Baked Tempeh Meatballs over Spaghetti Squash with The Greatest Mushroom Marinara

Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves 4 (12 meatballs)
Prep/Cook time: 1 hour
Cost: $15.00*

Notes: 1.) This recipe would be delicious with any whole wheat or gluten free pasta instead of spaghetti squash as well.
2.) Tempeh is a fermented soy product that is considered to be one of the healthiest foods in the world.  It is a great source of protein, calcium, and many other vitamins and minerals.  Its flavor is mild which means it can easily take on the flavor of whatever it is cooked in. Another bonus, it can be crumbled, blended, molded, cooked like chicken on the grill, or cubed! 

Tempeh Meatballs (adapted from Minimalist Baker).
1/2 cup onion, sauted
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seed soaked in 3 tbsp water, for 5 minutes)
8 oz organic tempeh patty (found at Trader Joes, Whole Foods Market, or any other health food store.  Choose a gluten free tempeh if you want a gluten free option)
3/4 cup gluten free rolled oats, blended into a flour
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup hemp seeds
2 tbsp olive oil
1-3 tbsp water to get the blade going

The Greatest Mushroom Marinara
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz of cremini mushrooms, rinsed and diced small
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp salt
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (preferably with basil)
1-2 tsp turbinado sugar (or organic cane sugar)
3 tbsp nutritional yeast

Spaghetti Squash
1 large spaghetti squash, cut in half

Vegan Cashew Parmesan (Optional, for topping)
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Begin by preheating the oven to 350F.  Carefully cut the spaghetti squash in half and scrape out the seeds.  Place on a baking tray and put in the oven for 45 minutes.

Next, chop all vegetables for the marinara and place in a deep saute pan with olive oil.  Saute over medium heat until onions are translucent.  Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  Cover and let simmer over low heat for 40-45 minutes until all vegetables are soft and sauce has thickened.  

While the sauce and spaghetti squash are cooking, prepare your tempeh meatballs.  Begin by preparing a baking sheet by covering it with parchment paper or a thin layer of olive oil.  Saute onion in 1 tsp olive oil.  Next, combine all ingredients in a high powered food processor and process until combined.  I found it was helpful to first process my tempeh and then add and process the remaining ingredients.  When all combined, scoop out small portions and form into a round ball with your hands.  They should be about the size of golf balls.  Place on prepared baking sheet and add to the oven with the spaghetti squash.  Bake for 20 minutes until the outside feels slightly crispy.

To make vegan cashew parmesan, blend all ingredients in a blender until a grainy texture has formed.  

Using a fork, scrape out the inside of the spaghetti squash so long thing "spaghetti-like" strands form.  Scoop out the long strands of squash on a plate.  Top with meatballs and marinara and sprinkle heavily with vegan cashew parmesan (optional but recommended!) Serve and enjoy!  Yum!

*The cost of all my recipes will depend on the season and expense of produce at that time.  I don't expect the cost to be any higher than the price I list above.

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