A plant-based diet is more and more popular and even though this type of eating is completely doable (and delicious!) without any meat substitutes, there are still many of those widely available. I eat about 80% plant-based and rarely consume any of the substitutes, but my partner sometimes likes the feeling of eating meat, so I have been trying out some of them. As I haven’t given up meat completely, these products do not trick me to think I am eating meat, but that said – they do taste good! So if you need to cook a meal for somebody who does not believe that a plant-based diet is delicious and filling, then these meat-free balls are a good place to start!
I also made this meal gluten-free and used high-protein lentil pasta. With all gluten-free pasta types, it is important to make sure you do not overcook them. Of course, it is never good to overcook the pasta anyway, but most gluten-free versions turn mushy quite quickly, so I always try to cook them a little less and then finish the cooking in the sauce.
How do you feel about plant-based meat substitutes? Let us know in the comments!
Meatless Meatballs with Gluten-Free Pasta
Cooking time: 25 min
1 large onion, chopped finely
½ tsp black pepper
2 tsp dried oregano
1 jar of chopped tomatoes
Salt, to taste
Sugar, to taste
10-12 oz plant-based mince of your choice (Impossible, Beyond…)
4 oz dried lentil-, buckwheat-, or chickpea pasta (or regular pasta if you don’t prefer gluten-free)
Fresh basil and more black pepper to serve
Mix half of the onion, black pepper, and oregano with your plant-based meat. Do not add salt as these products usually already contain quite a bit. Roll out to balls and fry until golden from each side.
Set the balls aside until you prepare everything else. In the same pan, sweat the onion on medium-low heat until translucent. Add in tomatoes and the rest of the spices. Depending on the tomatoes you might need to add a little salt or even sugar to balance out the sauce. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Cook the pasta 1 minute less than the packet instructions say. Then drain and add the pasta to the tomato sauce, and let simmer for 1 more minute.
Serve the balls on top of the saucy pasta garnished with fresh basil and extra pepper.
By Kadri Raig
Kadri is a food blogger and yoga teacher from Estonia. She loves to spend time in the kitchen, but most of her recipes are simple and don’t take more than 20 minutes of active cooking time. She thinks that everybody can find time to cook healthy food at home, it is just a question of planning. "I work in an office full time, teach yoga 7-8 hours a week and write a blog. So if I manage to cook most of my meals, then so do you!" Connect with Kadri and enjoy many more of her delicious healthy recipes on her website here: www.kahvliga.ee.
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