Friday, August 20, 2010

Spaghetti & 'Meat'balls - Vegan

With this recipe, I successfully made my unsuspecting dinner guest believe that it was good old spaghetti and meatballs.

Some of the vegan meat substitutes don't taste right, but this one from Trader Joe's wasn't too bad. I would let myself eat this occasionally when I have cravings for a meaty texture. (I wish they didn't contain soy!) By the way, they taste more similar to turkey meatballs than regular meatballs to me.

What goes in your body (4-5 vegan servings):
  • 1 bag of meatless meatballs from Trader Joe's, defrosted
  • 1 bag of whole wheat pasta
  • 1 can/jar of Marinara Sauce
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 cup of chopped kale
  • 1 cup of chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fresh mix herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme, tarragon, rosemary, chive, etc

You are going to:
  1. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pan, add garlic
  2. Once you start smelling the nice garlic aroma, add kale. Stir fry them 4-5 minutes or until it's tender.
  3. Add Marinara sauce, chopped fresh tomatoes and herbs to the pan. Mix and simmer it 5 minutes.
  4. Add Meatless Meatballs to the pan and simmer it 5-10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to the package instructions.
  6. Drain cooked pasta and mix with remaining olive oil to keep it from being sticky.
  7. Serve the Meatless Meatballs and sauce over the pasta garnished with fresh basil leaves.

Secrets from the chef:
  • I served with a small plate of salad and green olives as you see on above picture.
  • You can add a variety of vegetables besides kale. Cooking time will vary depending on what you decide to add. Be sure to cook till they are soft and tender so that they'll mix well with the sauce.
  • A fresh flavor comes from a generous quantity of fresh herbs, and freshly chopped tomatoes (not canned ones) are the key ingredients this recipe. Be careful not to overcook after you add them. You don't have to worry about not cooking the meatballs long enough because there's no meat in it! 
  • The leftovers on the next day tasted almost better than the day of cooking. Next time, I may try marinating the Meatless Meatballs in marinara sauce the night before.
Bon appétit! 


  1. Hi Tomomi! I'm going to make this dish tonight. Thanks for sharing!! I look forward to many more healthy recipes :)

  2. Let me know what you think. I love getting feedback from my readers.