for my second vegan dish from but I could never go vegan cookbook, I chose the eggplant meatball subs. I tried to start out with more filling choices so that stephen would see he wasn't going to go hungry if I toned down or eliminated meat in our dinners. mission accomplished with these babies!
disclaimer, this recipe did take every bit of one to one and half hours to prepare and I couldn't make this on a weekly basis - but they were extremely good, especially with the chunky tomato sauce. this recipe would be a great sunday dinner, served alongside some crispy homemade fries and sweet potato fries. did I mention this was my first time cooking with eggplant? I love the novelty of trying new things, even if it's just preparing a new type of vegetable. it's pretty amazing how close these eggplant balls resemble meatballs, the consistency is spot on with the help of the amaranth.
amaranth, pictured below, from whole foods
3 cups diced eggplant (1 medium sized eggplant)
2 T. soy sauce
1/4 c. amaranth
3/4 c. veggie broth
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 t. dried basil
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. liquid smoke
1/4 c. whole wheat flour
approx. 4 hot dog bun sized baguettes (or 2 loaves cut in half)
1 15 oz. can of fire-roasted, diced tomatoes with liquid
1/4. veggie broth
1 T. tomato paste
1 t. sriracha
1 t. dried basil
1. heat oven to 400 degrees. line a baking sheet with parchment paper. spread the eggplant chunks on the baking sheet. lightly toss with olive oil and soy sauce. sprinkle with salt. roast for 20 minutes and toss halfway through. when caramelized and tender, remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
2. meanwhile, combine the amaranth and broth in small pot and cover. bring to a boil, reduce heat, and crack the lid. simmer until liquid has cooked away, 10-15 minutes. set aside.
3. also while the eggplant is in the oven, heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium heat for 1 minute. add the onion and garlic and saute until translucent. remove from heat.
4. combine eggplant, onion and garlic, basil, oregano, and liquid smoke in a food processor. pulse a few times - or stir/mash well in a bowl in lieu of food processor.
5. add the eggplant mixture and flour to the cooked amaranth and mix. scoop out small balls onto the parchment paper using your hands. makes approximately 12 balls. bake 25-30 minutes.
6. while the balls are cooking, make the marinara sauce. combine the tomatoes, broth, tomato paste, sriracha, and basil in a medium pot. bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
7. after you remove the balls from the oven, turn the oven to broil. broil your sliced baguettes for roughly 90 seconds. top with sauce, balls, and more sauce. serve immediately!