Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Susan O'Brien's "No-Meat" Meatballs (Gluten Free, Soy Free, Vegan)

Does that look like a gluten free vegan meal to you? It's one of those fabulous recipes that I wish I could say I created!

This "meat"loaf is from Susan O'Brien's new cookbook "The Gluten Free Vegan". I bought this cookbook out of desperation a few weeks ago when I decided to follow a vegan diet to see if I could naturally lower my cholesterol. It was one of the very few books I could find with both gluten free AND vegan recipes.

This recipe absolutely did not disappoint. It is actually a recipe for "no-meat" meatballs, but I was in a hurry and decided just to make a loaf. It worked perfectly! In my three weeks of eating vegan foods, this is one of the best meals I have made. Here is a list of just a few of the great recipes in Ms. O'Brien's book:
  • Mexican Quinoa Salad
  • Yam Enchiladas with Pomegranate Sauce
  • Stuffed Butternut Squash
  • Asparagus Risotto
  • No-Bake Chocolate Cookies
  • Coconut Pancakes
What I like most about Ms. O'Brien's new cookbook is that is she doesn't solely rely on soy-based meat substitutes. Since I have to follow a soy free diet, it can be hard to find vegan recipes that don't include products made from soy such as tofu or tempeh or wheat gluten products like seitan. This recipe has NO soy or gluten whatsoever, and it turned out beautifully!

My only mistake in making this recipe was that my jar of crushed rosemary didn't have a "sprinkle" lid on it, and I accidentally dumped half the container into the "meatloaf." So I tried fishing out as much of the overpowering spice as I could (the recipe only calls for 1/4 teaspoon -- yet I know I poured in several tablespoons!) and I still thought the finished result was delicious, but next time I definitely won't overdo the rosemary! Look at your spice lids before you pour! lol...

I recently contacted Ms. O'Brien and asked her if I could share a few recipes from her new cookbook with you and she graciously responded, "Absolutely!"

So you can thank Susan O'Brien and her new cookbook, The Gluten Free Vegan for this delicious recipe!

Susan O'Brien's "No-Meat Meatballs"
from her cookbook:
The Gluten Free Vegan c. 2007, pg. 96

Reprinted with permission from the author

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for sauteing (Carrie's note: I just used non-stick cooking spray)
1/4 cup well-washed and chopped leeks, white part only
1/2 cup chopped red onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups cleaned and finely diced mushrooms
1 cup cooked brown rice or rice medley (Susan's note: I cook the rice in vegetable stock to give it more flavor.)
1/2 cup cooked, mashed potatoes
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
Pinch of dried thyme
1 tablespoon organic tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon course kosher salt or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper,or more to taste

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit if you wish to bake rather than saute the meatballs.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil and saute the leek and onion over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for a minute or two. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are soft. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked rice, mashed potatoes, pecans, herbs, tomato paste, salt, and pepper.
  • Press tightly into balls (press hard, so they'll stay together) and saute on all sides in a large skillet in 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Once the balls are browned, lower the meat to medium low and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  • If you prefer to bake the meatballs, place them on a large cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until heated through, about 30 minutes.

(Printer-friendly version.)

Carrie's Cooking Notes:
  • If you want to make a "meat"loaf out of this recipe, simply pour the mixture into a greased loaf pan and bake for 30 minutes on 350 degrees. We poured our favorite barbecue sauce on top. Yum!
  • I decided to serve yukon gold mashed potatoes with this meal, so the first thing I did was boil the mashed potatoes so I would have 1/2 cup mashed and ready to go to make the "meat"loaf. I love the yukon gold potatoes because they *look* like they have butter in them since they are a lovely buttery yellow color. I simply added 3 cloves of mashed garlic, a tablespoon of coconut oil, and almond milk to the potatoes. Being the carb addicts we are, they were our favorite part of the meal!
  • I just LOVED how easy and delicious this meat "loaf" turned out. I never would have imagined LIKING let alone TRULY enjoying a "meatless" meatloaf. I would serve this to my meat crazy family and I think they would really enjoy it. The combination of flavors with the mushrooms, the leeks and red onion, and pecans, and the herbs... this recipe is DEFINITELY a winner in my book! Enjoy!
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