In the last year, quite possibly a year and a half, I have made many changes to my lifestyle. Firstly, giving up alcohol (thank you Kate) and secondly, giving up meat/dairy (thank you Mariah), and lastly, giving up running, which has made my mind and body much happier. On this journey through veganism and raw food, on the hunt for mental clarity, I, for the first time, am experiencing life in an entirely new way.
Most days I stick to a pretty basic, easy, raw vegan diet. This means grapefruit, oranges, apples, smoothies, and kale salads, but on occasion, I need more. I need MEAT!
So what does a raw vegan do when they need meat?! Simple, they call their friend, and raw vegan (she prefers ‘live foods’) chef, Mariah Grooms, for a recipe to feed the hunger.
I think I should tell you the back story for all of this first.. From the time I have been able to decide what foods I ate, until the time I was 20 (10ish years), I didn’t eat much meat, or any meat. Meat always made my stomach hurt and, for lack of better words, grossed me out. But after moving to Idaho from Colorado, and originally, Oklahoma, my future-to-be step-mother-in-law, who is from Texas, made brisket. Not just any brisket, the most delicious, juicy, tender meat with homemade, freshly baked, buttered rolls to put the brisket in, which made these heavenly little sandwiches. They were perfectly sized for my big mouth, which I gladly stuffed with too many to count. That night I ate (not exaggerating) a whole pound of meat, which started me on five years of meat exploration which included bacon, steaks, bacon wrapped steaks, fried chicken, carne asada, and (my favorite!) MEATBALLS!
So now, here I am, craving meat, which my body and ethics tells me not to put in my mouth. But, luckily, I have my friend Mariah to help me out with my cravings.
Here is her recipe for, what I call..
Things you’ll need: Mixing bowl, homogenizer (champion juicer with blank plate or a food processor), and a dehydrator or oven set at a low temperature
½ cup Sunflower seeds
½ cup Pumpkin seeds
½ cup Pecans
½ cup Walnuts
(2 cups any nut/ seed will do, but this is the combination I prefer)
1 medium tomato, diced
¼ medium onion, diced
2 mushrooms (½ cup), diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 tbsp Chili powder or 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp Sage
2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
Soak the seeds/ nuts 2-8 hours in room temperature water, strain, and let air dry for 30 minutes.
While the seeds/ nuts are air drying, dice the tomato, onion, mushrooms, garlic and jalapeno, then put them in a large mixing bowl. Add the seed/ nut mixture to the mixing bowl. Add salt, pepper, sage, cumin and chili powder in with the other ingredients and stir.
Right here I like to taste the mixture to make sure the seasoning tastes good to me. You may need to add a little salt or pepper, more sage, or chili powder. Do whatever tastes good to you!! Hell.. even put different seasonings in.. whatever you put in your real meat- meatballs, add it in, it’ll only make it better.
Add this mixture, 1 cup at a time, to your champion juicer with the blank plate or your food processor.
After the mixture is homogenized (meaning smushed together sufficiently), put it back into the mixing bowl.
At this point, you can decide, meat balls or vegan tacos or nut meat burgers.. all of which are delicious and nutritious!
If you are going to make meatballs, continue: Begin to form the meatballs by taking ¼ to ⅓ cup of nut meat mixture at a time, rolling it into a ball and setting on dehydrator plates or a cookie sheet.
If using an oven:
Preheat oven to the lowest temperature possible (usually 200 degrees) for 10-15 minutes or until warm.
If using a dehydrator:
Place nut meatballs in the dehydrator on low/ medium (usually 100-140 degrees) for 30 minutes or until warm.
These nut meatballs are ready to pop in your mouth!! Or you can add them to your favorite spaghetti dish or zucchini noodles for an Italian treat, vegan style!
I know when I am craving meat and need to feed the hunger, these hit the spot! They are comparable to other real-meat meatballs, which may be another post in the future. Until then, happy eating!