When I was in middle school, I realized meat was not for me. I can’t even describe to you the surprised look I received from my parents when I cleared my throat at our dinner table and announced that I would not be eating meatballs for our weekly Sunday pasta dinner anymore. (Taboo!)
My stepfather’s jaw fell open and hit the ground that day. Not eat meatballs? It was almost like I put a curse on something.
I was a lucky girl though, my mom and stepfather always respected my decision and after a week thinking about it, their response changed from surprised to hey…more meatballs for us!
I was really excited about my new lifestyle and devoured lots of fresh fruits, veggies and pasta. For the first few months I would get eyed-up at the table, Is she going to grab a piece of steak? Maybe she will….maybe she will just take a bite of chicken…
But I never did.
I didn’t crave meat like my friends and family did and really didn’t miss it much. The only thing that would make me wince, just a bit, were those darn meatballs. I loved hearing them sizzle when my stepfather cooked them in a hot pan. I loved the dense texture and seasonings and I loved them with pasta.
The day before my 18th birthday, I moved into my first apartment with my boyfriend (now husband.) There I cooked many vegetarian meals. I was on top of the world with my new independent freedom, but by the end of the year, I was broke. Working a minimum wage retail position and having lots of bills brought me to Ramon Noodles and rice..lots of rice.
Rice is really affordable, so I would make rice milk, rice with apples for breakfast, rice for dinner….you get the picture? I even made lots of rice balls which is how I learned to create my first meatless meatball. I’m not sure what was in it but it was a total flop and yet somehow we made it through that year and even got a second (cheaper) apartment the following year. (Thanks to my rice saving days!)
By the time my boyfriend and I bought our first house, I was a cooking machine. I loved working with rice and realized (as a runner) that the carbs are what my body needs for running. Ironic, right?
After many attempts, I finally made yummy meatless rice meatballs that are dense in texture and seasoned perfectly like my stepfather used to make, without the meat of course.
NOTE: I changed the name of the this post to better clarify the “seasonings”