Swedish Meatballs

Monday, January 19, 2009

When I first started using soy products, I had a couple of disasters with tofu and tempeh. I eventually figured out the tofu game, but have been turned off on tempeh ever since. Recently, I decided to give it another try. I first took an idea from TofuMom, and simmered it in enchilada sauce until it fell apart, which left a pleasing texture and flavor.

I then turned my sights on to Vegan Dad's Italian Meatballs. I've made these a couple of times and made some changes, most notably, I bake them. It leaves them more unifromly browned, a little crispy, and they hold up better simmering in a sauce. . . and they taste delicious. And that inspired me to make Swedish Meatballs with mashed potatoes.


Swedish Meatballs
12 oz tempeh
1/4 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup vital wheat gluten
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, grated
1 tbs vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs steak sauce
1/2 tsp browning sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 tbs Earth Balance Margarine
4 tbs flour
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup soy creamer
1/3 cup cranberry sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper
salt to taste

While preparing the meatballs, pour a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil onto a cookie sheet and put the cookie sheet into the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Boil the tempeh for about 10 minutes and allow to cool. Grate tempeh and onion and combine with all remaining meatball ingredients. Kneed until all ingredients are combined and the dough becomes sticky. Form into 1 tablespoon sized balls, making about 35 balls. Small sized meatballs hold together better and have a much better texture. Don't make them too big.

Pull out the preheated cookie sheet and swirl the oil around, just to coat. Place the meatballs on the sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, turning the meatballs every 5 minutes or so, until the meatballs are evenly browned and slightly crispy.

While the meatballs are baking, melt the margarine in a large sauce pan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring continuously, for a couple minutes. Gradually add the broth (best if room temperature or warmer) and stir or whisk until it is combined with the flour and margarine. Stir in the pepper, cranberry sauce, creamer and salt, if needed. Bring just to a boil and reduce heat. Add in the cooked meatballs, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally.

Serve over pasta or mashed potatoes.

6 Servings: 374 cal (16g fat, 27g carbs, 31g protein)

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  1. Jenn Says:
  2. Wow, that looks really good. My husband doesn't like tempeh either. I'll have to try this out and see if I can get it past him!

  3. Matt Says:
  4. The meatballs don't taste much like tempeh at all, and they have a good texture, as long as you make them small. And the gravy is really good.

  5. Sarah Says:
  6. Those look great! All I need to do, is find some of that browning sauce. Is there a specific brand to buy?

  7. Matt Says:
  8. Sarah, I don't think it matters. I think the one I buy is Kitchen Bouquet. You could even leave it out. It just adds a nice browning effect to the meatballs.

  9. Anonymous Says:
  10. Thanks for the recipe. I instantly thought of putting them in this gravy. A great all purpose Indian gravy that goes with anything.

  11. MrsQ Says:
  12. This was fantastic! Company worthy for sure! My only changes were to use unsweetened coconut beverage for the liquid in the sauce, used more pepper (probably a tablespoon) and, since I had no cranberry sauce, I tossed in a couple of handfuls of fresh frozen cranberries that I chopped up in the food processor. The cranberry is definitely an ingredient not to leave out - it adds so much.
    The not-meatballs held up spectacularly well in the sauce.
    Thanks so much for the inspiration!


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