Contributed by GHS Senior Intern Judy Rozmus
Some of you may have heard of Heidi’s Meatless “Meat”balls around town before but if not, they are completely vegetarian “meat”balls in four ethnic flavors: Italian, Persian, Spicy Thai, and, my favorite, Santa Fe.
I was lucky enough to get Heidi Matonis as my boss for my senior internship, who is passionate about eating creatively. “Eat creatively!” is actually the slogan used for the “meat”balls, which Heidi came up with after coming across an article about a man who traveled the world trying different style meatballs.
Heidi was intrigued but unfortunately could not try any of the meatballs mentioned since she and her family are vegetarians. This inspired Heidi to try making vegetarian meatballs and start up her own business to help others eat creatively as well.
You can find Heidi’s Meatless “Meat”balls in Whole Foods in Greenwich, Port Chester, Darien, Danbury, Manhatten stores and other locations coming soon!
I have been watching Heidi’s business rapidly grow over these past few weeks. Just last week Heidi found a new meatball factory that can help cut prep time in half, thanks to the very advanced meatball roller technology. We have made LARGE quantities of “meat”balls in the kitchen but it never seems to be enough. Every demo I give in Whole Foods, I need to restock Heidi’s “meat”balls because of how quickly they sell, especially when there are free samples involved.
Whether you want to spice up a regular dinner or just have a snack, these “meat”balls are delicious and easy to make; only 15 minutes in a oven/ toaster oven or even try frying them up in a pan until crispy.
The Santa Fe is my favorite because it consists of corn, black beans, fresh cilantro, red bell peppers, and a hint of jalapeno which reminds me of Mexican food. I find it exciting that each “meat”ball is inspired by somewhere around the world. For example, the Spicy Thai is infused with peanuts that add that ethnic Thai flavor to the other ingredients: white rice, coconut, fresh cilantro, and lime juice.
Persian is the only sweet tasting “meat”ball because of the apricots that blend very well with the quinoa, goat cheese, pistachios, and cayenne pepper.
The classic Italian is my second favorite because of how much it tastes like a real meatball, made with bulgur wheat, sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil, and parmesan cheese. In fact, I now prefer Heidi’s version of an Italian “meat”ball over a real meatball, especially in a sub with red sauce and topped with parmesan cheese.
Most people assume that the reason I love these meatless “meat”balls is because I am vegetarian too but I’m not. I love meat but to be completely honest Heidi’s “meat”balls taste better than any meatball I’ve had in the past. Not to mention the health benefits of eating fresh ingredients containing no red meat. They are not just made for vegetarian/ vegan people; they are for everyone to enjoy!