Sweet, Sour & Spicy Meatballs

Isn’t it funny when you make something as an afterthought, and it ends up being the best part of the meal? I’d planned on making Orange Scented Broccoli and Scallion Potato Pancakes from Appetite for Reduction, but I couldn’t think of a third item for the plate. Our meal needed a little more protein, but I was stumped. I didn’t feel like tofu, seitan, or beans. What was I to do?

On our weekly trip to Trader Joe’s, I purchased both chickenless chicken nuggets and meatless meatballs. When I got home, I realized the nuggets had egg in them (bummer!) but the meatless meatballs were indeed vegan. I’d been thinking of making orange “chicken” as the missing piece of this meal. But–no dice. So, sweet, sour, spicy and altogether wonderful meatballs to the rescue! I literally threw this sauce together in 5 minutes, shoved the meatballs in the toaster oven, and that’s about it. And they were awesome. Amazing. Almost indescribably perfect. Really! I suppose that sounds like I’m tooting my own horn, but for all the effort I put into these, I think this recipe came from Divine Providence instead of my own brain.

Does God give out awesome meatball recipes? I guess so!

Sweet, Sour & Spicy Meatballs (makes enough sauce for 12-15 meatballs):

  • 12-15 vegan meatballs (you can cook the Trader Joe’s ones from frozen, check your recipe or other brand for different info)
  • 3 T Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or low sodium soy sauce or tamari)
  • 2 T dark brown sugar (maple syrup would also work)
  • 1 T sweet chili sauce
  • 1 T ketchup
  • 1/4 tsp habanero hot sauce (or any sweet hot sauce will work)
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • sesame seeds for garnish

Mix all the ingredients except the meatballs in a small mixing bowl. Add the meatballs and stir to coat. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pick up individual meatballs on a fork and place on a sheet of foil on top of a cooking sheet. You want them to be coated, but not dripping, with sauce. Save the rest of the sauce in the bowl and set aside.

Bake meatballs for 10 to 12 minutes, then return to the bowl. This time, you can pour out the sauce and meatballs together back on the same piece of foil, and return to the oven for another 2-3 minutes. This gives the sugar a chance to get really gooey, and make a nice thick coating on the outside of the meatballs. Garnish with some pretty little sesame seeds.

If you want to make a ton more, I’m pretty sure this recipe will expand out make as many meatballs as you want. However, I’d caution about adding a lot more liquid aminos/soy sauce. That can get pretty sodium-filled pretty fast. You can always use water or veggie broth if you need the sauce to stretch a bit further. Just use common sense, because too much water could make it bland.

If you were wondering about the other parts of dinner–they were great! I made the broccoli completely incorrectly (I added basically everything at the wrong time) and it seemed pretty fool-proof. The scallion cakes should have probably been thinner, but I’m hoping that they toast up nicely for lunch tomorrow.

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Beets, beets, beets, beets…

Baked tempeh. Homemade rolls. Little cute orange segments. One pound of beets. A $2.50 box of wild rice. Dinner!

I feel like I should have added the cliched “priceless” at the end of that list. But I’m gonna go with–this was good. Not great, not…OH MY WHAT? AWESOMESAUCE. It was just, you know, different. Very orangey. Very…I don’t know what. My husband couldn’t really place the flavors, except to say they were complicated, and he was shocked to discover he liked beets. I would make this again in one of those moods when I had two hours to kill and didn’t really know what I wanted to eat. Or, it may be more of a fall food than a spring food. Who knows?

The rolls though…seriously. Just made with leftover english muffin dough. They were stellar. That dough is the most perfect dough recipe in the whole world. Lucky me, I get to make it every week!

Recipe from Appetite for Reduction.

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins!

MUFFIN v. MUFFIN showdown!

I have to stop making muffins. But I couldn’t stop myself! I looooove Almond Poppy Seed Muffins, and I was so encouraged by my delicious lemon muffin. The verdict? Lemon still wins. But I *think* it’s because I put too much orange juice in these (I accidentally dropped in 1/4 cup instead of 2 tablespoons), and over mixed it a tad. Ugh, over mixing. You are my arch-nemesis!

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins (makes 6):

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 T poppy seeds
  • 2 T orange juice (I used fresh squeezed)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup almond milk

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin and remember to spray the cups! It’ll make your muffins come out so much easier. Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix all the wet ingredients in a small bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and plop in the wet ingredients. Mix until just moist. It’s okay if there’s a little dry flour visible. Divide evenly in muffin cups and bake for 20 mins. Hooray!

This recipe was obviously altered from the Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins recipe in Vegan Brunch