These dainty little vegan meat balls are much lighter in calories than the usual meatballs.In fact these are the veganised version of previously posted Spiced Meatballs(Kofta) with soy as the star substitute.Soy's importance has been conveyed frequently in this blog.I don't minding stressing it again,low in saturated fat and source of healthy plant protein,soy and its products can be substituted for the high in saturated fats foods,like meat and cheese.
"the phytonutrients in soy reduce the formation of plaque in arteries,fight inflammation,which in the arteries ,increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke" ~ Dr.Howard M .Shapiro's Picture perfect weight loss.
"Getting 25 grams a day of soy protein in foods like tofu and other soybean products decreases your bad LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels"~ Dr.Mehmet C. Oz's tip on Feed your heart
These heart healthy meat balls are my entry for Ivy's ,In memory of Rosie ,an event raising awareness about heart disease and using heart healthy substitutes to prevent the disease.
The important flavor enhancer and essential spice in these meat balls and the soy yogurt sauce are peppercorns.Originating from the Malabar coast in India,once sold at exorbitant price,considered as an exotic trading good ,the pepper corns have now become a common spice in every pantry.
Spices are the concentrated sources of antioxidants,essential in heart healthy cooking.The heat from the pepper corns is also known to aid digestion and help in healing respiratory aliments.Use fresh ground peppercorns to get your dishes bursting with pepper flavor.A pepper mill is perfect tool to use fresh pepper as needed or grinding few teaspoons at time in the coffee grinder and storing in air tight containers.
To add a more mellow and cool spicy smack to the tasty nibbles,drench them in the minty pepper yogurt sauce,for a perfect balance of heat and spice
Recipe : Soy Edamame "Meat" balls
1 1/2 cup Edamame(baby soybeans,I use frozen Organic)
1/2 cup Soy Granules*(I use the nutrela brand available in Asian Stores)
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger root,minced
pinch of Turmeric
1/2 teaspoon spice mix of choice(I use garam masala)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Canola oil(for light frying)
*If soy granules are hard to find use 1 tablespoon flax seed meal + 1 slice of whole grain bread instead as a binder.
Cook the soy granules
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil,add the soy granules,let cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.Let cool for 10 minutes.Strain the water in a fine colander and rinse under cold water.Then squeeze all of the water from the granules and transfer in to the blender or food processor.
Add rest of the ingredients except the oil in to the blender or food processor,process until coarsely or finely minced,depending how you like the texture of meat balls.I kept it coarsely ground.Transfer the mixture in a bowl.
Shape and fry
Take about a tablespoon of the mixture and shape in round balls.Place them all on a plate.
Heat about a teaspoon of oil at medium heat in a non stick or cast iron pan and lightly fry the 3-4 cutlets at a time ,about 3 minutes each side until lightly browned and crispy.Add a teaspoon of oil for each batch of meat balls.Serve warm as snack or appetizer,preferably with a drizzle of cold yogurt sauce,as in the following recipe.
Recipe :Chilled Mint Peppercorn Soy Yogurt Sauce
1 1/2 cup plain soy yogurt
3/4 teaspoon whole pepper corns(for intense flavor or can also use ground pepper)
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Blend all the ingredients until the peppercorns are completely ground.During summers chill the sauce in fridge for 2-3 hours.Drizzle over the meat balls ,salads or in wraps.
The peppery sauce is my entry for Priya's Cooking with seeds: Pepper, hosted this month by Padma's Recipes.