Vegan Asian Meatballs

We used to make these all the time when I was a kid. I’m now thrilled to be able to eat them once again, but without harming animals! A sweet and salty sauce smothers delicious onion and mushroom ‘meatballs’ that everyone will absolutely love. My recipe was adapted slightly from msvegan.com.

Vegan Asian Meatballs - Produce On Parade - We used to make these all the time when I was a kid. I’m now thrilled to be able to eat them once again, but without harming animals! A sweet and salty sauce smothers delicious onion and mushroom ‘meatballs’ that everyone will absolutely love. My recipe was adapted slightly from msvegan.com.

Meatballs are one of those foods that I really enjoy, but am too lazy to ever make... or even buy. I'd rather have my spaghetti without than go through the motions of adding meatballs (I need to take a closer look at my life). Does anyone else feel this way or is it just me? 

This week I had a huge craving for meatballs. It was unrelenting and I began to reminisce on the times my parents used to make delicious Asian meatballs that we'd take to parties, steaming, in a piping hot crock pot. They were always the most scrumptious food at the party and I'd sneakily eat my weight in them and nothing else, until I made my way to the dessert table where no brownie or cookie was safe. Of course, now, I am obliged to make them vegan and cruelty-free, and guess what? They taste even better than I remember.

I have implemented limits on dessert now as well. #adulting

Vegan Asian Meatballs - Produce On Parade - We used to make these all the time when I was a kid. I’m now thrilled to be able to eat them once again, but without harming animals! A sweet and salty sauce smothers delicious onion and mushroom ‘meatballs’ that everyone will absolutely love. My recipe was adapted slightly from msvegan.com.

Vegan Asian Meatballs

Recipe by Kathleen @ Produce On Parade

We used to make these all the time when I was a kid. I’m now thrilled to be able to eat them once again, but without harming animals! A sweet and salty sauce smothers delicious onion and mushroom ‘meatballs’ that everyone will absolutely love. My recipe was adapted slightly from msvegan.com.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • Scant 1/2 cup vegan white granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp chili garlic paste
  • ½ tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups finely chopped cremini or white mushrooms
  • 1 tsp sesame seed oil
  • 1/2 cup vegan breadcrumbs (I use panko)
  • 3 tbsp sauce just made
  • 1 14 oz tube of uncooked Gimme Lean Lightlife Sausage
  • 1 prepared Ener-G Egg Replacer (or 1 tbsp of ground flax mixed with 2 tbsp water)

Cooking Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, whisk ½ cup water through the liquid smoke over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and whisk in the cornstarch that’s been mixed with 1 tbsp of water in a small bowl. Simmer for 5 minutes over low heat.
  2. Dry-saute the onion, garlic, and mushrooms in a large skillet for about 8 minutes; until the onions are tender and the mushrooms have darkened and shrunk. Stir in the sesame seed oil and remove from heat.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F and spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with a nonstick cooking spray. In a medium mixing bowl, using your hands, combine the breadcrumbs, 3 tbsp of asian sauce, sausage, and vegan egg until well combined. Mix in the slightly cooled mushroom mixture.
  4. Form into 10 two inch meatballs an arrange in the baking dish. Drizzle half of the sauce over them and roll them in the sauce. Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Flip the meatballs and again drizzle half of the sauce over them and roll them in the sauce. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  6. Serve hot and with whatever you like; saving the sauce from the baking dish to use over rice or vegetables. We ate them with broccoli and brown rice, or serve as a side or appetizer!
Vegan Asian Meatballs - Produce On Parade - We used to make these all the time when I was a kid. I’m now thrilled to be able to eat them once again, but without harming animals! A sweet and salty sauce smothers delicious onion and mushroom ‘meatballs’ that everyone will absolutely love. My recipe was adapted slightly from msvegan.com.

Vegan Saag Tofu Paneer

This meal is a spiced, green powerhouse with filling plant-protein. Creamy vegan saag tofu paneer is sure to please even spinach haters (at least it did in my house). It’s quick and easy too; a terrific and unique weekday meal that’s hearty, comforting, and satisfying. Slightly adapted from Serious Eats.

