Don’t meatballs and spaghetti bring wonderful childhood memories? This version that I bring you is vegan, wholesome and delicious. They are refined flour free and packed with protein, fiber and micronutrients. For this recipe I chose two legumes full of protein – chickpeas and lentils, but I’m sure black beans, quinoa or butter beans would also work pretty well. As soon I try to make them with other grains or legumes, I will update you on how well it went!
YIELDS: 6 servings (you can freeze the meatballs before adding the sauce)
PREPARATION TIME: 25 min
COOKING TIME: 35 min
CHARACTERISTICS: Vegan, possibly Gluten Free, Sugar Free
200g dry chickpeas, soaked overnight (or 400g of canned chickpeas)
200g dry lentils
1/2 cup oat flour
2 small onions, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups (400g) of tomato paste
1/2 tsp oreganos
4 fresh basil leaves + more to garnish
1/4 tsp pepper + 1/4 for the tomato sauce
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt + 1/2 for the tomato sauce
Chia Egg: 2 tbsp chia seeds + 4 tbsp water
- Start by preparing two chia “eggs” – mix the chia seeds and water and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Chop the onion and garlic and sauté them in a hot olive oil. Cook until golden.
- Cook the lentils and dry chickpeas (or wash the canned chickpeas under running water).
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC or 360F.
- Add half of the onion and garlic to a shredder. Add chickpeas, cooked lentils, spices, oat flour and chia egg to the shredder and grind to form a thick dough, but still leaving a few chunks.
- Roll the dough into balls. Distribute them on a tray and place it in the oven. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden and slightly dry to the touch.
- Add the tomato pulp to the pan with the onion and garlic. Season to taste with pepper, basil, oregano and salt to taste. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
- When ready, add the meatballs to the pan with the tomato sauce and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Serve with spaghetti (give preference to wholegrain spaghetti) or cauliflower mashed potatoes.
- Decorate with fresh basil leaves and enjoy!
If you try this recipe, leave a comment, take a picture and tag @zest.andthecity on Instagram or use the hashtag #zestandthecity. I will love to see your cookings.