Eggplant & Mushroom "Meat"ball
Finally, a meatless recipe to be excited about! Whether you’re committing to just a “Meatless Monday'' once a week or you go meatless everyday of the week, this recipe is sure to be a hit! This one’s also great for anyone who’s looking to enjoy eggplant prepared as something other than “eggplant parmesan” or “roasted eggplant”. The last group this one is really going to speak to are our mushroom lovers! Seven full ounces of delicious bella mushrooms make any mushroom lover’s palate sing. While this one does take a little more TLC than your typical “30 minute meal” the end result is so worth it (and leftovers keep for a handful of days in the fridge afterwards)!
What we love about this recipe (and are especially excited about for you vegetarians) is it’s not a pre-processed frozen patty or bag of meatless meatballs. This one is made with all fresh ingredients! While there’s no denying that this recipe does not make a traditional meatball (you’re not going to be fooling anyone into thinking they’re eating real beef), it still delivers a rich and savory umami flavor thanks to the mushrooms! The other vegetable we utilize in this recipe is eggplant. Eggplant isn’t a vegetable that you find in every kitchen all of the time. It’s purple color can be a little unusual for some and it’s not the easiest vegetable to work with, but the vitamin & mineral content of eggplants is quite extensive. They're a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, thiamine, niacin, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, fiber, folic acid, potassium, and more!
You’ll notice that this recipe uses almond flour. In addition to adding another element of flavor, it is also acting as a binder in conjunction with the bread crumbs. For MRC Clients this is your healthy fat serving. Almond flour, unlike traditional All Purpose flour or wheat flours, is simply made up of ground almonds; and a 100 calorie serving is equal to 1 TBSP + 1 tsp. almond flour. For this reason, this ingredient cannot be swapped for regular all-purpose flour. So, if you’ve already had a healthy fat serving for the day or don’t want to use it in this recipe, you could omit the almond flour altogether. Keep in mind, though, that your final product may not be as firm of a meatball (but will still be delicious in the sauce).
This recipe makes two servings. Yes, you read that right! So, if you make 12 meatballs with this one, then you get to enjoy 6 of them! This recipe, with the sauce, also makes a complete MRC meal. So, say hello to an easy one-plate cleanup afterwards! Any leftovers can be easily stored in the fridge for up to four days in an airtight container.
- 7 oz. Eggplant, peeled and diced
- 7 oz. Mushrooms, diced
- 1/2 TBSP dried thyme
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. Sea salt
- 2 TBSP + 2 tsp. Almond flour or ground almond meal
- 100 cal. Plain Planko bread crumbs (will be ~1/2 C. depending on the brand)
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 2-3 oz.* parmesan, grated
- 1-1.5 oz.* mozzarella cheese or 1-1.5 mozzarella cheese stick(s)*, grated
- 1 TBSP Pomi or MRC Pasta Sauce
- 1/2 TBSP sugar-free Worcestershire sauce or liquid aminos
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 TBSP minced cilantro or 1/2 TBSP dried cilantro/culantro
- 1/2 TBSP dried basil
- 1/2 TBSP dried oregano
- 1/4 C. Pomi or MRC Pasta Sauce
*Active MRC Clients: refer to your menu for the correct protein serving size. You’re looking for one full serving of Parmesan cheese and 1/2 serving of Mozzarella cheese.
- First, the veggies need to be roasted. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray generously with cooking spray. Spread the diced eggplant and mushroom over the baking sheet.
- Spray the tops of the veggies with more cooking spray, and sprinkle salt, pepper, and thyme over the veggies. Give a good mix on the baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, and set aside to cool.
- While veggies are cooking and cooling, prep the remaining ingredients.
- Add the slightly cooled veggies to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they are minced and resemble ground meat. Note: if you don’t have a food processor, you can use a potato masher instead (just keep in mind that your mixture will be a little chunkier this way).
- In a medium bowl combine the minced veggies with the almond meal, egg, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, 1 TBSP Pomi or Pasta Sauce, liquid aminos, garlic, cilantro, basil, and oregano.
- Once the mixture has come together, cover it and chill in the fridge for 15-30 minutes.
- While the mixture is chilling, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Use an ice cream scoop, spoon, or your hands to form equally sized balls and place them on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes until they are nice and browned. Note: larger meatballs may need a little longer cooking time while smaller meatballs will cook faster.
- Toss with ¼ C. warmed Pomi or MRC Pasta Sauce and serve warm!
Makes 2 Servings | Serving Size: ½ recipe | One Serving Replaces: 1 vegetable, 1 protein, 1 carbohydrate, 1 healthy fat