Last week, my husband and I decided to roam the aisles of a local discount grocer. Little did I know, I would stumble upon a major throwback to my childhood. That's right, we found cans of Loma Linda Vege-Burger! I hadn't seen it anywhere since the late-90's, and was certain it had gone out of production.
In my excitement, I texted a picture to my sister and my mother, who were also equally nostalgic about this incredible find. My mom asked me to pick her up a few cans before visiting home this summer. And that's the thing about Loma Linda/Worthington...if you grew up before being vegan was a thing, you likely ate your fair share of canned fake meat. And while it might not sound appetizing, it is delicious.
Inspired, I decided to whip up some Vegan Swedish Meatballs, a family favorite growing up. They taste amazing with a side of vegan creamed potatoes, and lingonberry sauce. You can make them with or without the gravy, because honestly, they are also good on their own.
If you can't find Vege-Burger, you can use any vegan crumbles that work for you. Just know, the frozen variety will be less "gooey", so you may been to add more vegan egg to it; otherwise, it won't stick together to make the meatballs.
Vegan Baked Swedish Meatballs
1 can vegan burger OR 2 cups vegan fake meat crumble of your choice
¾ cup breadcrumbs
1 vegan egg (I use Follow Your Heart Vegan Eggs, but feel free to use 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 Tbsp water)
¼ cup onion, finely chopped
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp allspice
1 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp flour
¼ cup + 2 cups vegan milk
1 Tbsp soy sauce
¼ cup nutritional yeast
½ cube vegetable or no chicken bouillon
fresh parsley, optional
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Then, mix all the meatball ingredients listed above in a bowl. If somewhat dry, add a bit of the vegan milk of your choice (1-3 Tbsp), and stir. The consistency should be somewhat sticky, because you want the meatballs to stick together!
2. Place parchment paper over a cookie sheet. Form ~14 meatballs and space them out on the cookie sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 F. Then, remove from oven and allow them to rest for 10 minutes. They tend to be a little crumbly right out of the oven, and this gives them a bit of time to firm up, as they cool down.
3. While the meatballs are baking, stir flour and ¼ cup of vegan milk together in a small bowl until very smooth. Pour the remaining 2 cups of vegan milk into a skillet. Add the soy sauce and nutritional yeast. Once it's simmering, constantly whisk the contents of the skillet, while gradually adding the flour-milk paste. After it thickens up, add the bouillon and allow it to dissolve.
4. Place each meatball in the skillet, and then, top with gravy. Garnish with some fresh parsley, heat over low for 5 minutes and serve.
Even though I mention a few products by name in this post, no one is paying me to plug them or discuss them. They're just good!