Produce On Parade - Vegan Saag Tofu Paneer - This meal is a spiced, green powerhouse with filling plant-protein. Creamy vegan saag tofu paneer is sure to please even spinach haters (at least it did in my house). It’s quick and easy too; a terrific and unique weekday meal that’s hearty, comforting, and satisfying. Slightly adapted from Serious Eats.

Life with an infant is difficult. I know this is a **stunning revelation** to all of you who have raised children...*cough* sarcasm. Everything is a compromise and there are no survivors. In case you don't know what it's like, here's just a glimpse: Oliver is down for his patented 12 minute nap (oh sweet joy); do I shower or eat? Eat. As fast as I can. Meals are no longer savored but inhaled in manner that would shock any observer. What's this? Miraculously, his 12 minute nap has turned into a 20 minute nap. Do I shower or just sit and zone out for as long as I possibly can? Definitely zone out. This could mean reading a book, pursuing Facebook, checking Instagram, snuggling with the pups, or literally just zoning out. Zoning out it is. Alert the press! This is turning into a half hour nap!! Do I shower or try to clean up the house/do something productive. Clean the house. Or try, oh fresh hell... he's awake. 

Life with a newly minted teeny person is a constant battle of decisions. Mostly over whether to tackle personal hygiene or do any of the other basic, everyday life things that you took for granted, nay even put off, before having a child. My mornings, exhausted after waiting for Oliver to fall asleep hopefully by midnight and then waking up to nurse three plus times a night, are decisively rushed. Like a sleep-drunk wonder woman, I whirlwind around trying to tidy the house and clean up the kitchen (whoops, I must have zoned out for the remaining half an hour of the nap), and make things easier for Todd while he is home; preparing the bottles, arranging the cloth diapers, feeding the dogs, getting my lunch together, making a giant pot of coffee (why did we go with a pour-over?!), and putting together a quick breakfast for him. 

Motherhood is rarely glamorous or even joyful all the time. This is no time to be a Pollyanna, but unfortunately that is what many new mothers portray. Honestly, my hair is permanently frizzled, my clothes probably need a good washing, and my eyes speak the truth at how run-down I am trying to work out how to best be Mother, Wife, Employee, Friend, Myself. Sometimes my mood is quiet or frustrated or overwhelmed. The thirty pounds I'm still hefting around is getting really, really old, and pumping three times a day is (in the words of a fellow coworker) "annoying and a hassle". Who wouldn't be a little irritable? Prior to pregnancy, running five miles a day during my lunch break or doing an hour of yoga was just part of me. Now it's all I can do to drag my lumpy, tired body to do the grocery shopping or... seriously... half the time I just fall asleep on the tiny bench in one of our mammography dressing rooms that we don't use, shhhhh. It's probably the most pathetic thing you've ever seen. But I'm okay with that. I'm okay telling the whole world that this is a struggle. A struggle I've brought upon myself, I know, and a struggle that is pretty much the best thing ever. But it sucks. But it's the best.

I'm not complaining. I want to let you know that if you find yourself not as cheerful as people think you should be with new motherhood or 100% rainbows and giggles with your new life or perhaps you're just downright f-ing freaked that your hair is falling out at an alarming and worrying rate and the fact that you can no longer run one measly mile without walking (damn bedrest)... if you can relate to any of this at all; I tell you this... you are not alone. Hang in there. You're not alone and despite social media and every mother ever telling you that that little bundle of joy is the best thing to have ever happened to you (it really is though)... it's still okay to be anxious, tired, and not feel like yourself sometimes. And not even in a postpartum depression way either. You don't need a medical diagnosis to feel out of sorts (though if you suspect you might have PPD, please seek medical guidance). Also, you don't have to apologize for it or make excuses! It's okay to take your time to adjust. Don't let anyone make you feel as though you should rush it or pretend to be happier than you are.

