A few weeks ago, Adam took a cooking class at the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC. I had first heard of the school years ago when I attended the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Annmarie Colbin, who is the founder of the Natural Gourmet Institute came to speak to us about the mission of the school:
“We believe that what we eat significantly affects our physical, mental and spiritual well being. We all have different body types, ethnic backgrounds, medical histories, stress levels, caloric needs and physiological responses to food; therefore, no one philosophy is right for everyone. Our approach empowers people to tailor their eating style to support their individual health needs.”
It was created to meet the demand for students who were looking to get a culinary education in “delicious health supportive cuisine.” They also offer many cooking classes and lectures for the public.
The class Adam attended was called Vegetarian Hors D’oeuvre Party. The class was split up into twos and each partnership created two of the Hors D’oeuvers (there were nine in total). One that Adam and his partner were instructed to create was Seitan Meatballs with Soy Ginger Glaze.
While I love that the Natural Gourmet Institute was created to help budding chefs learn how to make food that is healthier than what might be learned in a traditional cooking school, there are a few ingredients that I would prefer not to eat and one of them is Seitan (pure gluten). Adam also noticed that a few of the recipes contained lots of cheese and fattening milk products and some were even fried.
That being said; most of the recipes were ones that both Adam and I would enjoy, and for the others, like the Seitan Meatballs, we just found ways to use substitutions to make them even healthier. Instead of Seitan, Adam came up with the idea of using an assortment of mushrooms and they ended up being really delicious!
We also changed a few other ingredients so that the recipe would be gluten free.
Mushroom “Meatballs” with Ginger Glaze (Vegetarian and gluten free)
(Inspired by the Natural Gourmet Institute)
Yield: 2 dozen
½ cup coconut sugar
½ cup water
½ cup Wheat free Tamari
½ cup mirin
¼ cup ginger juice
1 tsp ground coriander
4 whole peppercorns
1 and ½ lbs of mixed mushrooms (Portobello, baby Portobello and shitaki) chopped finely
4 scallions, chopped
½ bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
½ cup bread crumbs (we made our own using gluten free bread)
2 Tbs. dark sesame oil
2 Tbs. Wheat free Tamari
½ tsp. ground black pepper
oil for sheet pan
Ginger Glaze: Bring coconut sugar and ½ cup water to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Add Tamari, ginger juice, coriander ad peppercorns. Simmer until reduced by half. Strain.
Mushroom “Meatballs”: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a sheet pan; set aside.
Mix mushrooms scallions, cilantro, breadcrumbs, dark sesame oil, Tamari, and black pepper. Roll into mini meatballs.
Place “meatballs” on oiled sheet tray until brown.
Serve spooned with sauce drizzled over and topped with chives (optional).
We noticed that they come out even better after they have a chance to get cool in the fridge. The next day we then heated the “meatballs” in sauce and enjoyed them with gluten free pasta, and the following day finished up the leftovers with a large salad. They are very versatile!
p.s. If you think others would love to have this recipe too, “like” or “share” with your friends!
Tags: Annmarie Colbin, gluten-free, Hors D'oeuvre, Mushroom Meatballs, Natural Gourmet Institute, vegetarian
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