Easy Vegan Baked Cheesy Meatless Meatballs

Easy Vegan Baked Cheesy Meatless Meatballs

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 Wow!  That’s a mouthful, but once you make and eat these saucy cheesy delights, you will see there is no other title for them. You don’t have to spend a million dollars and slave in the kitchen all day to make a perfect vegan meal.  Not everything has to always be completely homemade.  Let’s face it, we are busy people with jobs, and families, and schedules to uphold.

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Yesterday was your typical Monday! Neither the Captain nor I were in the mood to go to work.  The weekends just fly by.  By the time we both arrived back home, the dinner hour had come and gone.  We, along with our 13 year old son who had just returned from football practice in the 90 degree heat were exhausted and starving.  We were all craving cool showers, our air conditioned home, and comfort food, but no one really felt like cooking.

Then I remembered our haul from Trader Joe’s over the weekend.  I had the perfect solution to please everyone and not take up the rest of the evening cooking all night.

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I grabbed a few ingredients, did a little prep work while the oven was preheating, and threw it all together for a delightful vegan meal.   It turned out lovely.  It was the perfect comfort food; saucy, cheesy, meaty. Adding the nutritional yeast not only kicks up the flavor a notch, but gives your B12 a boost. The meatballs are a great source of protein.   Happy campers all around.

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We all want to eat healthy, include as many fruits and vegetables as we can, but sometimes we might just have a hankering for some plant based meat and cheese alternatives.

No need to feel guilty because no animals were harmed to allow us to enjoy our meal.  I am happy to share this recipe with you! I know you will enjoy it as much as we did.

 

 VEGAN BAKED MEATBALLS

1 16 oz. Pkg Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs

1 24 oz. Jar Reggano Marinara Pasta Sauce (Aldi’s)

1 24 oz. Jar Reggano Mushroom Pasta Sauce (Aldi’s)

1 Onion Diced

8 oz. Mushrooms Diced

1 t Garlic Salt

1 t Italian Seasoning

½ c Nutritional Yeast

¼ c Fresh Basil

¼ c Fresh Chives

1 8 oz. Pkg Trader Joe’s Vegan Mozzarella Shreds

Lots of Cracked Black Pepper

 

Preheat oven to 400 F

Layer diced onion and mushroom on bottom of 9 x 13 pan.  Next layer the meatless meatballs on top.  Pour both jars of sauce into pan and slightly mix to get the sauce to the bottom layers too.  Bake in oven for 15 minutes.  The sauce should be starting to bubble.  Take out of oven.

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Sprinkle nutritional yeast, garlic salt, some black pepper and the Italian seasoning evenly over the meatballs and sauce. Next spread the mozzarella shreds and top with the basil and chives. As usual, I added more cracked black pepper.   Bake an additional 15 minutes at 400 F until melted and starting to brown.

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We ate these on some leftover hotdogs buns from our grilling adventures the night before.  We had to eat them with a knife and fork. They were a messy delight.   You could just eat them out of a bowl, or add pasta.

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We love Aldi’s pasta sauces as most of them are vegan without a lot of additives.  They are cheap too which is always great for our family budget.  These 24 oz. jars were only 97 cents apiece.  What a deal!  We usually have a stockpile on hand for quick meals, including using for pizza.  You can use whatever sauce you like.  Homemade would be the best, but I just didn’t have the time last night.  Trader Joe’s meatballs are another favorite of ours, but again, use the brand you like.  Their Vegan Mozzarella Shreds are one of the best melting cheeses alternative products out there.

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I wish I could say you will enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day, but I swear if I would have allowed it, the Captain and the kid would have licked the pan clean.   The meatballs were gone in a heartbeat.  Guess we will have to head back to Trader Joe’s soon.  I should have bought more packages of meatballs.

 

 

You Must Be Posh to Be a Vegan

You Must Be Wealthy and Posh to Be a Vegan

 

Vegans ARE wealthy and posh.  We see it all the time.  Certainly no one can afford the luxury of being a vegan unless you have bank rolled a million dollars.  I should know.  I am one of them. My husband is also.

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I met my husband, Captain UK about five years ago online.  He was vegan.  I was not.  With lots of questions and inhaling all the information I could, I went vegan ASAP.  But of course it was easy for us rich white folks.   We both had homes, jobs, and money in the bank. We had money to burn.   Through the proper immigration channels, we married, and legally moved the Captain to the United States.  Life was full of unicorns and rainbows. I worked for NASA.  The Captain is now a Program Coordinator for a federally funded program to help the disadvantaged.  Life is good.  Why wouldn’t it be?

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Being vegan is a piece of cake for us. With vegan foods being so expensive and extreme, it would be hard for most people to embrace the vegan lifestyle.  Not so for us wealthy vegans.  We have two homes in two different countries.  We have four vehicles amongst the five of us. We have great jobs.  Remember, I work for NASA!!! We travel the world.  We enjoy the most gorgeous sunsets and eat the freshest of foods.  We are living life to its fullest. Veganism is amazing, but only if you can afford it.  We feel heartbroken for the rest of the world that veganism is out of their reach due to financial status.

