans kidney beans, drained
2 TB soy sauce
2 TB tomato paste
2 TB olive oil, plus more for finishing
1/2 c bread crumbs
1/4 c vital wheat gluten
1/4 tsp thyme

Mash beans in a mixing bowl until no whole beans are left, but not completely smooth. Add soy sauce, tomato paste, olive oil, bread crumbs, vital wheat gluten, and thyme. Mix with fork and knead with hands until smooth.
Roll into balls about one inch wide, line up on sprayed baking sheet. Brush with olive oil. Bake 15 minutes, flip, bake 10 more minutes.
In the meantime, cook the spaghetti and heat the sauce. Serve with beanballs.

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