Cloudy With A Chance of Mētballs

Back in the dizzle, my family used to love eating at a place called Tien Ren (formerly “Wonderful Vegetarian”) It was a most bountiful Chinese buffet that closely adhered to the Taoist philosophy of pure foods. The food was fresh, hot and amazingly delicious, but we also loved the sometimes funny use of the English language. One of my favorite things was a veggie meatball called “vegetables ball.” We used to crack each other up over the simple misplaced “s.” So, in developing my  quinoa and seitan meatball, I laughed a little to myself about “vegetables ball” before trying to think up a clever name for a vegetable-based meatball.  I’ve heard of some people calling it a “cheatball,” but I didn’t really like that one because cutting out animal torture from your eating habits is hardly cheating.

If anything, I’d say it’s the other way around. I really liked “discreetball” (I’m laughing a little to myself right now as I type it). But ultimately, that makes no sense. I realized that calling any food product a “ball” just sounds weird and gross. We’ve just become so used to hearing “meatball” that we just accept it. So I’m keeping the name and simply updating it with a single “e” topped with a macron for added clarity.

Admittedly, this recipe takes awhile to make. But the good news is that it yields 3 dozen. So make them one weekend and stick ’em in your freezer. When you want to enjoy a few, just simmer them in marinara sauce until they’re unfrozen and softened up a little. We enjoyed these little gems last night with spaghetti and Newman’s Own Sockarooni (my personal favorite pasta sauce). My next feat will be to put them on a baguette with fresh tomatoes and some velvegan. Get creative with the spices in this recipe if you like. I just went with what I had on hand.

Here’s the recipe, y’all!

Enjoy!

—Chili

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