No-Meatball Creamy Curry Risotto

Perhaps my favorite part of getting to choose what my husband cooks on his nights, is coming up with new combinations to see what he’ll do with the dish. On this night, I wanted three things: curry, vegan meatballs and risotto.

It sounded strange even to my own ears, so I hit up the Google machine just in case I was sending him on a fool’s errand. Turns out, I was…kind of.

There were curry meatball dishes for all diets and lifestyles, but I guess most people are purists when it comes to risotto, where I am not. So this is what happens when you ask for curry, vegan meatballs and risotto for dinner.

Meatless Creamy Curry Risotto.

The key to any good curry is a well-stocked spice rack, or finding the right premade vegan curry sauce or seasoning packet. Those aren’t all that easy to come by here in Romania, which works out fine because my spice rack is more like a spice shelving unit and it borders on ridiculous.

Beyond Meatball Noodle Soup (Vegan)

Can we all just agree that it is incredibly difficult to rename dishes you’ve been using for a lifetime? It is probably one of the most difficult parts of writing this blog, and I constantly find myself using too many descriptors or not enough. Or you end up with the redundancy of saying “vegan” everything. But when it came to this particular meal, the name almost wrote itself.

Beyond Meat is only one of two vegan meat alternatives that are available to me here in Romania, the other is a local brand, Verdino and they only make mici, deli slices and salami. That made it pretty easy to use the word ‘meatball’ and have it accurately apply. But that’s enough about the name of this dish, right? Let’s get down this incredibly delicious vegan noodle recipe.

This is an easy vegan recipe that you can make in less than 30 minutes and you can use whatever you have in your fridge and pantry.

Start with the Beyond Burgers and just add: minced garlic and ginger, smoky paprika, Ancho chili flakes and soy sauce. Use vegan Worcestershire if you have it, but I am currently waiting on a shipment of items that include vegan Worcestershire…still. My brand comes from the UK but if any of you have recommendations, drop them in the comments section!

Mix everything together in a bowl and form into small-ish, bite sized cruelty free meatballs.

I was feeling lazy so i popped them in the oven on 225°C for about 15 to 18 minutes and as you can see, they became nice and crispy without losing any of that signature juiciness that defines them.

The soup part of the equation was simple: my new favorite thing, waste-free vegan broth! You might need to add a little of this and a little of that to get the right flavor profile, but it shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes.

As you can see, I made Udon noodles for my husband and Ramen noodles for myself because we have different tastes and it was no big deal to make two types. Cook the noodles according to the package, just using broth instead of plain old water.

Garnish with fresh scallions, lime juice and Sriracha and voila, a quick and easy vegan lunch guaranteed to satisfy your appetite.

Healthy tip: If you love Ramen noodles the way I do, then you probably REALLY love how calorie friendly they are, right? Well you’ll have to weigh the Ramen after you cook them to get the most accurate calorie count. Those little 60 gram packages total up to about 150 grams once cooked. Don’t take my word for it though, invest in a food scale. This is the one I have. It’s basic but it gets the job done. Oh, and it’s battery operated.

And if you’re feeling a little grown up, add a cocktail. I totally just used this opportunity to break out the new rum, though. It wasn’t completely necessary but appreciated and satisfying.

This was just ice cold rum with lime zest and brown sugar on the rim. It was delicious and refreshing, especially if you like a little heat with your favorite Ramen noodle soup.

What is your go to noodle soup recipe?

 

Easy Meatless Chickpea Balls

I love balls. I’m not ashamed to admit it, no matter how dirty and how naughty it sounds, I do. Chickpeas, lentils, veggie, zucchini, black beans, kidney beans, mushroom balls. You name it and I’ve probably ball-ified it for a recipe.

For the past week or so I was thinking about over-sized “meat” balls. Like the big kind that are so big you have to put them in a muffin tin so they maintain their integrity throughout the cooking process. When the day came, I was excited about these giant chickpea and vegetable balls but I decided if I made them too big, they might come out undercooked or worse, gross.

Making the chickpea balls will take some time, but not too much. Besides, this is only your nourishment we’re talking about, right?

I digress…

For the balls, I drained the beans and dried them as well as I could before popping them into the food processor. I pulsed them a few times until most of the chickpeas were broken up but there were still a few chunks in there. For texture. In a separate bowl I mixed together: shallots, ginger, garlic, red bell pepper, spinach, cumin, baking soda, breadcrumbs and one vegan egg. Pretty easy so far, right?

You can do what you want here, but I blended everything BUT the breadcrumbs, egg and beans first. Then the beans and a quick stir before adding a healthy sprinkling of breadcrumbs and another toss. Keep going until you have a mixture that is malleable enough to shape into balls. Now they’re ready for the oven!

I stuck with the idea of using the muffin tin because it worked and this way I wouldn’t have to worry about them falling apart while they were out of my sight in the oven. I rubbed a little coconut oil on each muffin liner to keep from sticking since the only fat in this recipe is the Arche brand vegegg.

Pop the balls into the oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until they’re nice and crispy on the outside and soft & flavorful on the inside.

Now you can get on with your side dishes. I went simple, fries to satisfy my never ending carb craving and sauteed onion, garlic, apple and green cabbage because fresh vegetables are always welcome at our dinner table!

This was a simple meal that took very little prep time. In fact I had enough time to whip up a quick vegan yogurt based remoulade. It was yogurt, Sriracha, mustard, black pepper and diced dill pickle. It is totally optional but the balls needed something and the vegan remoulade was the perfect addition.

Don’t worry if you make too much, toss it on top of a burger or your favorite sandwich or wrap!

Crispy baked potatoes…few things in life are better.

The flavors were incredible and this was the perfect amount of food, which made it a meal I could enjoy without any guilt or fretting over calories. Or fat.