Bryanna Clark Grogan is a premier vegan cook and cookbook author of over 8 books. She is known as chef, teacher, and journalist. I have all her cookbooks and just love her creations. Check her out at: http://veganfeastkitchen.blogspot.com.
This recipe comes from her fabulous cookbook, "Nonna's Italian Kitchen". The Italian Meatballs combine 2 recipes on different pages. To make it easier to follow, I've combined them, so have fun, put on some inspiring Italian music, and enjoy some authentic, but healthy Italian cuisine.
2 cups dry textured soy protein granules
2 T tomato paste
1/2 lb medium firm tofu, mashed
1 T yeast extract (Marmite - sold in most grocery stores under 'British' foods)
1 cup very hot vegetable broth
1/4 cp red wine
2 tsps salt
1 tsp gravy browner (Kitchen bouquet or veggie Worcestershire sauce)
1 tsp roasted sesame oil (you can omit)
1/2 small onion, grated
1 1/2 T minced fresh garlic (can always add a little more if you like)
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 - 2 tsps ground fennel seeds
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 T fresh (I use heaping tsps.)
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup pure vital wheat gluten
Mix the hot veggie broth with the tomato paste, yeast extract, red wine, sesame oil, gravy browner and salt in medium bowl. Once combined, stir in the textured soy protein granules and allow to soak for about 5 minutes.
Then add the mashed tofu and ALL the seasonings EXCEPT THE GLUTEN!! HAVE TO WAIT ON THE GLUTEN!
After mixing well, spread the mixture on a flat cookie sheet and allow to cool in the freezer for a few minutes. (Cooling mixture allows the gluten, to be added toward end, to form.)
When cool, add the gluten powder and mix very well with your hands. Really dig in and mix.
Once mixed and well combined, form into meatballs. Then using steamer basket or steaming pot, steam the balls covered for 20 minutes. Steaming helps the balls to form and hold together. When done you can either freeze them as is for later use, or brown and enjoy with your pasta sauce.
Note: When I make these meatballs, I add them to the sauce just before serving. I've found that if I add them to the sauce, and let them simmer for hours, they get a big soggy and might fall apart a bit. Don't want that!!