So, I’m sick. Super-duper sick. Pretty sure it’s the flu, which serves me right since this is the first time in years I’ve gone without a flu shot. Sleeping and recuperating has taken over my life in recent days, so please forgive my quietness! Here’s a holiday repeat until I’m back on my feet.
I came up with a vegetarian version of my mother’s meatballs (which are themselves somewhere between between Swedish and Danish, as a result of her mixed origins) years ago, but a couple of years ago I created a fully vegan version. I’ve made them for holiday potlucks at work and for my whole family to enjoy. They’re delicious reheated (or cold!) the next day, too.
Vegan Svensk-Danska Köttbullar // Vegan Swedish-Danish Meatballs
1/2 cup unsweetened MimicCreme*
1 unit egg replacer*
1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
ground pepper to taste
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 lb Lightlife Gimme Lean (sausage style)*
3 tbsp Earth Balance
In a large, heavy pan (preferably cast iron), sautée onions in 1 tbsp Earth Balance until translucent.
Beat together cream and egg replacer in a large bowl. Add breadcrumbs, pepper, allspice, and onions; combine and let stand for about 10 minutes.
Add Gimme Lean to mixture, and use your hands to combine everything thoroughly.
Roll mixture into small balls no more than 1″ in diameter (I try to aim for about 3/4″), arranging on a tray or plate until finished.
Heat 2 tbsp Earth Balance in the cast iron pan until it’s lightly browned and the pan is very hot.
Add meatballs to the pan in a single layer. Turn until hot and dark brown on all sides—I like to pick up the pan and just jostle it slightly rather than use a spatula. Don’t be afraid to overcook the meatballs! You want them to be nice and dark.
Serve hot with boiled potatoes, lingonberry sauce, and, if you wish, vegan gravy—my mother thinks putting gravy on meatballs is barbaric, but I like it!
If you wind up with leftovers (as if!) or want to prepare your meatballs in advance, they can easily be reheated in a pan or covered in a 400° oven.
* A few notes about the ingredients:
I’m unsure of the availability of the pre-packaged products outside of the U.S., so perhaps readers can chime in with suggestions for vegan substitutes (for heavy cream, egg, and ground sausage) that could work in other parts of the world. For egg replacer, I used Bob’s Red Mill, but there are other brands that will work just fine.
Also, since it came up the last time I posted this recipe, I should mention that I use processed fake meats in cooking very sparingly—but for special occasions a few times a year, I think it’s okay to use some of the pre-made products that are out there, particularly if they help to recapture some of the traditional flavors we might miss. Everything in moderation, including moderation!