Sesame Orange Vegetarian 'Meatballs'
broccoli / rice
For a fun twist on the American-Chinese favorite, we're using one of our most popular vegetarian meatball recipes instead of the classic chicken. The 'meatballs' get coated in the subtly sweet and tangy sauce for a new take-out fakeout meal everyone will love.
- Rice, uncooked white or brown - 2 cups
- Green onions - 2 stalks , chopped green and white parts separate
- Rolled oats - 3/4 cup + 3/4 cup
- Beans, kidney (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can , drained and rinsed
- Eggs - 1
- Panko breadcrumbs - 1/3 cup
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
- Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
- Ginger - 1 1/2 tsp , grated
- Orange juice - 2 cups
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 1/3 cup
- Ketchup - 1/3 cup
- Brown sugar - 2 Tbsp
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/4 tsp
- Water - 2 Tbsp
- Cornstarch - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Sesame seeds, white - 2 tsp
- Oil, toasted sesame - 2 tsp
- Broccoli - 1 lb , florets
- Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
Rice - (This makes enough for 2 nights; if prepping right before cooking, get oven heating while rice cooks.) For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Green onions - Chop, keeping green and white parts separate. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
Make vegetarian 'meat'balls - Place first portion of oats in a food processor. Pulse until the oats are finely ground and resemble flour. Drain and rinse beans. Add beans and white parts of green onions to ground oats and pulse a few times just to break beans into small pieces. Transfer ground oats and beans to a mixing bowl. Add second portion of oats, eggs, breadcrumbs, salt, and black pepper. Gently mix together with a spoon or with your hands. If the mixture is too wet to roll into balls, stir in more panko 1 Tbsp / 15 mL at a time. Form into 1” / 2.5 cm balls and arrange on a sheet pan. Refrigerate until ready to use. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
Heat oven to 425F / 218C. Place one oven rack in the upper third and one in the lower third of the oven.
On a large sheet pan, toss broccoli with olive oil and some salt and pepper. Bake on the lower rack of the oven, shaking the pan halfway through cooking, until very tender and golden on the edges, 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the sheet pan with the 'meatballs' from the refrigerator. Drizzle them with some oil or spray them with olive oil spray. Transfer pan to the upper third of the oven and bake until the meatballs are golden and cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes.
While 'meatballs' bake, in a large saucepan (use one large enough to hold all of the meatballs), combine garlic, ginger, orange juice, soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes to let the flavors develop.
Whisk together water and cornstarch. Stir the cornstarch slurry into the sauce until it thickens slightly.
When 'meatballs' are done baking, add them to the sauce with the sesame seeds and toasted sesame oil. Simmer everything together for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring to coat the meatballs in sauce.
If rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave. (Reserve half for Thursday.)
Serve 'meatballs' and broccoli over rice. Top with green parts of green onions. Enjoy!