Thursday, 28 July 2011

Pasta with meatballs

You might don't know that, but spaghetti with meatballs are rare in Italy. They were "created" by Italian immigrants in the US in the early 20th century. In Brazil they are popular too, maybe not that much as they are in the US, but still. But being married with an Italian made me think that eating spaghetti with meatballs is weird so I stayed more than 6 years avoiding trying the vegan version of this dish. But last time we went to Italy, my sister-in-law cooked spaghetti with meatballs so I felt free to try (you know, it was kind of an authentic Italian "bless"!).

A few weeks ago, in the middle of the craziness I was going through to write my thesis, I found time to cook vegan meatballs. I wanted to make them using texturized vegetable protein (TVP) and couldn't find any recipe in my cookbooks (found some great ones with lentils). So I decided to do at my own, remembering what I've used before as ingredients to make TVP burgers.
We didn't have spaghetti at home that day so we ate the meatballs with other pasta, but it was good the same!

TVP meatballs recipe

2 cup small TVP
1 vegetable stock cube
1 shopped onion
1 glove
1 cup white flour
extra flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil
salt and pepper (as you like it)
nutritional yeast

Dissolve the stock cube in hot water and put the TVP to hydrogenate (it's is important to do this with hot water). I've learned that dissolving the stock cube in the water and using it to hydrogenate the TVP gives it more flavour. Let it hydrogenate for at least 20 minutes. Dry it and put the TVP in a bawl. Mix the onion and glove with TVP. Add the oil and salt and pepper. Start adding the flour in small amounts and mix everything using your hands. Keep adding flour and mixing until you have a good texture to make the balls with your hands. Instead of covering the meatballs with bread crumbs before frying them I used nutritional yeast and it worked pretty well. Fry in a hot non-stick pan and fry it for 3 or 4 minutes (you shouldn't need more oil to do that). Take the meatballs to the oven for an additional 10 minutes to ensure they're thoroughly cooked. Add the meatballs to your favourite tomato sauce recipe (I just used a ready to go one this time) and serve with pasta (spaghetti would be the right one!)

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Cheesy vegan omelette - Pic by pic

I finally sent the first version of my thesis to my supervisor. Now I'm having a two days break until he gets back to me with suggestions and comments. Have to say it again: can't wait to be done with this.

Besides writing, I'm just cooking our daily meals. Nothing special but some good bits. Yesterday I've made a "cheesy" omelette, which was also soy free. We've bought the soy free Cheezly (cheddar style) from Redwood and I've decided to try it on the vegan omelette. It was a really good cheese alternative and for those who lives in Ireland or in the UK Redwood is a great option.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Food is always around

Lunch time at Juice Vegetarian Restaurant

I thought I'd have more time to blog when I was back from Brazil but it didn't happen. I'm so busy with my thesis that it's being hard to find time (and strength) to do more than reading, writing and cooking regular meals for our daily lunch time in the house. So there's still not too much happening in my kitchen for now although I'm always thinking about food cause this is the subject of my dissertation as I've said here before. A few weeks ago I've made pasta with meatball and still have to write about it here cause it was delicious but not today.

I just stopped here on this lovely Sunday to post some pictures. My French friend-sister Aurelia is visiting us for the last time before she leaves to Canada and I'm enjoying every second close to her. Her b-day was in May and the only thing she asked me was a vegan carrot cake or carrot cupcakes and that's what she got:

Vegan carrot cupcake with chocolate frosting

And today she's making us breakfast. A proper French one with toasts and crepes. We already had the French toasts and now we're giving the stomach some time to prepare for the crepes!

Vegan French toast a la mode

Hope everybody is having an amazing Sunday.


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