Learn how to make Vegan Meatballs!

 

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meatball sub

In my cooking class, Vegan 101: The System,  one of the things I will be teaching is how to make a simple, NO COOK (unless you count boiling water) veggie burger base that can be turned into meatballs and veggie meatloaf!

Date: August 27

Time: 1-5 pm

Place: Holbrook, MA

Cost: $125

Here’s what people are saying about this class:

Local friends, if you are looking to massively level up your plant based cooking, Melody Polakow is *the* person to learn from – she makes the most inspired, delicious, satisfying vegan food I have ever come across. – Andrea, Boston, MA

I can whole heartedly second Andrea’s testimonial about Melody — we recently did a private cooking class with Melody — it was totally amazing — I was about to give up on going Vegan as I had almost begun to dread eating — in the class with Melody I learned to make several “master sauces” and applied them to a few recipes — and they were fantastic — tasty, well spiced and filling. Take the class — you will be happy you did. – Penny, Boston, MA

Yes indeed. Melody Polakow’s class is awesome. I love being vegan, but I didn’t feel like I had the tools. Now, we have the basis for a bunch of sauces. We know how to create “cheese flavoring” sauces that work with everything. Amazing “meat” to make meatloaf, hamburgers, meatballs and so forth. Some core ingredients to use.. Comfort with using my Instant Pot, etc.

We crammed more in to this class then I thought possible. It felt like we learned 3 class fulls in one class. We were all exhausted, but happy at the end. Had a delicious “meatball” sub to celebrate and a refrigerator full of food.

Melody is a great instructor.. Super friendly. Very knowledgeable. Amazingly Skillful. Wow. – Michael, Boston, MA

This class is awesome. Y’all should definitely attend! Her food is super tasty! – Jason, Boston, MA

What I’ve been up to – MELOMEALS

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Long time, so see friends! I’ve been busy creating my new Plant-Based meal delivery service! I have decided to go back to my roots; MeloMeals.

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I create amazing plant-based food and deliver it to a variety of settings:

  • Restaurants
  • Corporate Clients
  • Juice Bars
  • Yoga Studios
  • Homes
  • New Moms

I’m having a lot of fun and am currently renting kitchen space out of Unchained Pizza 960 William T. Morrissey BLVD. in Dorchester, MA. I have my own MeloMeals fridge full of prepared meals to go and soups for sale there:

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It’s a lot of fun, and everyday is different. I deliver to Lido Juice in Hingham, MA as well.

 

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I also have something exciting under wrap that I will reveal in May.

For now, I’ll leave you with some more food pics.

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Rice Noodle Bowl w/ 5 Spice Chickpeas, Kale, and Sesame-Ginger-Turmeric Sauce 
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Southwestern Black Bean Bowl with Chipotle-Cashew Sauce 
Warrior bowl
Warrior Bowl: Red Quinoa, Greens, Roasted Carrots, Corn and Red Peppers, BBQ Tofu, and Smoky Cashew Red Pepper Sauce 

I’ve also been experimenting constantly with vegan cheese recipes. So much fun!

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Vegan Feta
vegan blue cheese
Vegan Blue Cheese
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Vegan Goat Cheese

…and finally, upping my Gluten-Free, Vegan pizza game!

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Before cooking

Lebanese Moussaka

11212141_644431038992203_3172295891959256073_oThe Boyfriend and I went out to eat at a Lebanese joint a while back and I ordered Moussaka. I had only ever had (vegetarian) Greek Moussaka, and given that this was the only plant-based main dishe on the menu, I ordered it expecting the Greek version of layered eggplant and chickpeas in this case. I was definitely surprised when the dish came out as more of an eggplant stew. You learn something new everyday!

I liked the dish, but it was really heavy on the oil and did not contain any chickpeas. I was pretty bummed, because I would never, ever order eggplant as a main dish. Rice and veggies do not make a meal in my world; I need protein in the form of beans, tofu, tempeh,  or seitan in order to feel like it is worth the calories/money of a “main dish”.

