Hi everyone and happy Thursday! It has been a little crazy over here in the Neilan household, as I’m sure it’s been in your home too! Patrick is on a 7am-7pm/Mon-Fri schedule now. Which may sound terrible, but it’s actually pretty nice because he gets weekends off. Wahoooo Merry Christmas to us! Anyway, the holidays are upon us- and we love/welcome the chaos. We’ve got family coming into town soon and lots of cooking happening and gift wrapping to do BUT before we close out till after Christmas I wanted to share this Chickpea Ball recipe with you guys. I make spinach turkey meatballs often – this is the first meal I made for Patrick when we were dating (with pasta and pesto sauce) so it hits close to home! I will share the spinach turkey baked meatball/cashew pesto recipe with you all soon as well! But back to the chickpeas- we don’t like to have meat every night of the week- so we swap chickpea balls over a salad bowl every other night. This way we include lots of plant-based meals too!
From the Dietitian: Chickpeas are great for digestion and satiety. They pack about 15g protein per cup- which makes it an awesome option when you’re trying to add some meatless nights into your weekly routine. Chickpeas are high in folate, magnesium, iron and phosphorus- wahoooo!!
From the Doctor: Studies have shown that 1.5 C of legumes a day helped reduce inflammatory markers and improved insulin resistance. Two awesome correlates in the fight against disease. Chickpeas are packed with soluble fiber as we discussed in the lentil soup recipe (https://doctormeetsdietitian.com/2017/12/13/coziest-lentil-soup-recipe/) – making it great for diabetics, in moderation, as it slows the absorption of sugar. This happens because soluble fiber increases the viscosity (aka thickness) of the intestinal contents after each meal consumed. Even if you are not diabetic- we all want out blood sugar managed well and our insulin levels normalized- trust me. Once your insulin and blood sugar are at of whack it creates an abundance of issues in the body- to put it very lightly. Just a glimpse- diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease, top cause for blindness, the reason for 60% of lower body amputations, 70% of people with diabetes have nervous system damage, diabetes causes- digestive problems, erectile dysfunction and increases risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. Moderation, healthy diet and a lifestyle of balance is the key way to avoid chronic disease. Now, on to the chickpea recipe!
- 2 eggs or 2 flax eggs to keep chickpea balls vegan (2.5 tbsp ground flax)
- 1/2 C breadcrumbs
- 2 C Chickpeas
- 2-3 Garlic Cloves (or 1/2 Tbsp of garlic powder)
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp parsley
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp basil
- 1/4 tsp marjoram (optional)
- small handful of basil leaves (optional)
- Preheat oven to 450
- Skip this step if using canned chickpeas. If using dried chickpeas, soak for 4 hours. Boil until they’re splitting, about 45 minutes to an hour.
- Drain the chickpeas and pinch the skin off [I didn’t take the skin off all the chickpeas and it turned out great- takes wayyy too long! But if you have the time, go for it!]
- Blend chickpeas in a blender until broken down [I added a few drops of water]
- Make your flax seed “eggs” [2 Tbsp Flax with 6 Tbsp of Water- mix and let sit for 10-15min]
- Mix chickpeas and flax seed eggs [or regular eggs]
- Mix in the remaining ingredients
- If the mixture is too sticky, add more breadcrumbs a little at a time. If too dry, add a little water or oil [coconut/olive whatever you prefer]
- Form the chickpea mixture into meatballs and place onto a greased or parchment-lined baking dish.
- Bake the chickpea meatballs for 20-25 minutes, turning over halfway through, They should be golden and crispy.
Recipe Credit: Karissa’s vegan kitchen (modifications made)
Enjoy with pasta and pesto or over a bed of lettuce with all the veggies of your choice!
-The Neilan Family-