Thursday, September 4, 2014

Guest Post: An Omnivore’s Quest for the Best Vegetarian “Meatball”


Please welcome my friend & amazing home (& Instagram) chef, Chris. He decided to do the dirty work for us in finding the best veg meatball in all of the land. Welcome, Chris!

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I love meatballs.

I love vegetables too, and eat lots of them, but I’m a pretty committed omnivore. And I reserve a special place in hell for the commercial vegetarian burgers and meatballs that attempt to duplicate the taste of meat – usually with a list of unpronounceable chemicals. Why bother, when vegetables taste so great? Now if a veggie meatball can taste great without loading up on artificial flavorings, and come close to the texture and, well, meatballness of a real meatball, then we’re talking.

A friend alerted me to a wonderful blog post by Sarah Grey on the Serious Eats website. The post, Friday Night Meatballs: How to Change Your Life With Pasta describes her 9-month experiment with “Friday Night Meatballs” in which her family extends an open invitation to friends, relatives, social media contacts, and whoever to come by every Friday night for a dinner of spaghetti and meatballs. It is a simple yet powerful idea; have company for a sit-down meal once a week, where those from all areas of your life meet and break bread, and take a regular break from your busy life and social isolation.

To keep it simple week after week, you need to serve something that (a) is easy to prepare in large quantity ahead of time, (b) you can specialize in and do well, and (c) almost everyone likes. Meatballs with pasta fits these requirements very nicely.

So my wife and I, with the cooperation and help from a few good friends, decided we wanted to try this. I’m hoping it changes our lives, just a bit.

This leaves a small but important dilemma. While I cook meatballs very well, a significant fraction of my friends are vegetarian, lactose-intolerant, and/or celiac. And both of my recipes feature copious amounts of meat, cheese and bread.

My turkey/spinach meatballs.
Needed an ironic photo for a vegetarian blog.

Hence, my search for the ultimate vegetarian meatball recipe.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Heirloom Tomato Pie

Tomato pie is a perfect summertime dinner. Head to your local farmers market (or to your home garden), pick up some heirlooms and get baking! I paired a slice of pie with some roasted corn on the cob to make it extra-summery. This recipe is adapted from Southern Boy Dishes, and makes one pie.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Taco Deviled Eggs

The Annual Deviled Egg Pageant strikes again! This year the eggs that I made were not technically winners, unlike previous years' eggs (last year's roasted garlic deviled eggs, and the first year's dill and stone-ground mustard deviled eggs). I like to believe this is because this year's competition was even more fierce than previous years (and plus, I was told that everyone was a winner). Either way, these taco deviled eggs were absolutely delicious and added a spicy twist to a classic dish. This recipe makes 24 deviled eggs.
 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Buffalo Tots

This weekend, I hosted a TOTluck! It's a great idea if you love potatoes and don't mind feeling like you're slowly turning into a tater tot. I made a couple different dishes for it, but this one was easy to throw together and everyone seemed to enjoy it. This recipe makes about two dozen bite-sized appetizers.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cranberry, Walnut & Goat Cheese Salad

This past month, I went to a family gathering and my aunt made this amazing salad. It was so good and truly is so easy to make. Toss it together for your next event!