Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Sweet & Sour Meatless Meatballs

Vegan M.D. Dr. Michael Greger recommended Nate's Meatless Meatballs in the Maximum Nutrition DVD that our local veg group showed this month. I decided to give them a try. I made them into some good ol' Grape Jelly Meatballs (so easy -- cook one package of meatballs while warming up 1/3 cup grape jelly and 1/3 cup chili sauce in a saucepan, stirring until the jelly melts; add the cooked meatballs and voila!). I packed them with half a wheat bun, split so Little shmoo could make a hot meatball sub if he wished; green & yellow wax beans & carrots; an organic orange; and four chocolate covered nuts for a treat.
Verdict: Oh my. Those meatballs are good. They are really good. I think you could serve these to even the most hardened carnivore and they would be none the wiser. Little shmoo was thrilled to hear that there were more waiting for him when he got home. 5 stars.

36 comments:

lonna said...

My husband thought that I was crazy when I told him years ago about the grape jelly/chili sauce mixture. We used grape jelly and ketchup at my house, but it's similar. My toddler likes Nate's meatballs too. They're good on a roll with some Vegan Gourmet cheese. Yum.

Michelle said...

Jennifer,

Please help with the meatballs. Do you cover them in this sauce and bake? I may be a bit slow on the uptake, but have just ventured into the vegan world.

Thanks for your clarification.

Michelle

Michelle said...

Sorry!

I re-read the blog and lo and behold - I'm just blind!

What kind of chili sauce?

Thanks,
Michelle

Anonymous said...

i just found your blog and may i just say that i want you to be my mom!
or at the very least, i want to eat at your house every day.
worst comes to worst, how about opening a restaurant in portland called the vegan lunchbox? (oh, and if it could be next door to where i work, that woul rock) :)

keep up the good work!

Jennifershmoo said...

Hi, Ionna! Yeah, isn't that a trippy combination? But sooo good.

Hi, Michelle -- I used Heinz chili sauce. And you can either bake the meatballs or cook them on the stove, according to package directions. I baked them.

As an after-school snack update, Little shmoo saw a container of leftover cooked peas, corn, carrots, and green beans in the fridge and decided he'd rather have that and another orange as a snack. How cool is that??

Deb said...

oh, man, I love Nate's meatballs. I'm sorry, but that grape jelly combo sounds NASTY. Somebody brought real meatballs cooked in it to our last homeschooling potluck party, but I just couldn't wrap my mind around it. I just don't know.

Paula said...

I love those meatballs! I just made them last week, using Trader Joe's meatless meatballs. You can either bake the meatballs first and then add them to the sauce, or you can just let them simmer in the sauce until fully cooked.

Nicole said...

I notice that you don't pack his containers with food, the portion sizes seem vary balanced. Do you have any tips regarding that? For instance, I might have filled my sons container with wax beans were are you only cover the bottom. Awww, this portion process for my kiddo can be hard to grasp. Anyways, thanks for the fabulous ideas!

Jennifershmoo said...

Hi, Nicole! Yes, serving portions for kids can be tricky. Sometimes if you pack too much it can overwhelm them and they're less likely to eat anything. On the other hand, you don't want your kids finishing it all and still feeling hungry, either.

It depends a lot on the child's size and appetite; Little shmoo is the second biggest kid in his class and seems to have a big appetite right now, but half this much food might be enough for a smaller child of the same age. I eyeball things and try to imagine how much Little shmoo would eat if I were putting this on a plate at home.

You might also try reading "serving size" on nutritional labels; they are often smaller than we might expect and can provide a rough guideline.

Benny said...

Your blog is so good it's ridiculous. My mouth waters each time I see the photos.

My great-grandfather uses mustard and grape jelly on his meatballs. Until he told me what they were (back when I still ate meatballs, that is), I luuuurved them. Now it freaks me out that he mixes mustard and grape jelly, but for almost twenty years, they were heaven.

Thanks for the blog! Your kid is so very lucky!

xo,

Brooklyn

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I dunno about grape jelly meatballs either. Of course, I'm not big on sweet & sour stuff. Speaking of meatless meatballs, Whole Foods makes a mean and tasty vegan meatball - sooo good! I've never tried Nate's meatless meatballs so I was wondering if anyone has tried both, and if so, which do you prefer?

Anonymous said...

vegan meatballs! my mom used to make them when i was younger [they were my favorite] and i haven't found a good substitute for them since going veggie. i'll definately be checking into nate's asap. thanks for the recommendation!

McAuliflower said...

I feel silly... I haven't a clue what Heinz's Chili sauce is!

I'm not interested in giving Heinz my food money, so would like to make it from scratch. Is it basically like unsweetened cocktail sauce? or like tabasco?

I agree about the restaurant idea. I think a take out deli might be more precise! With kids and adult 'lunch boxes'. You could even offer a subscription special and be open for parents to swing by on their way to dropping their kids off to school! Ooo you could offer after school snacks too !

pickamuffin said...

michael greger! i met him! he came and did a speech at my school back when i was co-president of the vegan/vegetarian association!

anyway, that's cool. i just wanted to say that, since i usually don't comment, but i was excited to see his name on there and felt cool for meeting him and talking to him and stuff.

