Tag Archive for vegan comfort food

Sweet & Sour Meatballs {Vegan}

When I was growing up, my mom made this dish. It’s one of those dishes that has all the comfort food vibes: Sweet & Sour Meatballs.

For a variety of reasons, I haven’t eaten this dish in many, many years. One is, my mom is gone. Another is, I haven’t eaten meat in about 6 or 7 years!

But even though this is a meat dish, it’s one I still sometimes get a craving for. It’s just so warm and comforting and it’s perfect for these cold, dark winter days.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs Vegan

The dish is basically meatballs which you fry up so they have a nice little bit of texture and crispness on the outside. Then you made a sauce–a sweet and sour sauce that includes sugar and vinegar together. Finally, you add in a few extras: I like sweet peppers and also pineapple. There’s something about the sweet-savoury balance that I really love. Finally, you serve the whole thing over a big bowl of rice and go to town!

When I used to eat meat, I’d made these with ground turkey, though I remember my mom making them with beef.

This was one of the recipes I found in my mom’s recipe box, and I thought I’d just swap out some vegan meatballs for the meat and see how it worked. It worked pretty great!

There certainly are lots of vegan meatball options out there on the market, and you could totally make your own, but I’ve been playing with some Modern Meat products I was gifted with recently, so I used those.

The product comes frozen, so I didn’t bother to cook them before they went into the sauce. I made all the components in my dutch oven, then threw in the frozen package of meatballs and fired the whole thing in the oven for half an hour, and it worked great!

If you’re using not frozen meatballs, I would take the extra step of frying them in a little oil before baking.

Vegan Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Sweet & Sour Meatballs {Vegan}

Ingredients:

  • 1 package pre-made vegan meatballs of your choice (I used Modern Meat)
  • 1 tin of pineapple chunks
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 small-medium onion, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup light-coloured jam (plum, apricot)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. On the stovetop, in a dutch oven, heat a tablespoon or two of oil over medium-high heat, and add the onions. Stir well and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, until softened and beginning to brown on the edges. Add the red pepper and cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large mason jar, add the juice from the pineapple, the ginger, garlic, jam, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, water and cornstarch. Screw on the lid and shake well till combined.
  4. Add the sauce to the pan and increase the heat to bring up to a boil until it thickens. Finally, add in the pineapple chunks and the vegan meatballs. Stir well.
  5. Put the top on the dutch oven and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve over rice.

Pasta e Fagioli {Vegan}

Ugh. This is the only word I can think of right now to describe the weather. November in Western Canada–it’s dark at 5pm, it’s raining all the time, and it feels like we haven’t seen the sun in ages.

Michael came down with a cold this week, and I’m ingesting vitamins by the handful in an attempt to stave it off.

This situation calls for comfort food, stat!

egan white pasta e fagioli

For me, that means carbs. And something saucy.

Pasta e Fagioli is just simply pasta with beans. Most traditional versions of this recipe involve a red, or tomato sauce, and it’s more of a soup-like consistency.

I wanted to make something a little different. I wanted to use the beans to coat the pasta in a kind of creamy sauce. I wanted it to be more like a vegan alfredo, less like a soup. But the problem with the recipe was that when it was done, it looked frightfully beige–the beans and pasta made for a monocromatic dish–so I added some greens for extra nutrition and a punch of colour.

This dish comes together in just a few minutes, so it makes a great weeknight supper, when served with a salad and maybe some bread on the side. Pasta e fagioli vegan

Pasta e Fagioli {Vegan}

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 box of short, round pasta, like rotini or penne (around 150 g, uncooked)
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can cannelini beans
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary or 2 tsp dried
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 cup greens: kale, spinach, arugula
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onion, season, and allow to sweat out for about 5-10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and rosemary, stir well, and allow to cook for 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with lemon juice white wine.
  2. Add half of the beans (drained–save the aquafaba!) to the pot along with about 1 cup of vegetable stock and allow them to cook down a little, just about 5 minutes. Scrape into a blender and puree. Set aside.
  3. In the same pot, heat 4 cups of vegetable stock to a boil and salt generously. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Return the pureed beans (sauce) to the pot, along with the rest of the cannelini beans and the nutritional yeast. Stir well. Taste for seasoning. Allow to cook down until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency (leave it looser if you like a soupier pasta, cook it longer if you like a thicker sauce). If the sauce gets too thick, add additional vegetable stock.
  4. Once your pasta is how you like it, add the greens and stir well. Cook for one minute, just to wilt slightly. Finish the dish with 2 tbsp of vegan butter. Stir in and allow to melt to give the finished dish a glossy appearance.
  5. Serve with lashings of parmesan cheese (vegan), a drizzle of olive oil, and if you’re feeling fancy, a bit of truffle salt or truffle oil.
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