I rarely ate meatballs, but I loved them. The texture, and the specific flavor was something I longed for. But never thought much of them. Now, with my meal prep cooking, it’s a recipe that I was able to play around with till achieving perfection. It’s a favorite of my clients.
You can experiment swapping the chickpeas for lentils – I’ve done that a couple of times, and for nut free vegan meatballs, try sunflowers seeds instead of walnuts but make sure the consistency is hearty/dry enough before placing them in the oven, if it’s moist, it would just need longer time baking.
– 1 Can of Chickpeas, or 1.2 Cups of cooked chickpeas
– 1/2 Cup of Walnuts
– 1/4 C of Nutritional Yeast
– 1 Small Yellow Onion – about 1/2 C minced or chopped small
– 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced small (chopped small)
– 3 -4 Garlic Cloves, minced
– 1/4 C of Dried Oregano
– 1-2 Tsp of Paprika
– 1 Tsp of Red Pepper Flakes
– 1-3 Tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar
– 1.5 Tbsp of Olive Oil
– Pink Salt
– Heat up a skillet on medium to high heat, add the oil and let it warm up
– Add the onions, and 2-3 pinches of salt, combines with a wooden spoon till the onions turn translucent. Add the red pepper and the garlic. Combine with spoon to avoid steaming.
– Add spices, my take is to make it highly seasoned, since it will loose its potency once the chickpeas and nutritional yeast is added.
– Combine one more time, then add the walnuts, and cook about 3-5 minutes more.
– Reduce heat, and add the balsamic vinegar. This will pick up all the caramelization produced by the cooked veggies that sticks to the pan, use your wooden spoon to pick it all up, since this is what contains most of the flavor.
– Transfer to a food processor, add the rinsed and drained chickpeas and pulse in low a few times. Do no over process since it will become creamy, you still want texture.
– Transfer to a bowl and add the nutritional yeast, combine with spoon. Mixture should be dry but still moldable. To test this, take some mix in your hands, and press it into a ball, if it stays, then you are golden. If it is too wet, add more nutritional yeast, alternatively, you could add a bit of oat flour to dry the batter.
– Make your meatballs to desired shape, place in oven sheet greased with olive oil, and bake for 8 minutes.