SDGvegan said...

oh we love those meatballs. I haven't seen them around here much. The co-op on the other side of town probably has them, but it's ...on the other side of town. I have seen that sauce mixture, I think everyone that grew up in North Dakota has seen that, it's a staple of cooking. That and the cola/ketchup bbq sauce.

April Haymore said...

Okay, this is off the subject but those grape meatballs reminded me! I have purchased all the ingredients for the twinkie recipe, but can't find the barley malt powder anywhere! Can I replace it with another ingredient?

.letting go said...

I make a mean chili sauce from scratch... think less like tabasco and more like a sweet version of a home-canned salsa. And yes, it tastes pretty great with grape jelly on 'meatballs'.

Check post-punk and allrecipes. Maybe they have a good chili sauce recipe.

Anonymous said...

Hi-I don't know about how to make your own chili sauce (although I'm sure you can), but I've always loved sweet and sour meatballs. A couple of days ago I didn't have grape jelly or chili sauce, so I used bing cherry simply fruit and some thai chili sauce I had! Results: the cherry simply fruit worked just as well, but man, those "meat"balls were SPICY! I use Nate's too, and LOVE them. They are TOO good.

Anonymous said...

We have always loved these meatless meatballs! They are so tasty.

Angela said...

My mom always mixed currant jelly and mustard (equal parts, I think) to put over smoked cocktail hot dogs. I've been waiting for someone to come out with a vegan version of those, but maybe I should try the combo on meatballs instead. Thanks for the idea!

Incidentally, I've been following your blog for a couple of months now and I wanted to say how great it is that you're making vegetarianism so fun and appealing for your son (and probably leaving 20 jealous classmates in his wake).

My husband and I are graduate students and we too have laptop lunch boxes, although for us the challenge is sometimes making a filling and nutritious lunch fit in the containers! I just ordered the soup thermos to help on that front. Thank you for so much great inspiration in filling it! Discovering what my husband has packed in my lunch is the highlight of my class day.

Harmonia said...

About 3 months ago I blogged about Nate's Meatballs. They're great! As far as I know they have 3 different kinds and they are all good!

:)

Anonymous said...

Hello,
First of all, congrats on well deserved recognition! My 20 month old and I are veg's in a very carnivorous town. My husband and 14 yr old son eat meat. Reading your blog gives me much needed support and great ideas! Could you please tell me if there is anywhere online that I could order Nate's Meatballs? The closest place that carries them is 2 hours away! Thanks so much and keep doing what your doing. It is very comforting to know that we are not alone in the world!

Carla said...

My mom's meatball sauce recipe is chili sauce and cranberry jelly. Yummers!

Anonymous said...

that recipe sounds great..i even clicked on the nates meatless meatballs link and found they carry them at wild oats and a chain called mrs. greens rite in my town..ill definitely forward this recipe for my mom to make..another great lunchbox!
-AP Environmental girl

Jennifershmoo said...

Re. ordering Nate's online, I don't think it's possible as they are frozen. But it looks like you can find the source nearest you by going to their website.

Anonymous said...

mmmm....those meatballs are delicious. nate's chicken-style nuggets (i just love to say that) are also excellent! thanks once again for another great idea to pack in my laptop lunchbox! :)

Anonymous said...

When you say Chili sauce, do you mean something like rooster sauce (sriracha)?

Jennifershmoo said...

Hmm, chili sauce is like...ketchup with a kick! It's not like barbecue sauce, not smoky, but spicy and sweet. Most grocery stores have a store brand version.

JennyLouWho said...

I made the meatballs and sauce last night. Delicious! I think people might be thinking it tastes grapey, but it doesn't. It tastes slightly sweet and spicey, similiar to swedish meatballs (although I've never made them and haven't eaten them in over 18 years...but, from what I remember...) I used "Tree of Life" Organic Grape Fruit Spread. Thank you Jennifershmoo, I never would have thought to make a sauce like that. My husband is a former chef and he loved it!

Nate (no relation to the meatball) said...

Nate's meatballs are pretty good, but Trader Joe's meatless meatballs are even better. They are cheaper and you get more of them in a package. Lamentably, all the TJ's in our city have been out of them since December! I served them in a BBQ sauce at a party, and the omnis were wolfing them down like it was their last supper. One friend was a bit mad when I told him the "meat"balls contained no dead cow carcass, and vowed he would hide steak in my salad the next time I ate at his house. Yeah . . . I am sure that would work.

Jennifershmoo said...

Yay! Thanks, jenny! I'm so glad you tried and liked them!

Hi, nate -- Thanks for the recommendation. I'll have to try those next time I'm near a Trader Joe's (which only happens once or twice a year when we're on vacation, sigh). Oh no, more Trader Joe's Envy!

Miranda Hvinden said...

I make these vegan meat-less balls, and they are fantastic. Glad to hear someone else likes them, too!

Shannon said...

In addition to your Fluffy White Cupcakes, I made the Grape Jelly Meatballs for a kid's birthday party (the meatballs were really for the adults), and they were a huge hit. The meat-eaters didn't have a clue they were vegetarian!

The Reluctant Vegan said...

Nate's meatballs give me a terrible tummyache, and I don't know why. But that's not what I wanted to say. I just wanted to tell you that I've spent most of my workday reading every word of your blog, and I'm enchanted. I don't even have kids! My blog wants to be your blog when it grows up.

red said...

thank you



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