I've been eating less and less meat around here, not for any particular reason other than that's really just how it's worked out, oddly enough. I've been telling my family for years now that I could be a vegetarian at the drop of a hat and with little to no cravings creeping up.
Vegetables are my best friends, however, I have a well known love-hate relationship with one of my friends; eggplant. I happened to get an eggplant in my local produce box this last week, and I didn't want to do the same things that I've done with it before.
I find that I sort of have to disguise and hide eggplant from myself otherwise I tend to have a hard time with eating it and I'm not entirely sure why.
These eggplant 'meatballs' have a pretty similar texture to that of any regular meat-meatball. The only difference was that these 'meatballs' had a slightly sweeter taste that comes in naturally with eggplant. All in all, if you were to eat these without knowing that they were vegetarian, you probably wouldn't be able to guess it.
While I decided to use a jarred organic spaghetti sauce for ease of a busy work day, feel free to use the same amount of any Spaghetti Sauce of your choosing to cook these 'meatballs' up in.
I served my eggplant 'meatballs' over some par-cooked spiraled zucchini squash noodles and topped with a dollop of fat free ricotta cheese, because why? Life is just better with more cheese in it.
These eggplant 'meatballs' would be good used in just about any other situation that other meatballs are used such as sandwiches, spaghetti, appetizers, etc. I gotta say though, they were pretty fabulous over my 'z-oodles' too!
If you're not a fan of eggplant, the same as me - then this is a great starter recipe to try and change your mind on the matter.
Servings: 5 • Size: About 4 'Meatballs' • Calories: 170.5 • Fat: 2.6 g • Carb: 31.1 g • Fiber: 7.7 g • Protein: 7.7 g • Sugar: 9.5 g • Sodium: 758.8 mg
1 Tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3/4 Lb. Eggplant, Cubed
1 Garlic Clove
10 Fresh Basil Leaves
Salt & Pepper to Taste
3/4 C. Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs
1 Large Egg White
2 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan
1 Tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 1/2 Tsp. Dry Parsley
1 (26 Oz.) Jar Spaghetti Sauce
Add the oil to a skillet along with the eggplant and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the eggplant is tender.
Place the cooked eggplant, garlic and fresh basil into a food processor and pulse to get a chunky and creamy sort of textured puree.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Combine the puree into a large bowl with the bread crumbs, egg white, parmesan, seasoning, and parsley; stir well to combine.
Scoop about 1 1/2 -2 tbsp. of the mixture out at a time and roll to for your 'meatballs'.
I used my small cookie scoop.
Place the sauce into a large skillet and carefully drop in your 'meatballs'.
Cook over a medium-high heat to bring the sauce to a bubbly, then reduce heat to simmer for about 10 minutes; stirring occasionally to keep the sauce from burning at the bottom or sides.
Serve right away and enjoy!