I can’t believe it’s not meat!

Beanballs and Broccolini

The other day I found myself discussing the likes of textured soy and other various mimics of meat. I certainly don’t pretend I am a vegetarian but I will say, that there are some amazing vegan restaurants in NYC and I’m willing to try just about anything. Just don’t pretend you’ve created a substitute. The flavor and texture of meat is something I have never seen completely replicated and nor do I think it should be. These textured soy products work great for meat-like applications but if its meat you want, then it’s meat you must eat.

Last night I decided to mess around with the idea of meatless “meatballs”. I had a sandwich made of soy meatballs not too long ago at Sacred Chow on Sullivan St between Bleeker and W 3rd. It wasn’t bad. The texture was a bit mushy although they did a decent job of representing a meatball. The flavor was nice at first but after about half the sandwich it became increasingly clear I was eating soy.  Would have I enjoyed the sandwich better if it had been called “soyball sandwich”? Rather than comparing it to the meatball, maybe this sandwich should have been it’s own thing. I wanted to take a stab at my own. Rather than messing around with soy products I decided to go a different route. Incorporating both black beans and cannelini beans I was able to get the color just about right while giving a really nice hearty flavor. Mixing in a little bit of quinoa, whisked eggs, and breadcrumbs I truly surprised myself. These “beanballs” had a much better taste and texture than those “soyballs” and honestly I could easily see making these again. Paired with orange lentils and roasted broccolini, this dish was extremely fulfilling.

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3 Responses to I can’t believe it’s not meat!

  1. smg says:

    If I was invited over this night, I would have complained when I heard you were making me meatless meatballs, but then I think I would have been really happy once I ate this. I would not have siad “I can’t believe its not meat!”. I would have said “where’s the beef, beanball?”
    I have a really good idea for your blog. I think you should post pictures of blitz.

  2. […] bell pepper, fresh corn, and garbanzo beans. Rather than using rice, I decided to go with quinoa, a trick I’ve used before. The texture is much better; dare I say meat like. The addition of ginger and a bit of soy sauce […]

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