Herbed Tempeh Meatballs. Vegan. Gluten Free.

Tempeh Herbed Meatballs. Vegan. Gluten Free.
Tempeh Herbed Meatballs. Vegan. Gluten Free.

On Sunday I barricaded myself inside as the temps were in the single digits not including the 50 mph winds.  Seriously, I was so happy that I had an easier training week and did my long run on Thursday.  This weather has been insane.  In my pursuit to be productive, I opted to make a huge batch of meatballs and sauce.  Wait! What? You’re thinking I’m vegan.  Yes, I am.  But my best friend had back surgery on Wednesday and has been in the hospital ever since recovering.  I asked what I could do to help the family and she requested meatballs.  So I made a lot of meatballs.  A huge batch of red sauce.  AND I also made chocolate chip cookies.  I respect everyone’s dietary choices and when helping out… you do what you can.  But I wanted to make some “meatballs” for my husband and I to have with our sauce for dinner.

I’ve made vegan meatballs before but none of which I was that impressed with to be honest.  I opted to give some tempeh a whirl. The result – pretty delicious as I loaded it up with a lot of spices.  And the key is to steam the tempeh first to soften it up which helps, in my opinion, make it more receptive to seasoning that you’re adding.


1 small yellow onion, minced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
Olive oil
1 flax egg – 1 tablespoon of flax meal mixed with 3 tablespoons of water (let sit for 4 minutes)
1 block of tempeh, steamed (Smiling Hara was the brand I used)
1 tablespoon of Italian seasonings
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Pince cayenne
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Fresh cracked pepper
1/3 cup of almond meal

For the coating:
1/3 cup of almond meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of ground flax seed meal


First, steam your tempeh block first for 12 minutes.  Then remove and let cool.

Into a saucepan, sauté your onions and garlic in a bit of olive oil until translucent.  In the meantime, make your flax egg and set aside.  In a bowl combine your spices through the almond meal and whisk until well combined.  Into your food processor, add your garlic/onion mixture and tempeh.  Pulse several times until the mixture is crumbly in appearance.  Then add your spice/almond meal mixture.  Pulse a few times.  Stop and scrape down the sides and pulse again.

Prepare your coating mixture and set aside.

Using the same pan that you used to sauté your onion and garlic mixture – I add a tablespoon or two of olive oil and get that nice and hot.  Using a mini scoop, scoop out the mixture and roll into “meatballs” and roll into the coating mixture.  Place into your pan with oil and sauté until golden on the outside.  This will only take a minute or two.  Then remove from your pan and set aside on plate.  I don’t add these directly to the sauce as they are a bit more fragile in nature so I place these atop of pasta/sauce on your plate.  My husband put them along with some vegan cheese on a hoagie roll topped with fresh basil for his dinner option.



_New_Jersey_Marathon_Primary_Logo_2014_2c (1)

First, I want to mention that I’ve paired up with Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon to give away one bib for either the half or full marathon on April 26th.  The giveaway is on February 21st.  To enter, either leave a comment on this post or any post regarding this giveaway on my Instagram feed noting if you would want to do the half or full marathon.  The giveaway is only for the bib ONLY and does not include transportation, accommodations or food etc.

This week starts my peak week of training.  I’m bracing myself with the temperatures.  I think I may be stepping back on my weights this week to help my body just recover from the impending beat down of my legs.  So here is my recap:

Last week I finished out with 30 miles total and 3 days of weights/core/balancing.


Sunday: Rest
Monday: 5 treadmill miles

So Monday came and it’s still bitter cold outside.  I’m so not joking.  It’s painful.  But I got up at 5:30 and took off to do my run on the treadmill at the gym.  I’ve followed my training program and did 4 miles at pace and finished my last mile stronger.  I cranked the treadmill to level 8 and took off.  It turned out to be a 7:43 mile pace and I was pretty happy with that.  My focus this training cycle has been distance and not speed.  As I’m still in recovery mode from 2 finger surgeries and bone fusion and I decided to work on distance.  Period.  This week will pose big physical challenge to my distance.  Stay tuned for more on that.

Today I also had my second post op appt. and it turns out that the bone fusion has taken and the joint is completely closed!  With this comes great happiness that this is over and equal sadness as I will never be able to bend the upper joint of my finger again.  The screw will remain a permanent fixture.  But this is over… and I need to be happy about that after 4 surgeries and 3 battles of staph infections.  Moving onward and upward.

This pic captures my morning perfect.  New sneakers finally arrived, which I desperately needed.  My run.  Fuel (my Vega One mocha and Tuscan kale smoothie) and my final X-ray.  Well there you have it!

That’s it from here.  Hope you are all staying warm and toasty! And that you had a lovely weekend with your Valentines.


— Knead to Cook

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