Thursday, April 24, 2008

Italian dinner!

I'm whipping up an Italian dinner on Saturday and started cooking today, so I'm not all rush-rush and stressed out the day of. The dinner will be pretty simple, but it's made up of a bunch of different parts. I started working on the antipasto platter today. My plan is a big enameled platter covered with red lettuce and then topped with lots of different salads and munchables (to be served with sangria--which I know isn't Italian but I want it!).

Along with white bean salad, caponata, artichoke hearts, green and black olives, and pepperoni, I wanted some vegan sausage style meatballs. I like to make them homemade, rather than chucking out $$ on prepared ones or Gimme Lean. Here's how I do it.

Pre baked balls, waiting patiently for the oven to heat up.

TVP sausage style meatballs
(bazoOo, I'm not using cute fake meat names just for you).
  • 1 cup granulated TVP (not chunks)
  • 7/8 cup boiling water or stock
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • shake of red pepper flakes
  • dash of toasted sesame oil
  • dash tamari or soy sauce
  • dash of gravy browner
  • 1/3 cup unbleached white flour (can use whole wheat pastry or chickpea)
  • 1/3 cup fresh herbs--parsley, oregano, thyme and basil work nicely.
  1. Boil the water or stock and pour over the TVP. Stir to mix and allow to sit while you proceed with the next step.
  2. Over medium high heat, saute the onion and celery in the olive oil, add salt.
  3. When the onion is soft and some of the liquid has cooked off, add the fennel seeds and red pepper flakes.
  4. Remove 1/4 cup of this mixture and set aside.
  5. Reduce to medium heat and add the softened TVP. Stir to combine flavors and to brown the TVP a bit.
  6. Stir in sesame oil, soy sauce and gravy browner.
  7. Place this mixture in a food processor with the flour and pulse a few times until almost smooth, but still with a bit of texture. Scrape down sides and move to a bowl.
  8. Stir in the reserved sauteed vegetables and fresh herbs. Season to taste with salt, if needed.
  9. Place a bit of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and preheat oven to 350F.
  10. With wet hands, form small balls and place evenly on cookie sheet.
  11. Bake until brown on the bottom, flip and bake another ten minutes. The texture of these are nice, crusty on the outside and moist on the inside.

What else am I planning?
Tofu cheese manicotti (made with crepes, like my mom used to fix)
Marinated asparagus
Salad and dinner rolls
Super-crazy banana kake with white chocolate mousse and banana buttercream.


  1. These sound really tasty. Jeff was reading over my shoulder and said "mmm mmm. you have to make those!"

  2. <3 these. they look amazing. does all tvp have gluten? I've avoided it since going gf, and never really considered that there might be an all-soy tvp around.

  3. Jenny, you should make them! They're so can make them non sausage style with other seasoning and eat with spaghetti...

    juusan, according to this site:

    Bob's Red Mill is gf and is made in a gf facility, too.


  4. Wow, you are creating quite a delicious spread!! Sounds like it will be a wonderful Italian dinner!

    I printed out the TVP sausage style meatballs recipe; I think they'd be great to have at a potluck picnic!!

  5. save me a seat!

    thank you for the recipe - those sound great!

  6. Those sound awesome. I never did like those store-bought faux meat balls. I just happen to have some tvp chilling out in the cabinet, too. I think I'm going to try these!

  7. yum yum yummmm! new orleans is close enough to invite myself over for dinner, right? hehe.

  8. sounds perfect! those meatballs look awesome!!!

  9. Those fakemeatballs look so good. I wish I could be at your house for Saturday dinner.

  10. Those meatballs look amazing! And Sangria is soo multicultural these days. :)

  11. I was just thinking about making pasta tonight. I am definitely going to make these! I am happy to have all these things in the pantry!! Thanks!

  12. Hey, I'm trying to make an Indonesian style of meatballs (it's called Bakso, google it if you're curious) with TVP, and I have one question. Does the TVP remain in granule after the cooking process?I mean, can it be dissolved or ground? The TVP kinda ruins the appearance of the food because it looks like brown spots all over the food. thanks for your answer!

    1. Hydrate the TVP and then grind it in your food processor, just like in this recipe!



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