What do you call vegan “meatballs”?
It’s not my intention to recreate meat-meatballs with this (or other) recipes. Yet, these take the traditional form of a meatball, so it makes sense to call them vegan meatballs.
I guess I just shy away from using the term “meat” – for obvious reasons. Any time I try to come up with a clever new name for a vegan meatball, I feel like I’m tapping into the Schweddy skit. Yep.
So, what’s a recipe developer to do?
Ask her instagram followers for help!
I posted the picture on IG, mentioning they were nut-free with a pumpkin seed base. Caption: “any recipe name ideas”?
Someone suggested: Pumpkin Seed Poppers!
Isn’t that a great name? Thank goodness for you guys. I was *this close* to calling them “Nut-free balls”.
Kind of. They really are nut-free balls. (Good gawd, this post is going off-track.) But let’s call them Pumpkin Seed Poppers.
Thank goodness for instagram. #phew
Pumpkin Seed Poppers
Like other vegan meatballs, these are fabulous served up on pasta with a favorite marinara sauce. The flavors might remind you of pizza, so also try serving in a “vegan meatball sandwich”! Leftovers also excellent mashed for a sandwich filling or served up in a salad bowl.
1 cup precooked/cooled brown rice (or 1 cup, packed, precooked/cooled quinoa, see note)
1 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (see note)
1/2 cup (packed) roasted red peppers (can use jarred, just drain)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 – 1/3 cup green onions
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 medium clove garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds (to pulse in, optional)
In a food processor, add all ingredients except oats and 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds. Puree until well combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. en add oats and pulse through several times to incorporate. Add the pumpkin seeds, and pulse in again, just to slightly incorporate but keep some texture. If possible, refrigerate for about hour. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°F. Take scoops of mixture (about 1–1 tbsp), and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 17–20 minutes, until golden on just rm to the touch (do not over-bake, they will dry out). Remove, and serve with pasta and tomato sauce, or with baked potatoes. Makes 18–20 balls, serving 4-5.
Note: You can toast up the pumpkin seeds yourself, or purchase them roasted. To roast yourself, use raw pumpkin seeds and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400 degrees for about 7-9 minutes, stirring once and watching closely – they turn from golden to burned quickly. If using store-bought, many brands are salted when roasted. If so, reduce the salt in the ingredients to a rounded 1/4 teaspoon.
Note: Brown rice is naturally more sticky so helps hold the mixture together. Quinoa can be used if you aren’t able to use the brown rice. Process a little more using quinoa to assist forming the balls.
Idea: Try forming patties with this mixture for burgers.
Serving Suggestions: Make the balls a little smaller, bake for a few minutes less, and use as mini-bites to top salads and soups!
images credit to: Nicole Axworthy