Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Easy Oven Baked Vegetarian Mushroom "Meatballs" served with Skinny Honey Lemon Butter Sauce

This wet and cold Melbourne Spring hasn't been kind to us lately... My family and I had been suffering from severe flu and fever for the past three weeks. It was my son who had the flu virus at first, then he gave his nasty bugs to my husband and me. So bad that we couldn't eat well and we were feeling very weak and lousy.

Thank goodness... I'm recovering. And I'm feeling hopeful that we all will get better because today is going to be a beautiful sunny warm Spring day!

Now, back to a delicious vegetarian recipe that I was supposed to share last week...
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"Mum, what are these? What are you eating?"

"Meatballs. You want to try some?" I replied. Without any further hesitation, my son took one and popped the entire "meatball" into his mouth. Then immediately, he was like...

"Hey! There is NO meat in these!!!" He sounded pretty crossed as if he had been cheated. And I couldn't stop laughing!!!

If you have read my previous post sharing a fantastic Japanese Hamburg recipe at here and wonder what is the vegetarian food that an environmental-vegetarian-wannabe me was eating while my meat-loving husband and son were enjoying their very juicy tasty beef patties for our dinner. THERE, these are the fabulous vegetarian mushroom "meatballs" that I was feasting on! There you go... Sometimes, delicious good food doesn't have to be made with meat!!!


Easy Oven Baked Vegetarian Mushroom "Meatballs"
Served with Skinny Honey Lemon Butter Sauce

Why these vegetarian mushroom meatballs?

These meatless meatball are extremely easy to cook as they are oven baked, not fried or even pan cooked. Versatile too if you like to serve them with different sauces.

This original recipe was from Epicurious but I didn't like that the mushroom meatballs to be eaten with buffalo hot sauce and blue cheese dip. These rich flavours are too bold for me!!! So, I transformed this recipe to cook with my skinny butter lemon honey sauce. And to me, these skinny meatballs are AWESOME!

Although these lemony mushroom meatballs are oven baked and made with pretty low amount of fat, they are surprising tasty and moist with appetizing tangy sweet honey taste. VERY DELICIOUS!

In the midst of cooking these, I have noticed that there are 2 different ways of serving these meatballs... If you prefer the meatballs to be little crusty, serve immediately after baking, with or without lemon sauce. Even with the lemon sauce, the meatballs will stay crusty for the next 15-20 mins. If you prefer the meatballs to be totally moist and infused with lemon honey flavours, make sure that the meatballs are well coated with the sauce and allow them to rest with sauce for at least 30 mins. You can use a microwave to re-heat the meatballs for about 1 minute if necessary. And the fully infused meatballs are totally moist like the texture of the real meatballs.

Plus, if you prefer some bite or texture in your meatballs, you can pulse all ingredients until they are coarsely chopped. After trying the coarsely chopped, I prefer mine to fully processed so that their texture resemble the real meatballs with no raw-ish mushroom taste. Nevertheless, this is really personal preference!


These meatless meatballs are oven baked and pretty skinny.
It's time to feast on these yummy meatless meatballs!

"Do you want another mushroom meatball?" I asked my son.

"NO!" My son's answer was very instantly!

"I just want to eat my hamburg." I know that my son was protesting against me and these meatballs because he felt like that I have doped him to try one of these meatless meatballs. LOL!

"I will try!" said my husband. He took one and looked very pleased munching it. Then, he ate a couple of the meatballs and stopped.

"They are yummy but I want to eat my hamburg too." said my husband.

*sign* Clearly, I can never fully convert meat lovers into vegetarians!

Well, your loss! Good that I can enjoy these lemony mushroom meatballs without fighting with anyone for them.

So moist and tasty!
And their texture is like the real meatballs but of course without the meat!!!

Here's a video showing I baked these very easy meatless meatballs.


Here's the recipe that is inspired by Epicurious.

Makes about 30, serve about 3-4

For the mushroom "meatballs":
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped, omit if you are a Buddhist vegetarian and can't eat this
one 400g can cannellini beans, drained (drained weight is about 240g)
150g button mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 large egg
1 cup (250ml) Japanese panko breadcrumbs, plus 1-2 tbsp if mixture is too wet to roll
1/2 tsp salt, or more to season
a dash ground white pepper

For the skinny honey lemon butter sauce:
25g unsalted butter
2 tbsp (40g) honey, plus more to taste
finely grated lemon rind from 1 lemon
freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1/2 lemon, about 2 tbsp
salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

vegetable oil, to grease the baking tray and brushing the meatballs
finely sliced chives, to serve

Preheat oven to 200°C / 400ºF. Line a deep baking tray with baking paper and brush the lined baking tray with oil.

Place garlic, beans, mushrooms, egg, panko, salt and white pepper in a food processor and pulse until all are finely processed and combined. If you prefer your mushroom balls to be a little coarser in their texture, you can stop processing when they have been coarsely chopped.

Using your hands, roll tablespoonfuls of bean mixture into balls. Stir in a little more panko by tablespoonful if mixture is too wet to roll. Arrange the mushroom balls on the prepared baking tray with about 1 cm apart. Brush mushroom balls with oil and bake for 15 mins. Turn the mushroom balls to expose their other sides and continue to bake for another 15-20 mins or until firm and fully cooked through. Total baking time is about 30–35 mins, depending on the sizes of your mushroom balls.

While baking, prepare honey lemon butter sauce.

Melt butter in a small saucepan with lowest heat and stir until the butter is completely melted. Remove from heat and while the butter is still warm, stir in honey until honey dissolves into the melted butter.

Stir in finely grated lemon rind and lemon juice into the butter mixture and season with salt and pepper.

If you prefer the meatballs to be little crusty, serve immediately after baking, with or without lemon sauce and the meatballs will stay crusty for the next 15-20 mins.

If you prefer the meatballs to be totally moist and infused with lemon honey flavours, make sure that the meatballs are well coated with the sauce and allow them to rest with sauce for at least 30 mins. Reheat using microwave for about 1 minute if necessary. And the fully infused meatballs are totally moist like the texture of real meatballs.

Garnish with finely sliced chives just before serving.

Happy Baking
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2 comments:

  1. I'm a meat eater, but love mushrooms. I think I want to try these. Not sure about the beans, and I know they are used a lot in vegetarian recipes.

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  2. Great recipe! Perfect way to enjoy mushrooms! I have tried the crusty one and loved it! Will go for the moist meatballs next time and hope the same great taste again.

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