If you would like to find a low calorie and guilt free alternative to meatballs, I've got a real treat for you!
One of the most shocking things I've found since going vegetarian and then vegan is that I really don't miss anything. Seriously.
I thought for sure that giving up cheese was going to be a big deal for me, but honestly it wasn't an issue at all. I am constantly making nut cheeses and have found that they are positively addicting.
And though I've always been a huge fan of meatballs, I don't miss them a bit thanks to these amazing meat-less balls! These are great to make “meatball” subs, spaghetti, crumbled on pizza, added to a salad or even just eaten alone. I've even been known to eat one cold straight from the fridge on occasion. (Though they are better with sauce.)
Now a couple of notes about these. They do tend to be on the dry side and if you think this will bother you feel free to add in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. I have been trying to watch the amount of oil in my diet and I enjoy them just fine without the oil.
- 1 tablespoon water
- ½ cup onion, chopped
- ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes, re-hydrated
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas, peeled (peeling is optional)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tablespoon quinoa flour
- 2 tablespoons no salt seasoning
- 2 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
- 2 tablespoons Vital Wheat Gluten flour (optional, may use GF flour)
- 1 -2 tablespoons olive oil, (optional, for moister meatballs – not included in nutritional info)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add water. Add onion and sun dried tomato and cook for 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one more minute. Remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, peel chickpeas and add to a food processor. Process until crumbly. Add onion mixture, basil, quinoa, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. Process until well blended. Add flour, no salt seasoning, nutritional yeast and vital wheat gluten flour. Process for 1 to 2 minutes, adding water by the tablespoon as needed. If using vital wheat gluten, allow to sit for 15 minutes until the gluten develops.
- Form into small balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes
Secondly, I've used vital wheat gluten here because the boys really love the texture it gives. I love it too but since I know a lot of you are gluten free (something I will be testing in January) I want to note that I have tested this recipe without the wheat gluten and it does work.