So much celebrating to do…and it’s not over yet! One more round to go. These vegan sweet and sour meatballs would be the perfect thing to make for New Year’s Eve.
Everywhere I go I hear people bemoaning the gluttony of food they’ve already consumed the past few weeks, or they’re cringing at the thought of what’s to come. Oh, and then there’s another category of people…those who’ve given up and given in and continue to eat with wild abandon, promising themselves to figure things out in the New Year.
If any of the above sounds like you, I’ll give you the same advice I would give one of my health coaching clients: SLOW DOWN. Take a deep breath. Make the best choice you can RIGHT NOW. That may mean going for a walk before indulging in any food so you can think things through.
Healthy food doesn’t have to be complicated or something you save for when you’re home alone. If you want healthy options when you go to someone else’s house, THEN BRING SOME HEALTHY FOOD WITH YOU TO SHARE. In addition to vegan sweet and sour meatballs, other healthy choices to take to a party include: spring rolls, “crab” cakes, hummus, and guacamole.
Nutritious and Delicious aren’t mutually exclusive. Take these vegan sweet and sour meatballs for example. While they may not have any actual meat in them, they resemble something familiar to most people with a sauce that is delicious. Some people will even appreciate how healthy they are, others will appreciate how tasty they are. Either way, I promise, people will eat them, and enjoy them.
Vegan sweet and sour meatballs are everything I would look for in a healthy appetizer: Gluten-free. Refined sugar-free. Vegan. Plenty of protein and fiber…all that and tasty too!
If you’ve indulged in traditional holiday fare and enjoyed it, that’s great. Seriously. Good for you! Get back to your regularly scheduled routine as soon right away. End of story.
I like to make these vegan sweet and sour meatballs small so they can be eaten as an appetizer with a toothpick. They are also a good choice for a meatless Monday type of meal served over rice (or cauli-rice) or even spaghetti squash.
- 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons flax meal (ground flax seeds)
- ¼ cup water
- 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup ground oatmeal
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 shallot, minced
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoons dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
Sweet & Sour Sauce
- ½ cup tomato paste
- 1/3 cup pineapple juice
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons arrowroot powder
- ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Mix tomato paste, olive oil, flax meal and water. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a small rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set aside.
- Mash chick peas with fork or potato masher. Mix in tomato mixture, oats, garlic, shallot, herbs and spices until well blended
- Use a small scoop or spoon to dish out 30 “meat” balls onto prepared pan. Wet hands and roll into balls.
- Bake 25 minutes, until firm.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together all ingredients. Continue to whisk as sauce begins to thicken. This will take about 5 minutes. You do not need to whisk constantly, but just enough so that sauce doesn’t boil or thicken inconsistently.
- When meatballs are done baking, add to the sauce and cook for about 5 minutes. Serve warm with toothpicks as an appetizer; or serve over rice or spaghetti squash as a main meal.
- MAKE AHEAD: Store cooked “meat” balls (without sauce) in the fridge for up to one week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw and then gently reheat on the stove in the sauce for about 10 minutes, until warmed through.
Serving Size4 small or 2 large meatballs
Amount Per Serving Calories 280 Total Fat 10g Saturated Fat 1g Sodium 741mg Carbohydrates 47g Sugar 25g Protein 5g