Friday, May 17, 2013

Wheatball Mania

Plate of wheatballs
A new job has been keeping me busy and away from posting about my VegCookbook Club cooking experiences. However I did find time to tackle one "Basics" recipe from Robin Robertson's Vegan on the Cheap, the May cookbook. Introducing...The Wheatballs.

This quick recipe requires a food processor and a skillet. You make the balls from chickpeas, mushrooms, bread crumbs, and vital wheat gluten, adding various Italian spices. (Also soy sauce, which I was out of, so I subbed lemon juice.) After two minutes of kneading the dough mixture, you pan-fry the balls. The finished wheatballs are light and airy, not dense and "meaty."    

Minestrone with wheatballs
The wheatball is a "component" recipe that works with other recipes in the book. So I tried using it two additional ways. First, I used it in minestrone (above). This is a freestyle minestrone, but Robin Robertson does provide her own recipe in the book. She suggests adding small wheatballs to the bowl. I had made regular size wheatballs, so I just halved them. I liked this addition to the soup and never would have thought of it on my own.

Next I made a wheatball sandwich (below) because how could I not? I began by whisking up the fast, tasty, and healthy Cheezee Sauce. It is an oozy nutritional yeast-based sauce that thickens with cornstarch. Then I warmed up the wheatballs in jarred marinara sauce--a suggested convenience "splurge." 

Assembling the sandwich on a roll was easy. Eating it was not. What a mess! (I think this was because the balls became even softer in the tomato sauce. Or maybe the bread was too crusty?) It was the kind of sandwich that just went "splurt!" all over the plate. I recommend serving it with a fork and knife. 

Wheatball sandwich with Cheezee Sauce 


Babette said...

My wheatballs actually held their shape pretty well! But I also ended up eating my subs with a fork and a knife... otherwise, it would have been impossible to eat it while working on the computer!

If you have leftover balls, I suggest eating them with ketchup or some other tart sauce, I find they make good finger food.

breathelighter said...

I'm so glad to see your wheat balls. I bought vital wheat gluten yesterday and I was planning to give them a try! I'm thinking they will transport nicely to work! They look tasty, too. Debra

Mihl said...

These sound delicious! Now I am craving a meat all sandwich.

Lydia Paterson said...

Yes, I think these would make good party appetizers, served with toothpicks and a variety of dipping sauces.