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Have you ever made such a mess in the kitchen that you wondered if you would ever clean it up?  A year ago, I hosted a big dinner and at the end of the night not only were there glasses left outside, but the kitchen counter was a foot deep in dirty dishes.  I wish I had taken a picture of the kitchen to show just how crazy I am!

Yesterday brought me back to that night just a little.  I try to make a schedule for myself, but I always seem to fall behind!  I was supposed to meet a friend for yoga, but I needed to stay home and do dishes instead.

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I am planning a tapas night for the end of February, so I’m experimenting with tasty recipes like this one.  Much to the relief of my guests, it won’t be a vegetarian tapas night, but most of the food I cook is vegetarian for health reasons so I hope they see how tasty vegetarian can be!

Disclaimer: I am not a vegetarian, so I may not be using the term correctly.  I have a deep respect for vegetarians and their choice to abstain from meat.  I regularly cook with butter, eggs, and cheese but I prefer to buy grass fed beef and cage free chicken because I believe the meat tastes better when the animals are given a natural diet and lifestyle.

I frequent a local farmer’s market in my neighborhood and purchased the above cauliflower, green garlic (looks like green onions), and small onions from Sweredoski Farms in Bell Garden.  I prefer to buy local and organic when possible and I’m excited to have discovered this farm.

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I adapted these meatballs from a Broccoli Parmesan Meatballs recipe I found when looking for vegan meatballs to go with an Italian marinara sauce.  I am not a big fan of broccoli and cauliflower is such a healthy alternative to so many things!

Since vegetarian recipes are so much work to create, I’ve decided not to post the entire meatballs recipe, just the list of ingredients and basic instructions.  Please refer to the original post here and to the Oh My Veggies website.

Cauliflower and Roasted Red Pepper Meatballs

    • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets and steamed
    • 1/2 red pepper, chopped into small pieces
    • 2 small onions or 1 small shallot, diced
    • 1/2 red fresno pepper, seeds removed and finely diced
    • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted at 400º F until browned, about 3-4 minutes
    • 1/2 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 small green garlic, roots and leaves discarded, garlic portion minced and green portion cut into half shaped moons
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Directions

    1. See post here for complete directions.
    2. Preheat oven to 400º F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    3. In a small bowl, mix the red pepper, small onions or shallot, red pepper and add salt and pepper to taste.  Spread mixture onto prepared baking sheet.
    4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until tender, tossing every 5 minutes.
    5. Turn oven down to 350º F.  Oil a muffin tin.
    6. Proceed with processing cauliflower and toasted pine nuts separately, mix all ingredients and shape into 12 quarter sized balls.
    7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.

Mushroom Cream Sauce

This recipe is adapted from The Cook’s Encyclopedia of One-Pot & Clay-Pot Cooking.  It is a very interesting cookbook showing how to properly work with pots, woks, pans, clay pots, and other bakeware.

If you are looking for something lighter, consider serving the meatballs with Greek yogurt, a squirt of lemon juice, fresh parsley and baby kale or arugula.

    • 2 Tbs butter
    • 2 small onions or 1 shallot, finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves,minced
    • 1/2 fresno red pepper, seeds removed and diced
    • 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
    • 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 can coconut milk
    • 1 tsp corn starch
    • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
    • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

    1. Melt the butter in a large pan until foaming.  Add the shallots, garlic, red pepper and mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are browned.
    2. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and simmer for about 1 minute.
    3. Stir in the cream and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Add the corn starch and simmer for about 2 minutes or until the peppers are tender and the sauce is thickened.  Add the fresh parsley just before finishing.
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