Texas Winters are something to behold. Freezing temps, ice, snow during the week and then 65 degrees and sunny on the weekends. Planning meals during this season can be a bit challenging because a warm soup may be perfect for a chilly Tuesday night, but if you wait until Thursday — no one will eat it with you. However, the solution can be pretty simple: comfort food. If it’s cold or even just mild outside, a warm bowl of love will always fit the bill.
My ‘Jeffrey’ will happily eat almost every type of food, as long as it is prepared well. Over the past 6 months he has really fixated on one particular dish when we go out for dinner, spaghetti bolognese. Now, for most cooks, this wouldn’t be a hard thing to try to replicate at home. But, as a vegetarian I really wanted to create something we both could enjoy. Mission vegetarian meatballs.
One of my new favorite meat substitutes is LightLife (in the produce section, near the tofu). Since it is refrigerated instead of frozen, you can do a lot more seasoning and cooking rather than just warming up the veggie protein. I used Gimme Lean Beef as my base for the meatballs and added one egg, panko bread crumbs, Italian herbs, red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese. After forming them, I pan-fried the meatballs in a little butter and set aside in the pan.
When it was time to boil the pasta, I added some spicy tomato sauce to the meatballs and heated.
The whole process was quite easy to do at the end of a work day. And, with a simple mixed green salad, it was the perfect, filling meal. Of course I loved it, but more importantly my non-vegetarian dinner companion was impressed with the flavor of the ‘meatballs’ and took home all the leftovers.
Behold the bowl of yum.