A lot of my days are super happy. I'm incredibly lucky to have such a loving husband, terrific job, and in general a pretty wonderful life. My little fella is quite possibly the best thing that I've ever experienced, but I'd be lying to say sometimes I don't feel like myself or that I'm too exhausted to leave the bed. And that sleep-deprivation can be a real bitch. It can make me feel like a bad mom sometimes, but I'm here to tell you that (just like I tell Oliver), everything's okay. Mommas, we'll get through to the other side. If you need a little help, ask for it! I confess I am TERRIBLE at doing this, but hopefully you can inspire me. 

Also... you guys... horror of all horrors, I'm twelve books behind schedule for my yearly reading quota. #realproblems #moresarcasm #whoamI

I have a lot of momma-to-be friends out there; I hope you found this both terrifying and helpful, but mostly helpful.. and somewhat comforting... but truly scary. The hair thing is for real. I'll be partially bald soon. Below is a recipe I included in this post, mostly so I could find a way to vent. It's really delicous. 

Vegan Saag Tofu Paneer

Recipe by Kathleen @ Produce On Parade

This meal is a spiced, green powerhouse with filling plant-protein. Creamy vegan saag tofu paneer is sure to please even spinach haters (at least it did in my house). It’s quick and easy too; a terrific and unique weekday meal that’s hearty, comforting, and satisfying. Slightly adapted from Serious Eats.

Ingredients

  • 12 oz firm or extra-firm tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 1 tbsp miso paste (I like red)
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (2 lemons), divided
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • Dash of kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • ⅔ cup vegan milk
  • ½ head of small cauliflower, florets chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1-inch knob of ginger, minced
  • Dash of crushed red pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ⅛ tsp ground cardamom
  • 4 oz fresh swiss chard, destemmed and chopped
  • 8 oz fresh spinach
  • 1 heaping cup frozen corn

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. In a large bowl whisk together the miso, half the lemon juice, and 1 tbsp oil. Add the cubed tofu and toss to coat, sprinkling with salt and pepper. Bake in a single layer on the sheet for about 25 minutes until golden brown. Set aside.
  2. While the tofu cooks, combine the milk and cauliflower in large rimmed frying pan; bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender; transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In the now empty frying pan, heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil over medium-low. Saute the garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper, and remaining spices in the pan for about 5 minutes until fragrant. Stir in the chard, spinach, and corn; cook for about 5 minutes until the chard is wilted.
  4. Stir in the blended cauliflower to combine, then toss in the baked tofu; add additional milk to obtain desired consistency and cook over medium for about 5 minutes.
  5. Serve hot, over rice or with vegan naan.
Produce On Parade - Vegan Saag Tofu Paneer - This meal is a spiced, green powerhouse with filling plant-protein. Creamy vegan saag tofu paneer is sure to please even spinach haters (at least it did in my house). It’s quick and easy too; a terrific and unique weekday meal that’s hearty, comforting, and satisfying. Slightly adapted from Serious Eats.

Curried Noodles

Chewy rice noodles coated in a zesty curry sauce paired with savory minced broccoli and mushrooms, with a little spicy Thai kick!

Produce On Parade - Curried Noodles - Chewy rice noodles coated in a zesty curry sauce paired with savory minced broccoli and mushrooms, with a little spicy Thai kick!

The days grow longer up here in The Last Frontier and I relish in the evening light. Somedays, if it's sunny out, I don't even have to use the artificial lamp! Now that, is a wonderful thing. Natural light is so easy. It's moody and authentic and it's beauty always surprises me. It permisses my creative spirit to shine. Moods lift and souls sing. Is there nothing a little ray sunshine can't do?

However, with summer on my heels, like a glass of spilled milk...worry slowly slinks and seeps into every nook of my brain, pooling heavily in each chamber of my heart. It creeps along until it's completely encompassing and before I knew what hit me I'm utterly freaking out about summer's imminent arrival.

Produce On Parade - Curried Noodles - Chewy rice noodles coated in a zesty curry sauce paired with savory minced broccoli and mushrooms, with a little spicy Thai kick!

