Chickpea "Meatballs" with Zucchini Noodles From The Essential Vegetable Cookbook
These meatless chickpea "meatballs" are made almost exactly the same way as the baked falafel, but have entirely different flavors - instead of garlic and parsley, they contain basil, sun-dried tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese. Chickpeas work so well as a substitute for meat that you'd almost never know these meatballs contain no actual meat! Try them with the Burst Cherry Tomato Sauce (page 234) for a vegetarian version of spaghetti and meatballs.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
1 (15-ounce) can low sodium-chickpeas
1 small yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large zucchini, ends trimmed
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Rinse and drain the chickpeas.
2. Put the chickpeas in a food processor and process until mashed, leaving a few whole chickpeas. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
3. Put the onion in the food processor and process until very finely chopped. Add the bowl with the chickpeas.
4. Add the basil, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan, egg, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper to the bowl and stir until the mixture is thick and cohesive.
5. Form the mixture into heaping tablespoon-size balls (you should have around 15 balls) and place on a plate.
6. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chickpea balls and cook them for about 5 minutes, turning the balls until browned on all sides.
7. Transfer the "meatballs" to a baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes, until cooked through.
8. While "meatballs" bake, use a spiralizer to twirl the zucchini into noodles.
9. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini noodles and lightly saute until softened.
10. Top the zucchini noodles with the chickpea meatballs and serve immediately.
Per serving (3 meatballs and 1/2 cup noodles): Calories: 254; Total fat: 13 g; Total carbs: 26 g; Fiber: 6 g; Sugar: 8 g; Protein: 10 g; Sodium: 399 mg