|Vegan Swedish Meatballs, made with sweet potatoes and tempeh [And yes, the plate is from Ikea]|
One thing I adore about tempeh is its longevity, so when it's on sale or when I have a coupon, I stockpile with abandon. Noticing that a package from my tempeh stash was about to expire, I spied a bowl of cooked leftover sweet potatoes in the back of the 'fridge and was determined to create a recipe using them both.
My new kitchen cabinets came from Ikea, and I've spent more time there – returning things and buying organizational items – than I care to admit. Not surprisingly, all things Swedish must be buried deep in my subconscious. The idea to make [no]meatballs with the famous Swedish spicy gravy popped into my head faster than you can say "jag prater inte svenksa" ["I don't speak Swedish"].
I'm pleased with the resulting recipe and think I'll be making this often: the sweet potato makes a wonderful, starchy binder, and the subtle sweet flavor from the potatos and onion pairs perfectly with the lightly spiced gravy. Using white pepper is traditional, but to be honest, I don't notice much of a difference between black and white pepper. Use whatever you prefer.
Incidentally, I know I've said it before, but my kitchen is almost done. I've probably tried about 30 new tile samples so far, and some new samples should be arriving in today's mail; I'm taking my time to ensure I feel 100% comfortable with my tile choice: a backsplash is a serious commitment.
Sweet-ish Meatballs [vegan]
- 1 8-ounce package tempeh
- 1 T olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups peeled, cooked sweet potato, slightly mashed with a fork*
- 1/8 tsp allspice
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs [I used panko]
- Salt and pepper, preferably white pepper, to taste
- Up to 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- Oil or cooking spray for browning meatballs
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 2 T cornstarch
- 2 T flour
- 1/2 tsp white pepper [You can substitute black pepper]
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
Roll into 1-inch balls and brown in batches of 10-12 over medium heat, turning occasionally to ensure all sides are cooked. This should take about 15 minutes per batch.
Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan, combine broth and cinnamon and bring to a boil. Make a slurry by whisking together milk, cornstarch and flour. Whisk into boiling broth, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook over low, whisking occasionally until thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with pepper and stir in parsley.
Serve meatballs topped with gravy.
* To cook sweet potatoes, boil 1-inch chunks for about 10-20 minutes, or until soft. Or nuke in in the microwave until soft.