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I wanted to showcase a “daily life of a well off vegan” to allow most of you to strive to achieve the wealthy vegan status.  Maybe one day, veganism will be comfortably available for ALL people.

Today is a Monday.   I don’t know of anyone who loves a Monday, but today was a pretty good day.  I woke up at my usual 4 am start to fresh coffee, central air conditioning cranking, and all three boys comfortably sleeping in their memory foam beds.  The cats were curled up at our feet and soon the morning would break through the skylight in our ceiling.  Life was just perfect.

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I packed a lunch of leftover vegan burgers and corn on the cob.  On my way out the door, I double checked the massive amount of garbage I set out at the curb for pickup from our kitchen demo project.  We are putting in a $20,000 kitchen remodel for our posh lifestyle.  Cabinets are in, just waiting on our countertops.

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I headed to work, cranking the music as my early morning therapy.  It’s hotter than hell outside and I knew that would radiate at work.

I arrived at work and ate some leftover corn for my breakfast. That’s the benefit of being wealthy.  Who needs toast or cereal?

Work was hot hot hot today.  We were rebuilding valves and had to do a lot of painting and cleaning of parts after wrenching on them for hours.  The sun was brutal, along with the humidity.

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In the midst of trying to cooperate with a long Monday at work, I realized my middle son had a doctor’s appointment today two hours before he was due.  I couldn’t get ahold of him.  How do I forget these things?  Did my assistant drop the ball?

Next up, I had to work on immigration paperwork and make some copies of important documents on my lunch break.  I was running late this morning, tired from working in the garden, lawn and porch areas over the weekend, so I had packed a not so great lunch.  Where was my maid to make this all happen?

After working my long hot day, I retired home to my estate to relax in the pool I don’t own.  Not really, but I did get the garden hose out.

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I arrived home, noticing the garbage men hadn’t taken all the garbage I had laid out. I walked in the house and saw the mirror in the bathroom was down.  Someone had apparently, accidentally knocked it off the wall and nails were missing.  I fixed, cleaned, and rehung. I wiped some mold that was starting to settle on the ceiling from all the hot showers we had taken.  I also changed cat trays.  I will spare you the pictures.  I emptied garbage.  I turned off fans left on.  I thanked the gods of winter for keeping my air conditioning running in this heat wave.  I checked the kid’s bedrooms and removed empty cups and half eaten food items.

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  I started a load of laundry.  I made sure the kitty cats had fresh food and water.  I pulled up the empty garbage and recycle bins to the house.  After I noticed the smell, I rinsed them of maggots and scrubbed them clean.garbage Thanks to the always wrong weather people and this heat, I had to water our large garden and refresh the bird bath.    Just what I wanted to do after work on a hot Monday! I took dishes outside and washed them with the hose since we are in limbo with our kitchen; our kitchen which has been overdue for three years as the oldest went to college.  Rotting, leaking, and a broken oven were the norm for the entire time.  We watched every penny to make this finally happen. I worked a zillion hours of overtime.     I whisked away wet clothes near the washing machine. chick At the end of my adventure inside and  outside, I talked the neighbor’s chicken into walking back into their fenced in yard.

I am no different than the rest of you.  Outside perceptions are the worst.  We are not loaded and rolling in dough.  We have to send $$ back to England every month to pay the bills.  We not only have two car payments, but the kids’ father bought the cars for the boys and pay for their auto insurance.  They are far from new, but very much appreciated.  Our amazing sunsets and freshest of foods come from our vegetable garden which I spend hours and hours in trying to provide for my family. garrI am constantly watering, weeding, and tending to the garden in one way or another.   Our traveling journeys have mostly been back to England, my husband’s home town, to connect with family and friends and keep an eye on his English residence.  It’s never been about lavishness and jet setting around the world.

We are not posh, even though we have been called it more than once.  We are hardworking “normal” people just like the rest of you.  We work too much. Both of us have two jobs.   We cut coupons and try to catch the deals to save us a penny.  We turn off lights when not in use. We go without.   We worry about medical bills.  The Captain won’t go back to the doctor about a kidney stone because he is worried about the price after receiving a $1000 bill for his CAT scan alone.

Veganism isn’t posh.  Misconceptions are always around.  It isn’t only for the wealthy and misconceived notions never help the movement. This is a myth created and pushed onto the general public by Animal Agriculture.  As you can see, on the outside, we look as financially comfortable as the Royals. We aren’t.  We are struggling as much as the rest of the world.    When it’s all laid out, you see we are just a working middle class trying to make ends meet.  That’s just proof that veganism is for everyone.  Food is not too expensive.  Veganism is a compassionate, cheap, easy, lifestyle for everyone.

Check out our other blogs for cheap, easy ideas.

I need to run.  My chef hasn’t prepared our evening meal yet.  Guess I’ll have to eat leftovers over the not yet finished kitchen. dindin.jpg     The nerve.

