|Prep time: 30 minutes||Cooking time: 30 minutes||Total time: 1 hour|
Valentines 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 heart-shaped meat balls. But then we were in a quandry. I wanted gluten-free meat balls 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! It makes a fairly large recipe, so we did one cookie sheet of meatballs and one cookie sheet of patties, and just baked them together. The patties took about 5 minutes or so of extra baking. So... now I'm sharing the success with you. Enjoy!
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 crockpot millet: 1 c. dry millet to 4 c. water 1/2 t. salt, cooked overnight so it's nice and creamy)
DRAIN and squeeze tofu thoroughly.
CRUMBLE tofu onto millet (if using).
ADD peanut butter and seasonings and mix well.
TASTE for desired flavor--may need more Country Style Seasoning if not salty enough.
ADD bread crumbs and gently fold into batter. When 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 balls OR if you're in a hurry, form into patties.
ROLL in extra bread crumbs (optional step) and place on an oiled cookie sheet.
BAKE at 350F for 30 minutes or until golden.
COOL on cooling racks before putting in a container to refrigerate.
NOTE: These will fall apart if warmed up in spaghetti sauce, so I warm them in a separate dish and serve them on top of the spaghetti 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 rolling them into balls, cutting the balls with a tiny heart cookie cutter, and then decorating 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!
If you are soy-free, just omit the tofu and adjust with a few extra bread crumbs to help it hold together.
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!