July 7, 2010 | 18 Comments »
I’ve never had a Swedish meatball until I went vegan. The Swedish meatballs from Veggie Heaven in Teaneck, New Jersey are absolutely amazing. I used to order them at least once a month. I always wanted to try something new, but the Swedish meatballs were too good to pass up. I haven’t thought much about them until recently. I’ve been craving them for weeks now. I knew the only way I’d get to satisfy that craving is if I tried making them myself. And so tonight I did just that. Man oh man was it a task.
First I tried searching for a vegan Swedish meatball recipe. A few recipes turned up, but none of them seemed to be what I was looking for. I wanted to recreate that exact same meatball. I needed mine to taste just like Veggie Heaven’s. After all, that’s what I was craving. While I don’t remember much about the gravy, I do remember there being cilantro in the meatballs. Or at least I think they’re made with cilantro. It’s been too long. Anyway, I didn’t have any cilantro on hand. I was close to saving this for another day, but I couldn’t hold off any longer. I went ahead and made them without the cilantro.
I decided to use Alton Brown’s recipe as a base. He talks a lot and seems to know what he’s talking about and that was pretty much good enough for me. I used Match Meats Ground Beef in place of the other stuff. I pretty much cut Alton’s recipe in half and used 3/4 of the Match Meats Ground Beef. The recipe I went with was more like this…
- 3/4 package of Match Meats Ground Beef
- 1 slice of fresh bread
- 1/4 cup soy milk
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
I followed the instructions as Alton wrote them out, but I served my Swedish meatballs with a mushroom gravy. Once I fried the meatballs and browned them on all sides, I poured the gravy over them and allowed them to simmer in the pan for a bit longer. They were great! The texture was exactly how I remembered. I just knew Match Meats Ground Beef would be the perfect meat substitute for this dish. However, it WAS missing something and I’m almost positive it’s the cilantro. But on a scale from 1-10 I definitely give this version an 8. That cilantro will definitely bump the score up to 10. I just know it. Well, I hope it will.
If you’re wondering what to do with the rest of the ground beef you can always whip up a burger the next day for lunch or something. That’s what I’m planning to do with it. Or you could just use the entire package and alter the recipe a bit. I didn’t want to make too many changes to the recipe because I didn’t want to mess it up. I also figured the rest of the meat could be used as my backup dinner in case the meatballs were horrible. But they weren’t and so now I have leftovers. Yay for a fail free dinner!