Vegan Eggplant Meatballs
Meatless Monday's just got a whole lot better! Before I moved into a plant-based lifestyle my one go to vice was meatballs! My family and I liked to call ourselves meatball connoisseur's as we always tried them if they were on the menu! Plus growing up Italian I have had my share of meatballs and often made them homemade.
While my family still enjoys their meatballs I have opted to make my own eggplant version. Eggplant is considered a fruit and is loaded with vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin C, K, B6, magnesium & copper to name a few. Plus they are a great source of antioxidants which help fight cancer cell growth. Eggplants are so versatile and can be used in a variety of ways from lasagna, stacks, burgers, bolognese sauce and now meatballs!
My ingredient list is short (just how I like it!) with just cut up eggplant, diced onion, and white beans. I added in almond flour to replace bread crumbs which are traditionally used in meatball recipes. After chopping up the eggplant (skin on) and onion I roasted them in the oven until soft. Added them to a food processor with the remaining ingredients and blended well. I left them a little chunky so they didn't look pureed - that you don't want!
Rolled them into meatballs until I got 12 even sized ones and put them back in the oven for about 30 minutes until they firmed up and turned a little brown. Now, these will be a bit softer than your usual meatball so handle with care. Or you can mix them in well with your noodle of choice and make it like a bolognese! Yum!
I went with carrot zoodles from Trader Joe's (you can find them in their freezer section) The only ingredients are carrots and sea salt! Score! Super easy to prepare while the eggplant meatballs are cooking. Or go for another zoodle or pasta of choice. Since these make a dozen it is great for leftovers the next day or even lunch for the week!
Even if you are not following a plant-based lifestyle it is good to go meatless one night a week. Not just for your health but for the health of the environment!
Don't forget to tag me on Instagram if you give them a try!
1 medium unpeeled eggplant (cut into bite-size pieces)
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbs chopped garlic
1 can low sodium white beans, rinsed
1 cup almond flour
1.5 tsp Trader Joes 21 Seasoning Salute (or other fav seasonings)
Low sodium marinara sauce or can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 375f
2. Spray pan liberally and add chopped eggplant, onion & oil to baking sheet. Mix well.
3. Bake for 15 minutes until soft
4. Let cool a few minutes then pour into food processor or blender
5. Add remaining ingredients (except marinara sauce)
6. Blend until combined but still chunky
7. Roll into 12 even balls and add back to the baking sheet (sprayed liberally so not to stick)
8. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until they firm up and get brown on top.
9. Remove from oven and let cool a bit before handling.
10. Add to favorite pasta or zoodles with heated up marinara sauce. Or make a meatball parm sandwich!