I love balls. I’m not ashamed to admit it, no matter how dirty and how naughty it sounds, I do. Chickpeas, lentils, veggie, zucchini, black beans, kidney beans, mushroom balls. You name it and I’ve probably ball-ified it for a recipe.
For the past week or so I was thinking about over-sized “meat” balls. Like the big kind that are so big you have to put them in a muffin tin so they maintain their integrity throughout the cooking process. When the day came, I was excited about these giant chickpea and vegetable balls but I decided if I made them too big, they might come out undercooked or worse, gross.
Making the chickpea balls will take some time, but not too much. Besides, this is only your nourishment we’re talking about, right?
For the balls, I drained the beans and dried them as well as I could before popping them into the food processor. I pulsed them a few times until most of the chickpeas were broken up but there were still a few chunks in there. For texture. In a separate bowl I mixed together: shallots, ginger, garlic, red bell pepper, spinach, cumin, baking soda, breadcrumbs and one vegan egg. Pretty easy so far, right?
You can do what you want here, but I blended everything BUT the breadcrumbs, egg and beans first. Then the beans and a quick stir before adding a healthy sprinkling of breadcrumbs and another toss. Keep going until you have a mixture that is malleable enough to shape into balls. Now they’re ready for the oven!
I stuck with the idea of using the muffin tin because it worked and this way I wouldn’t have to worry about them falling apart while they were out of my sight in the oven. I rubbed a little coconut oil on each muffin liner to keep from sticking since the only fat in this recipe is the Arche brand vegegg.
Pop the balls into the oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until they’re nice and crispy on the outside and soft & flavorful on the inside.
Now you can get on with your side dishes. I went simple, fries to satisfy my never ending carb craving and sauteed onion, garlic, apple and green cabbage because fresh vegetables are always welcome at our dinner table!
This was a simple meal that took very little prep time. In fact I had enough time to whip up a quick vegan yogurt based remoulade. It was yogurt, Sriracha, mustard, black pepper and diced dill pickle. It is totally optional but the balls needed something and the vegan remoulade was the perfect addition.
Don’t worry if you make too much, toss it on top of a burger or your favorite sandwich or wrap!
Crispy baked potatoes…few things in life are better.
The flavors were incredible and this was the perfect amount of food, which made it a meal I could enjoy without any guilt or fretting over calories. Or fat.