Friday, 8 November 2013

Meatballs without the meat - FAIL!

Okay, so this was a bit of an experimentation. As I have been following a weekly meal plan which is based on the type of meals I had been having on the hospital ward, I have adapted it slightly to be in my 'healthy' category. So, instead of having one of the meal chioces available on the menu referred to as 'Quorn meatballs with tomato sauce', I instead changed this into 'Homemade quorn meatballs in heinz baked beans'. I didn't seem to have the frozen quorn meatballs in my freezer - 1) because I sort of find them too challenging in my head and opted out of buying them this week.

Whilst searching online for inspiration as to what to have in replace of the meatballs I came across this recipe courtesy of 'Eating well'. However, as this recipe indicates that I should use ground beef and italian sausage, both to which I am opposed to eating, I questioned as to whether it would be possible to substitute this with Frozen quorn mince??

So, here was my adapted version of the recipe: 

Old-Fashioned Spaghetti & Meatballs - courtesy of 'Eatingwell'
1/3 cup bulgur
1/2 cup hot water
4 ounces Frozen quorn mince
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat 


1. To prepare meatballs: Combine bulgur and water in a small bowl. Let stand until the bulgur is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Cover a baking sheet with baking paper. 

2.Combine frozen quorn mince, onion, egg whites, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs and the soaked bulgur in a large bowl; mix well. (The mixture wass too dry so I placed the mixture into the food processor to give a smoother consistency.)

3. I formed the meatballs using a ice cream scoop but later found out that this size was too big and so I only produced about 6. Place the meatballs on the baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. 

To prepare sauce: 
Put some baked beans into a saucepan and heat through. Add a tad of chopped tomatoes to increase the volume of sauce and add some chopped pepper and celery.
Once the meatballs are cooked, add to the baked beans and mix through to coat in the sauce. Stir in basil (or parsley).
Serve the meatballs and sauce on a bed of courgette spaghetti and top with a scattering of rocket. 


It was quite disappointing =[ It looked so promising and similar to the ones  I had in hospital but they seemed to be missing something - needing a bit more flavor but can't pin point what it would require =/
So I left out the meatballs in this case and just had the adapted baked beans which were lovely =] haha.


  1. Things you could try to "up" the flavour - tomato puree (1/2 tbsp per serving), a glug of red wine, chilli powder (not too much, just 1/2 tsp per 4 people) or a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce (or Henderson's Relish if you want to keep it strictly vegetarian). Or a combination of them.

    Adapting baked beans sounds like a great idea! x

    1. Or if it was the meatballs that were lacking in flavour, try adding the chilli powder or Worcestershire sauce to that mixture?

  2. Ah bless you Sarah, lovely to hear from you, your suggestions sound lovely! I will definitely need to try either of your suggestions to up the flavour of these meatballs. I will let you know when I have tried them out in my second attempt! =]

    Yeah, my adaptation of the beans was purely based on quickness but I think it really worked =]