I keep these prepared and frozen for days for when I want some protein to go with pasta or bread, or for guests and kids who love these mock meatballs. These meatless balls are so satisfying, and chock full of superior fats and protein. Walnuts provide a healthy dose of Omega-3 fats, essential to good health and lowering cholesterol, and this is a delicious way to get these benefits!
Yield: 2 dozen 1-inch balls
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 small or 1 large onion, chopped
2 cups walnuts, very lightly pan toasted
1/2 cup silken tofu
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or parsley, finely chopped
Olive oil spray
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and brush or spray baking sheets or a large pan with olive oil. Grind walnuts to a meal in a food processor. Warm the olive oil in a medium saucepan and sauté the garlic and onion until they are lightly browned. Add the mixture to the walnuts in the food processor. Add the tofu, bread crumbs, salt and pepper and process until mostly ground, but with some texture remaining. Stir in the cilantro or parsley. Form 1 inch balls and place them on the baking sheets. Spray with olive oil if desired. Bake the balls for about 30-35 minutes or until they are medium brown and set. Be careful not to let the bottoms burn. Serve with tomato sauce or the sauce of your choice.
Hints: If your baking sheets are not insulated, you can either line them with silicone pads or parchment or bake the balls in a 9×13 Pyrex pan.
Double the recipe and store these in a plastic container (using parchment paper between layers) or in plastic bags in the freezer, and pop some out as needed. Heat them up in the oven or microwave.
Serving Tip: Make meatball subs. Use French or Italian bread, tomato sauce and walnut balls. Top with soy cheese if you like, and grill until the cheese melts.