Vegetarian Meatballs

Menu Part: 
Appetizer
Cuisine Type: 
American
Serves: 
About 10 balls, 1.75 ounces each

The plantain balls are vegan and can be used with dipping sauce as an appetizer.

Ingredients

2 green plantains
1/2 gal. boiling water
1/4 tsp. dry oregano, crushed
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. freshly chopped garlic
1 tsp. freshly chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. freshly chopped thyme
1 cup mashed potatoes, very dense
Oil to fry (optional)

Meatball Sauce
1 cup tomato sauce (ready made)
4 tbsp. sour cream
2 tbsp. whole milk
1 tbsp. chiffonade fresh basil

Yield: 1 1/4 cups sauce

Steps

  1. In boiling water, immerse plantains for about 3 minutes.
  2. Remove and peel quickly.
  3. Break up and mash with potato masher, very quickly. If plantains get cold, they will harden.
  4. Season with spices.
  5. Add mashed potatoes (substitute with mashed beans – any kind).
  6. Add fresh herbs.
  7. Mix and form 2-ounce balls. Coat lightly with oil (this prevents from breaking and drying).
  8. Bake in 350°F oven for 8 minutes or deep-fry until golden.
  9. Simmer gently in sauce for 2 minutes and serve hot.
     

Meatball Sauce

  1. Add dairy ingredients to hot sauce and stir. Keep warm for service.
Source: Saint Clare’s Hospital, Denville, N.J.

Additional Tips

Additional Tips

Balls can be shaped as patty and used as slider or vegan burger. If you temper some spices and add to sauce, it can get an ethnic spin and flavor profile.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
vote buttons pins

On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chalkboard

We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
raised garden beds

We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chartwells teaching kids

Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

FSD Resources