meat(less)balls

I’m a notoriously bad flirt. I should have been a caveman. See what I like, knock it over the head, drag it home and be done with it.

Flirting with vegan has been a bit of a challenge as well.  You have to kiss a lot of frogs before finding a keeper (e.g, vege burgers that taste like cardboard).

This weekend while shopping at Trader Joe’s I decided to get back into the game and give their meatless meatballs a chance. [As an aside I’m completely confused by the vegan naming convention – if vegeburger why not vegeballs?]

Best case scenario I’d have a yummy meal of sautéed kale, vege meatless balls and pasta. Worst case I had my lentil ragu sauce to fall back on.

I defrosted 6 balls (1 serving size) and throw them into my favorite vegan pasta sauce,Rao’s Eggplant Sicilian Sauce (when motivated I make my own but it was late and I was starving).

First impressions:

  • Visually appealing: Nicely seasoned, good texture – not too firm but didn’t fall apart either.
  • Yummy: The taste exceeded my expectations. I bet I could serve these to my carnivore guy friends and they’d never know the difference.
  • Healthy: At 140 calories, 6 grams of fat (0 saturated and 0 trans fat) and 8 grams of fat it packs a healthy punch of 16 grams of protein. NOTE: They are high in sodium coming in at 560mg so keep that in mind if this is an issue for you. 
  • Convenient: They come in an easy to reseal bag – throw it in the freezer and defrost only the balls you need on any given night.
  • Cost: At just under $4 bucks I’d say the price is right.
Verdict: These meat-less balls and I were definitely seeing each other again.

Do you have any favorite vegan foods or recipes you’d like to share? Or any words of caution? I’m all ears!

PS – For what it’s worth they are also “Live Strong certified,”what ever that means!

PPS – In case you were wondering my cats, like all cats, are obligate carnivores so no vege or vegan diet for them. Admittedly I need to get better about finding out how their food is sourced. I will work on that! 

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  • Hi my human thinks they are OK the meatless meatballs but me, I prefer meat.
    I am a cat and I think cats are really supposed to eat meat.
    I like meat anyway, so I think will pass on the meatless balls, thanks. Magic Aimee

    • I agree – thanks to your comment I added something in my post about cats needing to be carnivores! 

  • Rebecca

    I’ve wanted to try them myself…thank you for being the guinea pig! LOL….will pick some up this week. I’ve been eating turkey meatballs and while I like them a lot, I’d like to graduate off of them when I find a great alternative! 🙂

    • Lemme know what you think! I now wanna try the ones from Whole Foods some folks have been suggesting. They are just so super convenient! 

  • Annameow

    Thanks for the info. I was a vegan for 4 years but have slipped back into meat the past year.  Looks like a trip to TJ is coming up this weekend! Thanks, T!

    • Let me know what you think! Getting a lot of other great suggestions from other people’s comments! 

  • I’ll try them. They look delicious! The biggest problem about becoming vegetarian is that most people maintain an expectation that whatever meat-less option will taste exactly like the meat one. Forget it. Very few foods do. One exception would be the jumbo hotdogs from Amy’s, and Vegenaise (BTW the best mayo ever that lasts much longer without going stale). 

    I’d try the Quorn chickn nuggets and herb breaded filets and the quarterpound Burgers from Amy’s. They are spectacular. But, truth is, vegetarian people should be aware they decided not to meat, so it’s impossible to simply replace all meat meals for those ready-made stuff like these meatless balls. Not healthy, not tasty.

    Vegetarias cannot just simply stop eating meat either. You have to keep eating protein, so rethinking your meals very carefully is of utmost importance for your health.

    • Anonymous

      Daniela I am in agreement with you 100%!
      For me, I never liked the taste of meat anyway-more the seasonings
      and the fat tastes I liked! I didn’t like chicken that tasted like chicken or lamb that tasted lamb-y!
      Def going to try out some of your suggestions!
      Thx!

  • Ooo, I’ll pass the recipe onto my mum as she is a very strict vegetarian (with the small exception of co-op chicken). Thanks for the suggestion! xx Heather (Fluffy is snoring on the bed, exhausted from yesterday’s wedding!)

    • I’m excited by all the suggestions too! Your mom might enjoy this tofu recipe: http://ihavecat.com/2009/11/05/my-exs-crispy-tofu-with-black-bean-sauce/

  • The Chair Speaks

    Have not come across meatless meatball in our country yet but we have vegetarian fishball.
    Will try your recipe one day minus the meatless meatball. Thanks. 🙂

  • Marilia Bavaresco

    Nhumy nhumy nhumy!

  • meowmeowmans

    Wow, those sound pretty tasty.  Time for a TJ’s run, I guess! 🙂

    We really like the soy chorizo from Trader Joe’s … good flavor and texture.  You should give a try when you have a chance, T!

    • Ohh getting some great tips here thanks! 

  • We just got two new Trader Joe’s in the state of SC.  Marmie can spend hours in there!  Two of Marmie’s favorite vegan blogs are http://www.ohsheglows.com and http://www.peasandthankyou.com.  Once upon a time, Marmie had a personal health blog (www.lilyshealthpad.com) that has a lot of vegan recipes too.

    • Oh how neat that your mom had a blog about food! I love food! Can’t wait to check all the blogs out. THANKS BartholoMEW!

    • Oh how neat that your mom had a blog about food! I love food! Can’t wait to check all the blogs out. THANKS BartholoMEW!

  • My vegetarian hubby likes these and the veggie bacon from Morning Star. Don’t tell him but I sometimes add a tiny bit a real bacon fat to the pan for the best of two worlds.

    • oh no layla!!! you are naughty! 

    • TR

      please don’t do that, I would feel completely violated on a soul level for someone to put something in my body without my approval. it may not be your decision, but it’s what he decided for himself. we should be able to make choices for our bodies without having them undermined by anyone, let alone those we trust.

  • Sarah

    Hi there! I just love your blog, I’m a vegetarian cat owner too (but of course my cats are carnivores which I would never deny them of) and have recently started a blog about my babies: http://thepurrdiaries.blogspot.com/
    =^..^=

    • Hi Sarah – it’s lovely to “meet” you! I cannot wait to check out your blog and agree about the kitties…they need their meat. I do need to do a bit of research however…I feel like i could do a better job of being educated about the various kinds of cat food etc…what’ sin them etc etc

  • I’m also a big fan of the TJ Meatless Meatballs – one of the many yum veggie products from TJ’s!

    • Please do share any of your other good finds with us!