How to make Vegan Meatballs

How to make Vegan Meatballs

Vegan Meatballs

Welcome to Veganize It! We’re making meatballs. Instead of using ground beef and ground pork, we’re gonna use quinoa and chickpeas. We’re gonna use our food processor. We’re gonna add in our cauliflower, our garlic, our onions, and our mushrooms. And give it a pulse. (food processor whirring) We’re gonna take our vegetables out, and put them into our bowl right here. So while our food processor is still out, we’re gonna puree our chickpeas until they’re really smooth. And we’re gonna use these later as a substitute for egg.

Also, they give a little protein to our meatballs. (food processor whirring) (pensive electronic music) – Let’s compare. To make traditional meatballs, you’d be using ingredients like ground beef, lamb, veal, and eggs, and this would all cost you $13.88. But, our vegan version only costs $9.26 for the whole recipe. So that’s a savings of almost $5. So basically, you can save more than a dollar per serving by making your meatballs without the meat. – Our next step is to cook down the veggies that we had pulsed in our food processor.

Method 

So we’re gonna add a little bit of olive oil, and then we’re gonna add our veggies. Our cauliflower, and our mushrooms. And in addition to our veggies, we’re gonna add a little bit of Italian seasoning, and some salt and pepper, so that it’s just like a regular traditional Italian meatball. We’re adding in a little bit of tomato paste for a little bit of umami.

(soft ethereal electronic music) Okay, let’s talk about the science behind the savory flavor of these meatballs. Umami is a savory-like flavor from the amino acid glutamate. Meat and parmesan cheese have a lot of naturally occurring glutamates. So to get umami in our vegan meatballs, we’re using other ingredients that have glutamates but aren’t meat or dairy. So in this case, tomato paste, tamari, which is gluten-free soy sauce, and mushrooms.

When you combine all of these ingredients together, you end up with an amazing vegan meatball that even the biggest carnivores would love. Now that our veggies are cooked, we’re gonna add everything else in so that we can form our meatballs. We’re gonna add quinoa. This is cooked quinoa. And our pureed chickpeas. These are both adding protein, while also making it easier for the meatballs to form together.

And, speaking of umami, we’re also adding a little tamari, our gluten-free soy sauce, ’cause these meatballs are also gluten-free. This looks great! We’re gonna form these into meatballs, like about that size. So now that our meatballs are all ready to go, let’s put ’em in the oven so we can make our sauce. (upbeat electronic music) – Using chickpeas and quinoa instead of beef helps make these meatballs better for the environment.

So actually switching to plant-based protein can help reduce the environmental impact of your diet. Fun fact, pound for pound, beef creates an estimated 34 times more climate pollution than beans and lentils. – So while our meatballs are cooking, let’s make a quick tomato sauce. Just a little bit of oil, and then a little bit of chopped garlic, and then a little bit of crushed red pepper.

And you can do a pinch, or you can do a lot, depending on how hot you want it to be. So we’re just gonna cook this just for a little while, just so it starts to get a little fragrant, and then one large can of crushed tomatoes, a little more Italian seasoning, some pepper, and some salt. So this sauce is just gonna stay simmering on our stove while our meatballs bake. (ethereal electronic music) Let’s take a look at the nutritional difference.

In terms of calories, you’ll save 341 calories with this vegan version. Vegan meatballs also provide six more grams of fiber, and they’re 11 grams lower in saturated fat than typical meatballs. This recipe also saves more than 1200 milligrams of sodium by bumping up those umami flavors. So my meatballs are done, my sauce is done. It’s time to plate this. Instead of regular noodles, I’m gonna use one of my favorites, zucchini noodles.

They’re low-carb, they’re delicious. These have been sauteed just in a little bit of oil, salt, and pepper, three meatballs. Let’s get a little bit of sauce on top. Oh, yeah. Just a pinch of crushed red pepper, a little bit of basil. That looks beautiful! And the final touch is to take a photo. (camera shutter clicking) And that’s good! Special thanks to our vegan expert.

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