I'm usually not so candid...but it's been a stressful and overwhelming time over here. Not in a bad way though. In a very good way, in fact. Terribly delicious and happy things have been in the works for Todd and I, and they all culminate this summer. A dream home on a dream piece of property, for one. We are just beginning to clear the land now! And something else...more secretive.  Life changing, both of these things. Both pressing on me to rush, rush, rush, but my decisions and efforts must be top notch, but still, please... the deadlines, get ahead while I can and make it easier on my future self! I don't do well under pressure. I can't. I need time to digest things and research the best way to do this and the most rational method for that. It's a nuisance at best and incredibly taxing at worst, but it's a part of me that I wouldn't wish away. 

So, crushed under the weight of all these menacing and bullying whispers, what do I decide to do? Take a vacation. Yep, it's probably the worst timing I could have chosen but I'm telling that little voice inside my head that panics, "Katie! What are you doing? You don't have time for this! You can't go to Kauai! This is a mistake. Oh dear, you'll regret this later. I told you so." to talk to the hand. I'm only able to justify this trip as quasi-necessary because I'm going for a radiology conference (work is paying for a portion of the trip)...and well, my sanity is at stake.

Produce On Parade - Curried Noodles - Chewy rice noodles coated in a zesty curry sauce paired with savory minced broccoli and mushrooms, with a little spicy Thai kick!

For now, I'll leave the dramatics at the door and lend you this recipe for my curried noodles. A soul soothing dish for even the most frazzled of stressed-out worrywarts.  When in doubt, eat your feelings. Oh wait, no...don't do that...

May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.
— Nelson Mandela
Produce On Parade - Curried Noodles - Chewy rice noodles coated in a zesty curry sauce paired with savory minced broccoli and mushrooms, with a little spicy Thai kick!

Curried Noodles

Chewy rice noodles coated in a zesty curry sauce paired with savory minced broccoli and mushrooms, with a little spicy Thai kick! Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz pad thai rice noodle sticks, dry
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, rough chopped
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large head of broccoli, florets only
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp vegan sugar
  • ½ tbsp lime zest
  • ½ tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 lime, juiced (2 tbsp)
  • ½ lemon, juiced (2 tbsp)
  • 4 green onions, cut on the diagonal
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Cooking Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the noodles. Once boiling, remove from heat and add the noodles. Allow to soak for about 20-30 minutes, until tender. Once ready, drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. Heat the coconut oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium. Add the onion to a food processor and process until finely chopped. Transfer to the skillet and sauté for about 10 minutes, until soft. Add the crushed red pepper and garlic. Sauté about 5 more minutes.
  3. Now, add the curry powder through and including the tomato paste. Stir well to incorporate. Add the sliced mushrooms to the skillet and sauté until browned and shrunken, about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Pulse the broccoli in the food processor until finely chopped and transfer it to the skillet. Stir well. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture, and stir to combine. Add the broth and soy sauce. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce to a simmer. Stir occasionally while cooking for about 15 minutes, until the broccoli is tender.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the citrus zest and juices. Add the tender noodles to the skillet and stir well to combine. Top with the green onions and cilantro.
  6. Serve hot.
Produce On Parade - Curried Noodles - Chewy rice noodles coated in a zesty curry sauce paired with savory minced broccoli and mushrooms, with a little spicy Thai kick!

So we are going to Kauai in a few days! Any tips and/or food suggestions, beach recommendations, etc.?

Produce On Parade - Curried Noodles - Chewy rice noodles coated in a zesty curry sauce paired with savory minced broccoli and mushrooms, with a little spicy Thai kick!

Dutch Word of The Day

Farming --> landbouw (land-bow*) *like as in "take a bow"

Information for The Day

"You don’t have to be a vegan to be repulsed by an account in The Times revealing the moral depths to which the federal government — working as a handmaiden to industrial agriculture — has sunk in pursuit of cheaper meat and fatter corporate profits." Our government hard at work. Vote with your fork and be informed. A quick article from the New York Times, "Farming Science, Without the Conscience."