Valentine's Day had arrived, and a friend was here to help me cook a special dinner for my husband. We had planned for Spaghetti with a Vegetable sauce (think: red) and and we wanted heart-shaped meat balls or patties to go with it. But then we were in a quandary. I wanted gluten-free without a lot of expensive nuts. So we put our heads together and did some playing around and *drumroll* the first batch turned out PERFECT! So… now I'm sharing the success with you. Enjoy!
SAUTE until soft:
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup finely shredded carrots optional
MASH together in large bowl:
- 3 cups millet freshly cooked, cooled slightly on counter for better handling.
- 1/2 lb tofu firm OR extra firm
- 1/3 cup almond butter OR peanut butter
- 1 ½ tsp Country Style Seasoning adjust to taste– see recipe in Miscellaneous section
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley
- 1 ½ tsp Tamari optional
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
- 1 cup bread crumbs
MEASURE your freshly cooked millet into mixing bowl, and allow to COOL down on the counter slightly, for more workable "dough". (I like to use crock pot millet: 1 c. dry millet to 4 c. water 1/2 t. salt, cooked overnight, so it's nice and creamy.)
SAUTE veggies together until soft. SET aside to cool.
DRAIN and SQUEEZE tofu thoroughly.
CRUMBLE tofu onto millet.
ADD almond butter and seasonings and MIX well.
ADD cooked veggies and gently STIR.
TASTE for desired flavor–may need more Country Style Seasoning, if not salty enough.
ADD bread crumbs and gently FOLD into batter. If too runny to mold into balls, ADD more bread crumbs and SET batter aside to cool longer, if needed. (Do not refrigerate or it will turn solid).
FORM into patties.
COOK patties on griddle (5 minutes on each side) OR BAKE at 350F for 35 minutes OR until golden.
COOL on cooling racks before putting in a container to refrigerate.
NOTE: These will fall apart if warmed up in sauce, so I warm them in a separate dish and serve them with ketchup on each person's plate.
The secret to our last-minute success, was having a loaf of homemade Gluten-free Millet bread in the refrigerator (yes, I’m posting that recipe too!). But if you aren’t gluten-free, by all means–use whole wheat bread crumbs! 🙂 Just pop a slice of bread in the blender and pulse until you have crumbs. Easy! We had SO much fun decorating hearts with homemade ketchup! I had a red ketchup squeeze bottle (you can get them at Walmart), which made it perfect for squeezing a thin red line around each heart. When they baked, the ketchup hardened nicely and they were SOOO cute! And of course, nut butters can be substituted with your favorite kind of nut or seed butter–you’re not limited to peanut butter or almond butter!