vegetarian "meatballs"

One average size beef meatball can have close to 100 calories and 7 grams of fat!

Based on an average sized meatball sandwich, that sets you back almost 400 calories and 28 grams of fat before you even think about bread, sauce, and cheese!

Even if I wasn't a vegetarian, I think I'd prefer this figure-friendly alternative based on the nutritional info alone...

2 cups TVP
1 3/4 cups boiling water
olive oil
1/2 cup flour
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t oregano
1 t salt
1 T tamari

Mix the TVP with boiling water and set aside for 10 minutes.

Saute onion in a bit of olive oil until it softens, then add the TVP and seasonings. Cook for a few minutes to let the flavors meld, then mix in 1/2 cup flour.

Let the TVP mixture cool slightly, then form into balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned.

I serve these in sub rolls or baguette with marinara, and a Caesar salad on the side. It's also very good with sauteed onions and peppers... and cheese.

To avoid HFCS, I often make my own marinara:

3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 T olive oil
2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes, plus 2 1/2 cans water
1 can tomato paste
3 T oregano
salt

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, saute the garlic for a few minutes. Add the tomato paste and saute a few minutes more. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 2 1/2 - 3 hours. Easy peasy!

I've found the least expensive TVP is in the bulk bins at Whole Foods. It's around $2/lb. and is much less expensive and has a better texture than the Bob's Red Mill brand they sell at the traditional grocery store.

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