Vegetarian Meatballs

I am a fourth year medical student. It is still peculiar to say. It’s odd to have a definitive answer when someone asks me what residency I am applying into, and to say that I have finished my Sub-I (sub-internship) rotation. There is so much I want to say about third year. It was wonderful and horrid at the same time. Dabbling a little in every field gave me a strong respect for the different aspects of medicine, from psychiatry to surgery. I hope that respect stays with me–too frequently do I hear specialists speak poorly of other fields. I don’t want to do that. I am happy it’s over though, it is tiring to switch tasks every 4, 6, or 8 weeks and begin learning about a whole new field.

I learned a lot about myself though: what I liked, what I didn’t like, and that I can be cheerful at 4:30 in the morning during surgery rounds.

Now, Step 2 CK is over, I have CS coming up, and I am making my way through my anesthesia rotations, as a fourth year. Time is happening.

So much is happening in the world, and there is so much I want to say…but let’s start with these vegetarian meatballs, because well…because.

We don’t do pasta very much in the Shappenfeld household, but every once in a while I crave the basics, some spaghetti + tomato sauce. Simple, quick, comforting. I figured I’d try meatballs again, I’ve done a few variations in the past and not been satisfied, but these were different, and so, so good. The original recipe that I modified was vegan, so if you’re interested in that, click on the credit link!

Vegetarian Tempeh Meatballs 
adapted from the Minimalist Baker

8 oz Tempeh
1 egg
0.5 cup parmesan cheese
0.33 cup bread crumbs
0.25 cup cilantro
2 Tbsp marinara sauce (we used Arriabata from Trader Joes…my favorite!)
4 cloves garlic
1 red onion, medium size, coursely chopped
canola oil

Preheat oven to 375. In a food processor, toss in tempeh, and pulse until it’s small. Then add salt, pepper, garlic, onion and pulse together. Then add cilantro, marinara, egg, cheese, and bread crumbs, and pulse to mix well. Transfer mixture into a bowl. The mixture should be moist, and should easily form balls. Cover the bottom of a sautee pan with canola oil and put over medium high heat.

Form small balls out of the mixture and pan fry them in the sautee pan until brown on both/all sides (I made mine flatish, so I could just brown them on both sides). Then transfer to a pre-greased/parchment paper covered baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray or brush with olive oil, and put them in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

Serve over pasta, cover with marinara sauce, and enjoy!

Suggested appetizer — roasted peppers and fresh mozarella, balsamic and olive oil


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s