Friday, February 24, 2017

Vegan Sweet Potato Spinach Meatballs

Being a vegan is a journey as our Plant Based Community moderator stated last night in our meeting.  She made this statement to a member who said that she has been falling off the bandwagon in terms of her vegan way of eating.  I have also been struggling lately especially with eating those irresistible meatballs coated with spaghetti sauce I prepared for my husband.

I decided to solve the craving by making a vegan version.  Four years ago, I used a vegetarian meatball recipe from this source and brought it to a potluck shower party.  It was a hit.  It needs some tweaking to make it vegan since it used eggs and cheese.  To accomplish this conversion to a vegan dish, I substituted chia seeds dissolved in water for the eggs and nutritional yeast for the cheese flavor.

I supplemented the mixture with spinach and sweet potato for more nutritional value.  The sweet potato actually helped tone down the saltiness of the mixture due to the soup mix. The only thing I wish I did was use the Homemade Onion Soup Mix recipe I had instead of the Lipton Onion Soup Mix from the pantry. However, I read from the source of the vegetarian recipe I adapted this from, PETA list Lipton Onion Soup Mix as vegan.  If you prefer non processed food all the way, use the provided Homemade Onion Soup Mix recipe below.

In the original recipe from this source, they further placed the baked meatballs in the oven over vegetable broth.  In my case I have been munching on the meatballs as is. They are very moist and full of flavor. One can can cook it with marinara sauce and serve over linguini if one prefers or stuff into a bun as a meatball hoagie.

Vegan Sweet Potato Spinach Meatballs

Adapted from this source.

  • 4 tbsp chia seeds, crushed or ground, dissolved in 3/4 cup water
  • 1 (1 1/4 oz) envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix (note 1) or 4 tbsp Homemade Onion Soup Mix (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs or dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 cooked sweet potato, mashed
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.  Using a small ice cream scoop or by hand form around 1 1/4 inch balls.

Place the balls in a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Note:  According to the source of the recipe I adapted this from, PETA has a list of vegan products and Lipton Onion Soup Mix is one of them.

Homemade Onion Soup Mix

Adapted from the heavenly homemaker website)

  • 2/3 cup dried, minced onion
  • 3 tsp parsley flakes
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper

Mix all ingredients in a jar and then shake the jar.  Always shake the jar before each use.

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