I just have to say, I'm having so much fun doing my vegetarian eating. It's been such an amazing change for my health and I feel great since I've changed. I didn't think giving up animal meat would be this easy, but surprisingly, I haven't even craved meat at all!
These meatballs came out great. Plus, the fact that I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE mushrooms, this meal was right up my alley.
for the walnut bella "meatballs"
1 cup walnuts* *For a nut-free version use pepitas (raw hulled pumpkin seeds)
4oz baby bella mushrooms - cut in half
1tsp all purpose savory seasoning
4 sprigs fresh parsley
4 medjool dates- pitted
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup fresh gluten free bread crumbs (1 slice of bread)
1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax & 3tbsp warm water, mixed and set aside for 5 minutes)
for the veggie filling
1/2 orange bell pepper sliced into strips
1 cup grape tomatoes cut in half
1/2 large shallot sliced
1 tsp olive oil
pinch of salt
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 sub rolls toasted (I used trader Joe's gluten free bread)
parsley for garnish
preheat oven to 400*
finely grind the slice of bread into crumbs in a food processor - transfer crumbs to a small bowl & set aside.
in the food processor, finely ground 1 cup walnuts, half of the mushrooms, seasoning & parsley until well mixed. the mixture should be a bit moist from the walnuts. transfer mixture to a medium mixing bowl.
add dates and remaining mushrooms to the processor until well ground. with a rubber spatula transfer date/mushroom mixture to the bowl with the walnut mixture. add bread crumbs, olive oil, salt and flax egg - mix well.
a heaping tablespoon at a time form a ball with the mixture - place on a parchment lined baking sheet. continue 12 times until all the mixture has been formed into balls.
bake for 15-20 minutes until brown.
while the "meatballs" are baking - prep your veggies.
in a medium saute pan over medium/high heat - add oil, once oil is heated add veggies and saute. caramelized bits are good. towards the last 2-3 minutes of cooking, add the balsamic to de glaze the pan. continue to cook until balsamic is reduced to 1/2 - you are looking to create a glaze of balsamic on the veggies. remove from heat and set aside.
when you have about 2-3 minutes of cooking time left on the "meatballs" place 2 sub rolls cut side down on the upper rack of the oven.
once the "meatballs" are done cooking, remove from the oven along with the sub rolls. allow the "meatballs" to cool for about 3 minutes.
assemble the subs by placing half the veggie mixture into the roll, top with walnut bella "meatballs" and garnish with parsley
leftover "meatballs" can be stored in an airtight container for up to week and reheated as needed or frozen on a cookie sheet and stored in a freezer bag for later use.