That being said, I liked the flavor of the dish, so I decided to create what I wish I had been served at the restaurant.

Eggplant soaks up oil, so I choose to use very little when I cook with it. I like to get the cast iron screaming hot and “dry fry” the eggplant, then set it aside. This is my version of deep frying, very similar to dry frying tofu. Then, I soak it in the beautiful sauce and the eggplant gets all velvety and soft and decadent. It’s so much better than eating oil soaked food.

I created the sauce with onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, za’taar, tomatoes, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, parsley, and some other spices.

I love creating beautiful, tasty, healthy food, and am thankful for the inspiration.

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My love of spicy foods knows no bounds! You can’t go wrong with a ton of garlic, dry fried tofu, and greens. I used a tiny bit of coconut oil and slowly caramelized the garlic, then added the previously dry fried tofu, some marinated shitake mushrooms, and the greens, then finished it off with a bunch of homemade chili-garlic lime sauce and a tsp. of toasted sesame oil.

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This chili sauce is one of my favorites to make. The lime, garlic, and heat compliment so many dishes. It’s a cross between Sriracha and Sambal Oelek; the best of both worlds, in my opinion!

Sugar-Free Aloe Lime Ginger Slushie

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This has been one of my favorite refreshing drinks for years. I started drinking Aloe Juice over ice (usually in a wine glass) as a teen in Iowa. The summers were SOOOOO HOT there.

To make this simple mocktail, just add 1 cup aloe juice, 1 cup water,1 cup ice cubes, the juice of 3 limes, 1 inch of ginger and a scoop of Kal Stevia powder and blend in a blender. If you want an electrolyte drink, you can add 1/4 tsp. NuSalt (potassium).

Grilled Eggplant Caprese Wheat berry Salad

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I developed this recipe years ago, and it’s still one of my favorite salads. It can be easily veganized by using smoked tofu instead of the smoked mozzarella, and frankly, I prefer the tofu version. I’m going to share the recipe with you, but first I want to talk a little bit about how I like to stock my freezer with cooked grains and legumes. I usually cook two different grains and two different legumes a week, and freeze the leftovers in single or double size portions. That way I can always pull something out of my freezer for a quick meal by adding whatever veggies I have on hand and one of the many sauces I keep on hand. (I also make the sauces in a big batch and freeze them too.)

For breakfast this morning, I used my cooked wheatberries and white beans, added some zucchini, spinach, and cilantro-mint chutney and had a great breakfast in under 10 minutes! It may not look great, but the mint chutney pulled it all together and gave it a great, cooked all day flavor.

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I’m a huge lover of leftovers for breakfast!

Now, onto the recipe for this awesome salad:

Grilled Eggplant Caprese Wheat berry Saladwheatberryeggplant-019-M

Serves 6 as a side dish

  • 1 c wheat berries
  • 4 c water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 2 inch rounds
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 cloves pressed garlic, divided (around 4 teaspoons)
  • 4 tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, washed and dried (around 1 ½ cups loosely packed), hand torn
  • 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
  • ¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ½ teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • Juice of 1 lemon (around ¼ cup)
  • 4 ounces fresh smoked mozzarella* or smoked tofu cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Smoked sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method:

  • In a large saucepan, bring wheat berries, water and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil. Cover, turn heat down to simmer and cook for 45 minutes or until the wheat berries are tender. Drain in a colander, rinse and set aside. This can be done the night before
  • Slice eggplant, place in a gallon size ziplock bag with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 pressed garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons vinegar and ½ teaspoon salt. Let this marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
  • Grill eggplant over medium heat for around 4 minutes a side, set aside
  • In a bowl, add the cooked wheat berries, the rest of the vinegar and olive oil, tomatoes, basil, herbs, lemon zest and juice and smoked mozzarella.
  • Chop eggplant and add to bowl, toss and add smoked sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

*Smoked Tofu is a great alternative to smoked mozzarella for those wishing to avoid dairy. You can find it in many Chinese markets and in some supermarkets.