Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Eggplant "Meat" Balls- Gluten Free and Oh So Good!

this was all that was left
I have found a recipe that I love that is not only delicious but also healthy.

Eggplant "Meat" Balls. They are so good in fact that I only had two bites of chicken at dinner and ate them instead- if I can find more recipes that taste this good sans meat I may just become a vegetarian.

I originally found the recipe at Connoisseurus Veg but adapted it to a vegetarian version.

1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I am dairy free but Parmesan cheese doesn't bother me)
1 cup bread crumbs (I used gluten free oatmeal)

Salt the eggplant and let sit for 30 minutes. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and then add the diced onions. Saute until onions are translucent and then add the minced garlic. Once garlic is fragrant (after about a minute) add the eggplant and cook until soft, about 15 minutes.

Once eggplant mixture has cooled, add to a mixing bowl along with the egg, Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Mix well and then shape into balls (I made mine about 1 inch). Coat a cast iron skillet with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil (you can also use a baking sheet but the cast iron skillet makes a better crust) and arrange the eggplant balls. Cook for about 30 to 40 minutes, making sure to turn a few times so that all sides get a nice crust on them.

As I said before, these were delicious. My two year old gobbled them up (my older two would not try them) and my husband, the vegetable hater, even admitted they were pretty good. The only thing I will change next time is that I am going to try using gluten free breadcrumbs to see what the taste difference is. I feel like these "meat" balls will freeze very well which is awesome because this is one more recipe that I can make a big batch of.

I cannot wait until lunchtime to eat the leftovers, perhaps with some pasta sauce to dip them in. I am drooling.

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