Last night was my first vegan New Year’s Eve party. We had our church over to our house for a Wednesday night service and then a ringing in of the new year. Of course, there were the no-brainers: hummus, baba gahnoush, veggie tray. Then there were the other things that weren’t no-brainers, but simple anyway. Really, cooking isn’t rocket science. If you have taste buds, you should be able to cook. Vegan cooking does take a little bit of cooking trickery, like creating creaminess without adding dairy or processed oils, or creating the mouth feel that meat has. But it’s still not rocket science. I did quite a bit of party food last night, so I’ll probably be posting those recipes through the week. My first in the series are my tempeh meatballs (which my family tirelessly teased me about: there’s no meat, so why do you call them meatballs? To which I reminded them that nuts have ‘meat’ as well.) We all decided it didn’t sound very appetizing to just call them tempeh balls. hmmmm…. Anyway, I digress. These were simple to make and I was able to make them the night before and have them easy to reheat the night of the party. I kept the sauce and meatballs separate until I heated them up for the party just in case the sauce would degrade them, but they are all intact this afternoon so it didn’t seem to have any effect on them. The sauce is a typical sweet and sour sauce. It’s very high in sugar and if you’re trying to avoid processed sugar, you could experiment with some agave syrup, but that’s pretty processed as well. But, this is party food and not something you eat every night, so you could just overlook the sugar and throw caution to the wind. And, if you wanted to have them for a weeknight meal over some quinoa or brown rice, you could use my stir fry sauce recipe in lieu of the sweet and sour sauce. Here’s the recipe. I hope you like it. Oh, and Happy New Year!
1 Small Onion, peeled and chopped
3 Cloves Garlic
1, 8 oz. Pkg. Tempeh
½ Cup Whole Oats
2 Tbsp. Almond Milk
1 Tbsp. Cashew Butter
1 Tbsp. Liquid Aminos
Preheat oven to 400◦. Grease a cookie sheet.
Sauté onion a garlic with a bit of vegetable stock in a small frying pan. In a food processor, combine remaining ingredients, plus the sautéed onion and garlic, and process until smooth. Scoop onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes until browned. Makes 20 meatballs.
For sweet and sour sauce: combine ½ cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder, ⅓ cup rice vinegar, ⅓ cup organic ketchup, 2 tablespoons liquid aminos, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, 2/3 cup of pineapple juice in a small saucepan. Whisk together and bring to a boil until thickened.