"The only thing that was really different about Chewandswallow was its weather. It came three
times a day, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Everything that everyone ate came from the sky.
Whatever the weather served, that was what they ate.
But it never rained rain. It never snowed snow. And it never blew just wind. It rained things like soup
and juice. It snowed mashed potatoes and green peas. And sometimes the wind blew in storms of
from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
by Judi Barrett, illustrated by Ron Barrett
This was one of my absolute favorite books as a child. Beautiful illustrations, an imaginative storyline, and image upon image of delicious foods? Of course I couldn't get enough.
Here was a beautiful and delicious world I could get totally lost in. I loved the illustration of the Jell-o sunset, and when everyone in the story got sick from a storm of cream cheese and jelly sandwiches...I thought about how amazing it would be to eat nothing but cream cheese and jelly sandwiches all day.
If you've never read this book, I recommend you go out and buy it immediately. Then go buy a copy for whatever children are in your life.
There is a movie as well, but I've never seen it. I can't help but fear that it just doesn't compare to the book. Can anyone recommend it?
This week's recipe is a tribute to this beloved childhood book, with my healthy spin on it. You can serve these "meatballs" with your sauce and spaghetti of choice (gluten-free? whole wheat?). I'm not a huge fan of imitation meat, but to me, these are more reminiscent of falafel. They're not exactly a meat imitation...more of a substitute. J, on the other hand, kept begging me for the secret of how I got them to taste like meat. Who knows.
1 cup cooked lentils
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/4 cup oats
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup, + 2 tbsp oat flour
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and generously grease a baking sheet (or two).
Combine the lentils, rice, oats, walnuts, onion, garlic, soy sauce, oil, and lemon juice in a food processor, and blend until the texture of meat. Do not overblend. If your processor is small, you can combine a few ingredients at a time and then add to a mixing bowl.
Transfer to a large bowl, and stir in the chili powder, paprika, salt, and oat flour. Use your hands to form the dough into balls 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. The dough will be very sticky. It helps to rub some oil into your hands. Just stick with it (pun intended) and be ready to get your hands dirty.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the bottoms of the meatballs are just beginning to brown. Serve over spaghetti and tomato sauce, topped with vegan Parmesan cheese (recipe below).
1 tbsp walnuts
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in a coffee grinder and pulse until the texture of Parmesan cheese.