As veggie patties, balls and burgers of all kind bathed in flavored tomato sauce are my all time favorite dish, there was a time I was struggling to find alternatives that don’t have a cardboard consistency! It seems many brands have a while to go in terms of reaching a full body flavor too!
Of course I’m forever passionate about making things from scratch, and it’s also nice to know exactly what’s in the final product. This is a quick and easy recipe, as the ingredients can simply be thrown into the food processor, meaning just about anyone can make them, even those with minimal talent in the kitchen!
You’ll see the bulk of these meatballs are created from chickpeas, which are an excellent source of protein. In one cup you’ll find:
- Close to 40g of protein
- Over 270% of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of molybdenum
- 85% of your RDI in manganese
- 70% RDI of folate
Now, if you’ve never heard of molybdenum, it’s a lesser talked about mineral, but one that holds a lot of importance in the body. That’s because it is one of the main catalysts for breaking down and processing amino acids. You’ll find around five essential amino acids in chick peas which your body can readily use.
It’s been long known, that herbs contain some pretty powerful healing properties. Basil is incredibly rich in vitamin K, which works alongside calcium to build strong, healthy bones.
Mint is a herb that can very easily be grown at home and takes very little maintenance to keep the plant alive. Fresh mint has been known to positively affect your mood, especially if you’re experiencing any anxiety or depression, given its calming effect.
Along with basil, mint also helps to clear any skin issues such as acne, given its natural antiseptic properties. Mint has also been shown to boost memory and cognitive performance, again, no doubt this is linked to the calming effect that it invokes.
As for the humble parsley, this one is never missing from my fridge, because it represents a key source of vitamin C and chlorophyll in my diet, while adding depth of flavor to any of my dishes.
Nutritional yeast is something you hear a lot about in the health food world, and here you have how nutrient dense these little yellow flakes are. Nutritional yeast contains an impressive 18 amino acids, including nine of the essential ones that your body requires for optimal energy, building and repairing of tissue, and many other important functions.
Finding all nine essential amino acids, in one food source is quite rare in a mostly plant-based diet. A sprinkle of nutritional yeast in this recipe, can go a long way in helping your body carry out all necessary functions. And just like magic, the high level of molybdenum in the chick peas will help all of the amino acids in nutritional yeast get to work in the body!
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas (you can also use canned, well drained and rinsed)
- ¼ cup quinoa, red or white, cooked (about ¾ cup cooked)
- 1 medium zucchini, grated
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp rolled oats
- 2 organic eggs
- 2 tsp nutritional yeast
- 5-6 fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 5-6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Olive oil, to drizzle
- Preheat the oven to 175C/346F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and drizzle it with olive oil.
- Add the grated zucchini into a bowl with ½ tsp salt, mix and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Use your hands to squeeze the zucchini and remove the liquid.
- Add the chickpeas into the food processor and pulse to obtain a chunky mixture.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse two or three times to incorporate.
- Use your hands to shape little balls, and line them on the baking sheet.
- Drizzle the balls with olive oil, and bake for 15 minutes, then flip over and bake for 15 more minutes.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool before serving as snacks, or serve warm with pasta or sauces of choice.
- *You can also fry them for a crispier texture, but I strongly advise choosing baking over frying any time you have the occasion, to avoid toxic aldehyde accumulations.