Product Review: Nate’s Meatless Meatballs (Meatball Sandwiches)

I was never a meatball sandwich kind of gal—something about eating balls of meat that didn’t quite appeal to me. The men of my household, on the other hand, seem to gravitate toward these kinds of cancer-licious subs (or at least, they used to). Here we are coming up on a year of veganism and this is the first time I’ve made “meatball” sandwiches. I’ve made seitan meatballs before, which are pretty damn good, but this time, I needed something quick, so I went with Nate’s Zesty Italian Meatless Meatballs. Of course, I forgot how much I paid for them since I bought them (frozen) last week, but I’m pretty sure they were under $4 for 12 oz.

So here’s what I did:

Opened a jar of marinara sauce, poured it in a pan and then dumped the meat-free balls in.

Let simmer about 10-15 minutes. Toast some French rolls for a couple of minutes under the broiler and bada-bing, you’re done.I recommend using your absolute favorite marinara and/or adding some spices because the “zesty Italian” I was expecting wasn’t all that zesty. They needed some kick–not that flavorful. With that said . . . they were very “meat-like”, but without the grossness of real meat. :) The consistency was much like beef and they certainly didn’t have a weird “fake” taste. Quite satisfying.

I sliced them in half using tongs and a serrated knife–you can try doing this while they are frozen. They stack better in the bread if sliced.

Layer on some vegan mozzarella on the rolls, then some sliced “meat” balls and then some more cheeze—that easy.

Breaded Tofu with Lemony Tomato Sauce

Breaded Tofu with Lemony Tomato Sauce -- Epicurean VeganIf you  liked chicken Parmesan before you were “enlightened” and became a vegan, I think you’ll love this recipe. I really wasn’t sure what to make for dinner tonight but I had tofu and diced tomatoes, so I winged it.  The Husband and Sixth Grader informed me that this meal is a “make again” and I have to agree—it was yummy, no to mention easy—a good combo.

1-14oz tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into 8 slices
1 packet Shake n’ Bake
1/2 C vegetable broth
1 C vegan mozzarella, Vegan Rella
3 Tbs olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-14.5 oz diced tomatoes with juice
1/4 C fresh chopped basil
1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
1 tsp lemon zest (then slice lemon into 8 slices)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400.

For sauce: In a small saucepan, heat garlic in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add tomatoes, basil, rosemary, oregano, onion powder, lemon zest, salt, and pepper, and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Breaded Tofu with Lemony Tomato Sauce -- Epicurean VeganIn the meantime, dip each slice of tofu into the vegetable broth, cover with Shake n’ Bake, then place into a 13×9″ dish. Top each with a lemon slice.

Breaded Tofu with Lemony Tomato Sauce -- Epicurean VeganBake for 20-25 minutes. It will basically look the same way coming out of the oven as it did going in, but the outside crust of the tofu will be crusty and crispy. The lemon slices will look a bit dried out, too. Remove the lemon slices before serving with the sauce and some very yummy vegan mozzarella.

Vegan Rella (they don’t seem to have a website) is excellent soy-free vegan mozzarella—very impressed with it. It’s a little slimy when you first open it, but it shreds nicely and tastes great! Enjoy!