In honor of National Nutrition Month I thought I’d share an update on my adventures as a plant based curious dietitian.
But first I want to ask you to be sure to visit my gluten free chef diva blogger friend Hadassah Patterson for her contribution to National Nutrition Month and our mini blog carnival. She has a wonderful colorful not 1, not 2 but 3 recipes for sweet potatoes – a wonderful gluten free starch that is also high in beta carotene, which is a big supporter of brain health by the way.
Also, if you haven’t had a chance to sign up for the next Well Diva Weekend click here to check it out!
So you may recall, back in July I gave up meat (chicken and fish) for 30 days. Somehow it has turned into 30 weeks. By somehow, I mean due to improved sleep, no more digestive problems, weight loss and the fun of discovering how to make plants taste great. I have truly enjoyed cooking more plants and less meats, and I’m just getting started.
It’s been about 20 years since beef, pork or lamb were part of my diet, but chicken and fish – I thought I’d never go without those. Especially my beloved sushi and ceviche – until I came across a live worm – then it all ended. But that’s another story.
So anyway, about a year ago I made spaghetti for the family, replacing half of the ground turkey with mushrooms.
You can read about that here.
Over the weekend I got up the nerve to go all mushroom with my meatballs, and no ground turkey. At all. Since mushrooms are a cholesterol and saturated fat free alternative, they taste good and have a meaty texture, I thought this would be good for all of us. Since I have yet to find a meatless meatball on the market that I actually like, I figured this would be good to try with all the mushrooms I bought to make mushroom tacos (recipe to come) a few days prior. So here is how it all went down…
As usual hubby waltzed through the kitchen to find out what was for dinner. I told him I was making meatballs without meat. He got quiet…and then he disappeared. Then he came back with his jacket and shoes. All of a sudden hubby had to go to Wing Stop to watch the game. (insert side eye) I guess he wasn’t quite convinced that a mushroom could replace a turkey. LOL!
That’s okay because me and baby girl chowed down! We really liked it! So let me tell you (approximately) how this recipe went… Disclaimer – it’s vegetarian, NOT vegan.
4 cups of mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
3/4 c oatmeal
1/2 c parmesan cheese (vegan – use nutritional yeast)
1 egg (vegan – use chia seeds)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
a couple of pinches of coarse salt
flour for dusting
Grape seed oil for cooking
Fresh basil, chopped
Place washed mushrooms in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Mince the onions then the garlic. Cook the mushrooms (oil is optional but if using, just a small amount) on low/medium heat to dry as much as possible. This may take about 20 minutes with some occasional stirring. Place the mushrooms in a bowl then repeat with the onions, cooking to remove the water. Add the garlic to the onions and cook for a couple more minutes. Allow the onions and the mushrooms to cool (so you don’t end up cooking the egg once you add it). Add onion mixture and remaining ingredients except flour. Stir well then shape into balls. Coat with the flour and cook on medium heat in enough oil to cover the pan. Turn the balls every couple of minutes to brown on each side. Once done remove from the pan, clean the pan then add your sauce to the pan. Return the balls to the pan to simmer in the sauce to complete cooking, about 5-10 minutes. Right before serving, sprinkle with fresh basil – it really gives a wonderful burst of flavor so do NOT skip this step – and FRESH basil, not dried.
Serve over pasta or in a meatball sub (wish I had thought of that sooner) or however you like.
So I’m still not claiming to be vegan or 100% plant based, as you can see. But I really am a whole lot more sensitive to animals, and the smell of them cooking – yuck. Looks like I’ll be continuing a more plant based life indefinitely.
Do you think you’ll be making this? If so be sure to let me know by commenting below or posting your pics and feedback in the Facebook group.