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Meatless Monday No. 6 – Cloudy with a Chance of “Meatballs”

We finally got around to purchasing a much-desired small kitchen appliance today – something that I’ve whined on and off about wanting (needing, really) for quite some time – which is going to make my Meatless Monday experiment (and our other cooking too, for that matter) considerably easier.

We bought a food processor!

It’s not super fancy or top of the line or made by a big-name brand (as an aside, I was rather stunned by the amount one could spend on a food processor, should one so desire!) – in fact, it was actually the least expensive model in the store – but I do believe it’s going to suit our relatively modest purposes just fine. And, as the icing on the cake, it was even on sale! That, plus being able to pay for part of it with the remainder of a gift card I’ve been carrying around for awhile, made it a particularly low-impact purchase, budget-wise.


While searching for inspiration for today’s Meatless Monday dinner, I decided to check out the Meatless Monday site itself, and was drawn to the recipe for Roasted Red Pepper and Red Bean “Meatballs”. The main reason I ended up choosing to make this dish was, of course, because it sounded yummy – but the discovery that all of the ingredients included in the recipe were items we already had in the house definitely factored into my decision as well. I believe this may have been the first time I’ve not had to do any special shopping for Meatless Monday, which was a rather nice change!


For this recipe I used Pilaros Roasted Red Peppers. I love this product – our local Costco sells the large bottles, and we always make sure we have some in our pantry. (I was going to provide a link to the Pilaros site, but it has two features that annoy me: music that plays automatically, and only a Flash version of the site available – which is useless for anyone on an iPhone or iPad. Their roasted red peppers are definitely better than their web site!) Because the peppers are packed in liquid I made sure to drain the one I used and blotted it with a paper towel to soak up any excess moisture before I chopped it.

The only thing I changed in terms of the ingredients was the amount of kidney beans. The recipe called for a 15 ounce can; however, the one I had in the cupboard was 19 ounces, so I chose to use them all instead of holding back a small amount. (In retrospect, I’m not sure that was the best decision, as the end result was a little drier than it probably should have been.)

The recipe was a lot of fun to assemble, due in no small part to my new food processor, which minced the onions and garlic in a matter of three quick pulses, and the kidney beans in even less. That would have taken me ages to do by hand, and there’s no way I would have had the patience to get the onions so finely chopped, so I think this purchase was a HUGE winner! Forming the meatballs was very satisfying, too – even though it was a tad messy, I always feel a little more connected to the food when I can work with my hands. (Is that strange?)


While the “meatballs” were in the oven, I prepared (i.e., drained, rinsed, and dry-fried) two packages of Tofu Shirataki Macaroni, which I served with a simple sauce of olive oil, garlic, and basil, topped with some melted Monterey Jack cheese and a sprinkle of parmesan.


I really enjoyed this dinner, both the making and the eating of it. And I would definitely make it again, as the “meatballs” were very flavourful and filling. Of course, as always, there are things I’d change next time. The whole meal would have been a lot better if I’d served it with a marinara sauce, as the “meatballs” were a little dry and would have benefited from the moisture of a tomato-based sauce. And a simple tossed side salad would have rounded out the meal ever so nicely. (Why do I ALWAYS forget about the salad?!)

But still, I think this may have been one of my most successful and satisfying Meatless Monday meals to date.

I think I am getting better at this cooking thing!

Are you participating in Meatless Monday?
What did you make for dinner tonight?


Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • millie November 4, 2013

    Yum, this is such an interesting recipe; I will like to try it next week. I tried the Sabra hummous (Tuscan Herb flavor) and also made garlicky spinach feta phyllo hand pies tonight, as my guys were tired of the cheese pizzas I have been making for a few Mondays in a row lately!

  • Becky November 5, 2013

    Those look delicious! Will have to try this recipe for sure.

    I loved my mini food processor but it was broken by a guest. I had to get a bigger one when I needed one in a hurry once, and it’s a pain in the butt to get out of the cabinet where it lives, clean, etc. I should put one of the mini ones on my Christmas list. A food processor is such a timesaver.

  • Ruth Curran November 5, 2013

    Food is better when you enjoy “both the making and the eating”! I will be doing both thanks to you and this recipe!

  • Theresa Ledford November 5, 2013

    I have been having this conversation with myself for two years now about whether I should get a food processor or not. I go to look at them and feel a little daunted by the choices and the price ranges. I THINK I mainly want to cut up veggies, but what if I want to cut up milky way bars for my Grandma’s milky way cake? Will it do that? How often would I need processed veggies, etc… I’ll be interested in what all you can do with yours and if you think it’s an overall good investment.
    Theresa Ledford recently posted… The scariest holiday everMy Profile

    • Laurel Regan
      November 5, 2013

      I’m probably the wrong one to ask, as I almost feel as though the food processor paid for itself in my sheer delight at how quickly the onions were minced! I’m really looking forward to making hummus, too – it will be so much speedier than trying to mash all those chickpeas by hand.
      Laurel Regan recently posted… My Writing SpaceMy Profile


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