We have been trying out many of the recipes in Phyllis’ newest cookbook, Fix-It and Forget-It Vegetarian Cookbook. None of our staff eat strict vegetarian diets, but we are enjoying these fun and creative entrees. We even diverted from slow-cooking and tried some oven recipes in the book.
This “neatball” recipe is one of the oven recipes, but it was a such a big hit among staff that we wanted to share it with you. We weren’t sure about mixing the flavors: apricot jam and onions just don’t sound like they go together. But, the result was a great combination of sweet and sour, just as the name suggests.
Don’t be scared by the prep time. These are very easy to make ahead and freeze, so they could be made when you have a moment, then used when you don’t!
Sweet and Sour Neatballs
Fix-It and Forget-It Vegetarian Cookbook, page 19
Makes 15 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cooking/Baking Time: 35-40 minutes
1 small onion, minced
3 Tbsp. minced, fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ¼ cups finely crushed saltine crackers or bread crumbs
1 cup minced walnuts or pecans
½ cup cottage cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ tsp. salt, or to taste
1 tsp. Italian Mrs. Dash, optional
¼ tsp. dried sage
½ tsp. dried thyme
2 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
¼ cup lemon juice or white vinegar
¾ cup apricot jam
1 cup ketchup
¼ cup minced onion
½ tsp. dried oregano
Dash hot sauce, optional
1. Mix eggs, minced small onion, parsley, garlic, crushed crackers, minced nuts, cottage cheese, and cheddar cheese together.
2. Add salt, Mrs. Dash, sage and thyme. Mix well.
3. Form the mixture into 2” balls.
4. Place them in a 9×13 baking dish.
5. In another bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, vinegar apricot jam, ketchup, ¼ cup minced onions, oregano and optional hot sauce.
6. Pour evenly over neatballs.
7. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes, until neatballs are firm and the sauce is thick and bubbly.
1. You can also boil sauce separately on the stovetop. Bake uncovered balls for 25 minutes. Stick each ball with a toothpick. Put sauce on side for dip.
2. These balls freeze well, and can be made in advance. Add cilantro leaves to sauce for Mexican flavor.
3. Replace 2 eggs and cottage cheese with 3 egg whites, beaten until stiff.