 

 

VBCC VEGAN BITCH CAN COOK

VBCC

VEGAN BITCH CAN COOK

 

How in the Hell did you ever arrive at that name?  That’s a question I get asked all the time!

Years ago when I was a meat eating dairy glutton, I considered myself an excellent cook.  I was very talented at taking whatever ingredients I had on hand and turning them into incredible meals for my family.  My boys would come home from school to amazing meals that I had thrown together that afternoon.  They would ooh and ahh over their food and thank me profusely.  They loved what a great cook their mother was and I loved cooking for them.  Their friends were always over, hoping for an invitation to eat with us.  I took great pride in my cooking abilities and my knack for turning nothing into something special.   Eggs, cheese, meat and butter were common ingredients.

One particular day, the boys popped in from school to yet another delicious meal.  As they started tearing into their food, I said to them, “What do you say?”  With their mouths full, the boys said in unison “Thank you!”   “No,” I said.  They looked at me in bewilderment and said cautiously, “It’s really good?!” Again I said “No!” Now I really had them stumped.  They were completely confused.  I repeated “What do you say?” As they stared at me with their silent questioning faces, I said, “Bitch Can Cook!” We all busted up in laughter.  The new phrase became a family joke.

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From that time on, whenever we had dinner guests and I would serve the food, the kids would inevitably and collectively chant “Bitch can cook!” There was the usual questionable looks followed by laughter.  The catchphrase became a silly ingrained way to thank me for my food offerings.

Fast forward a few years.  Captain UK and I hooked up!  Not only was marrying him one of my best decisions ever, so was leaping into the wonderful movement of veganism, with his guidance.

nacho bake

The only problem that dropped anchor with becoming a vegan was I had to learn to cook all over again.   I relished the opportunity.  An entire new world of cooking opened up for me. We tried new products.  Some were great.  Some were good.  Some were awful.   There were hits and there were misses.

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One evening, a few months in, I veganized one of our favorite dairy containing dishes.  Normally, sour cream and shredded cheddar were staples in the dish.  It was my “famous” taco dip that the boys couldn’t get enough of.  After they chowed down about half of this vegan version, I informed them that it was, in fact, vegan.  They could not believe how great it tasted.  Like the pros they are, my youngest (about 10 at the time) quickly chimed in with “Bitch can cook!” and just as quickly said, “No!  Wait! VEGAN Bitch Can Cook!”

Captain UK still won’t utter the phrase, but that’s another blog post.

The rest is history.

VBCC VEGAN BITCH CAN COOK

VBCC

VEGAN BITCH CAN COOK

 

How in the Hell did you ever arrive at that name?  That’s a question I get asked all the time!

Years ago when I was a meat eating dairy glutton, I considered myself an excellent cook.  I was very talented at taking whatever ingredients I had on hand and turning them into incredible meals for my family.  My boys would come home from school to amazing meals that I had thrown together that afternoon.  They would ooh and ahh over their food and thank me profusely.  They loved what a great cook their mother was and I loved cooking for them.  Their friends were always over, hoping for an invitation to eat with us.  I took great pride in my cooking abilities and my knack for turning nothing into something special.   Eggs, cheese, meat and butter were common ingredients.

One particular day, the boys popped in from school to yet another delicious meal.  As they started tearing into their food, I said to them, “What do you say?”  With their mouths full, the boys said in unison “Thank you!”   “No,” I said.  They looked at me in bewilderment and said cautiously, “It’s really good?!” Again I said “No!” Now I really had them stumped.  They were completely confused.  I repeated “What do you say?” As they stared at me with their silent questioning faces, I said, “Bitch Can Cook!” We all busted up in laughter.  The new phrase became a family joke.

IMG_0083

From that time on, whenever we had dinner guests and I would serve the food, the kids would inevitably and collectively chant “Bitch can cook!” There was the usual questionable looks followed by laughter.  The catchphrase became a silly ingrained way to thank me for my food offerings.

Fast forward a few years.  Captain UK and I hooked up!  Not only was marrying him one of my best decisions ever, so was leaping into the wonderful movement of veganism, with his guidance.

nacho bake

The only problem that dropped anchor with becoming a vegan was I had to learn to cook all over again.   I relished the opportunity.  An entire new world of cooking opened up for me. We tried new products.  Some were great.  Some were good.  Some were awful.   There were hits and there were misses.

cropped-taco-dip.jpg

One evening, a few months in, I veganized one of our favorite dairy containing dishes.  Normally, sour cream and shredded cheddar were staples in the dish.  It was my “famous” taco dip that the boys couldn’t get enough of.  After they chowed down about half of this vegan version, I informed them that it was, in fact, vegan.  They could not believe how great it tasted.  Like the pros they are, my youngest (about 10 at the time) quickly chimed in with “Bitch can cook!” and just as quickly said, “No!  Wait! VEGAN Bitch Can Cook!”

Captain UK still won’t utter the phrase, but that’s another blog post.

The rest is history.