Today's guest post is from my friend Stephanie at My Freckled Life, a fitness and lifestyle blog. Like Lindsay, she and I met when I moved to Virginia. Stephanie was also a key sounding board when I first started blogging. She's been to blogging conferences and everything! She's cooked up a tasty dinner for us today.
Hello! My name is Stephanie and I blog over at My Freckled Life where I share my journey to finding a healthy balance through food and fitness. I am also currently halfway through my first pregnancy, so recently I've also been including some fit pregnancy-related tips, tricks and struggles as well. I also talk more about just pregnancy things on my mama-to-be blog, Freckles & Fingerpaint.
I’m so excited to be taking over Aileen’s blog today. Aileen and I actually met through a mutual friend over a year ago, and have quickly become great friends. She never ceases to amaze me with her baking skills (something that I have NONE of)! So when Aileen asked me to guest post this week, I jumped at the chance.
Then she mentioned that she would be interested in some vegan recipes and I got nervous. Vegan recipe? Me?
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a veggie loving girl! Just one that happens to be married to a meat and potatoes Georgia boy. I’m lucky if I can get in one fully veggie meal a week! But I promised her I’d try, and racked my brain for something that I could make vegan.
And then it hit me! One of my recent favorite veggie meals has been an eggplant burger recipe that I got from one of my coworkers. With a few tweaks and a bit of inspiration, I thought that they could make some tasty meatballs!
So I did some research on egg substitutes and got to work, and came out with something quite delicious! I hope you enjoy!
Vegan Eggplant Meatballs
1 large eggplants (about 1 lb.), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup panko
1 Tbs dried Italian Seasoning
3 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 flax egg (or other egg equivalent)
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the eggplant to the pot and cook, stirring frequently to make sure the eggplant cubes all get submerged. Cook until the cubes are softened, about 8-10 minutes. While this is cooking, make your flax egg and set aside.
2. Drain in a colander and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, spread between layers of clean kitchen towels or multiple layers of paper towels and press out as much excess liquid as possible. Once the eggplant is drained, transfer to a cutting board and chop finely.
3. Transfer the chopped eggplant to a large bowl. Add the panko, Italian Seasoning and garlic. Stir in the flax egg. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Form the mixture into four patties.
4. Preheat the oven to 450˚ F and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs to the skillet and cook, turning several times until meatballs have a nice crust. (Add the additional oil when you flip, if necessary.) Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the meatballs to the baking sheet.
5. Cook in oven for approximately 5 minutes.
6. Serve with your favorite pasta and sauce and enjoy!
My one tip is that the eggplant can be prepared in advance if you’re going to be short on time. The meatballs themselves don’t take long to assemble or cook, but cooking and cooling the eggplant can take quite some time if you don’t want burned fingers. So I cooked my eggplant a day in advance, and by the time I took it out of the fridge, it was easy to squeeze out the excess liquid and put everything together from there.
For anyone who is vegetarian and not vegan, you could also add in some Parmesan cheese to the meatball mix for a little extra something.
I had a great time coming up with this vegan meatball recipe and I hope you all enjoy! Thanks again Aileen for letting me take over today!