CHICKPEA MEATBALL'S WITH A MORROCAN FLARE
This is one of my all time favorite recipes when I am looking for something similar to pasta but don’t want to load up on processed carbohydrates. It’s a Moroccan inspired dish with a ton of flavor. The “meatballs” are made with chickpeas so they are packed with good quality protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Although carbohydrates are essential, I use spaghetti squash rather then pasta noodles to cut back on highly processed carbohydrates. If you are craving an authentic dish then give this recipe a try!
- One whole spaghetti squash (good for two people)
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 small yellow onions, peeled and chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 ½ tsp. ground ginger
- 1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. Hungarian paprika
- ½ tsp. Spanish paprika
- a pinch of ground turmeric
- ¼ cup of fresh parsley
- ¼ cup of fresh cilantro
- juice of half a lime
- ½ cup white onion, minced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp. of flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp. of water, let sit for 5 minutes)
- 1 cup of chickpeas
- ¼ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. cumin
- 2 ½ tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tbsp. fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 ½ tsp. sea salt & pepper
Coating for meatballs:
- 1/3 cup gluten free bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut your spaghetti squash into round rings, spoon out the guts and seeds and lay them on a sheet pan.
- Bake for 40 minutes in the oven and then let cool.
- After they have cooled off, remove the skin and use a fork to break the spaghetti squash up (it should naturally break apart similarly to noodles). Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil on a pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until they become translucent.
- Lower the heat to medium and add the remaining ingredients. Cook for about 5 more minutes.
- Lower the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for 20 more minutes.
- While your sauce is cooking, you can begin the vegan meatballs. Lower the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a food processer, add all of the ingredients for your meatballs (besides the olive oil). Blend until all of the ingredients are combined.
- Form the mixture into little balls.
- Combine the breadcrumbs and nutritional yeast together in a separate bowl.
- Roll the balls in the breadcrumb mixture.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Set the balls in the pan and let cook until golden brown on the outside (they will still be soft on the inside).
- Once golden brown, transfer the balls to a sheet pan and bake in the oven for another 15-20 minutes (the balls will still be a little soft in the inside- that is okay, they still taste amazing!)
- Top your spaghetti noodles with the sauce and the finished meatballs and garnish with a bay leaf and some parsley or whatever your heart desires!
Notes: Feel free to add in more veggies to either of these recipes. Some good veggies to add are broccoli, spinach, asparagus, purple cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, etc. If you have a spiralizer you can also do zucchini noodles in place of the spaghetti squash, in which case you would just add them in at the end for about 3 minutes (they over-cook pretty fast). Or quinoa would be a great option in place of the noodles, feel free to mix it up!