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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Meatless meatball recipe

Searching meatless meatball recipe?  We are sharing our meatless meatball recipe today that won one husband over, can you believe he loved it! 

A meatless meatball recipe idea that just may win you over into trying meatless meatballs just like my husband.  This is the best meatless meatball recipe we have had yet, hands down.  

Meatless meatballs plated with pasta

My husband loves Italian food, but I am not always such a fan.  We've discussed before pasta is not a favorite of mine, but I do like to make meals that he also enjoys so when he made a request for pasta the other night, I decided this would be the perfect time to try an idea I have had for a few months.

When the pandemic hit, we found that meat was difficult to locate and I loaded up on chickpeas.  Chickpeas?  Really Cara?  Yep, I stocked our pantries when I could.  With an abundance of chickpeas in the pantry, I have made a few meatless dishes, and you know what?  Meatless dishes are actually pretty good.

I never thought I would say that though.  I was skeptical to try anything that was so different for me and out of my wheelhouse that I was resistant for a while.  I do like meat in many of my dishes, but I decided I was going to experiment with a meatless meatball to go with Mr. VS's pasta request on this particular evening.

When he came home I held my breath and never even mentioned these meatballs were of the meatless variety.  Would you divulge to your husband who loves meat that you made him a meatball that did not have a drop of beef or any other meat for that matter in it?  Nah, I like to live life on the edge and see what reactions I get.  

How will you ever truly know what people think if you tell them what is in it before they eat something?  Call me a villain, but I love getting that first initial reaction when he or other family members bite into something they are not expecting.

So I may have just pictured myself with a dark cape on, draped over one arm, holding it up across my face.  Me, lying in wait to watch their reactions undetected. A smirk on my face they cannot see as they eat whatever it is I want to share and am afraid I cannot get them to try it any other way.  

Yes, I have done this before for holidays.  Ok, not the cape, but I have brought dishes with me and not revealed what was exactly in the dish until I hear oh, that is good, how did you make this?  You would think they would be used to it by now, but I pull a fast one every now and then.  

It is how I was able to get my mother to try the black bean brownie recipe afterall.  When I had mentioned trying black beans in brownies she replied yuck!  Why would you even try that?  She indicated if she was allergic to wheat, she did not know what she would do going without regular food.  That is all the ammunition I needed to create the recipe and serve it to her.  When she said wow, these are really rich and so moist I said oh... black bean brownies are pretty good huh?  Sometimes I surprise even her, do you know how good that feels?  **wink**   

What you will need: 
  1. 1 can chick peas, drained
  2. 1 t onion powder
  3. 1 t garlic powder
  4. 1 t Italian seasoning 
  5. 1 t dried parsley
  6. 1/4 t smoked paprika 
  7. salt & pepper to taste
  8. 1 egg 
  9. 1/2 c gluten free bread crumbs
  10. 2 T olive oil
  11. 1 T water (if needed, I did use this since I felt they were a bit dry)

What you will need to do:
  1. Place chickpeas in food processor (I used my small food processor)
  2. Add in rest of ingredients
  3. Puree chickpeas, this will completely mix in all of the ingredients
  4. Once everything has been mixed and chickpeas are a smooth consistency, place mixture into small bowl, this will make it easier to scoop into balls
  5. I used my cookie dough scoop to create my meatballs
  6. Place in skillet coated with olive oil
  7. Cook on medium heat, cook for about 2 minutes per side or until golden brown

I was glad to have my cookie dough scoop to keep my mess at a minimum.  At this point when I videoed, I had already made a couple of meatballs and tried them to see if I had a good recipe or not.  I like to make sure I have my spice ratios well balanced before I get too far into the cooking part.  

I have shared with you before, I am not a chef or baker, I am an experimenter.  Everything I do is trial and error, and you know what?  I love that about being in the kitchen.  Sometimes I create something great, and other times I bomb... you never know unless you give it the ole college try.

meatless meatballs in skillet coated with olive oil

Once I had the scoops in the skillet, I did end up flattening them out a bit.  I wanted to make sure I was able to get them heated and cooked through.  I also did not want them to burn on the outside and be uncooked in the center.  Oh yes, I have done this before... not a good experience.  

browning meatless meatballs in stainless skillet

By the time hubby got home, I had everything all mixed up, sauce over the meatballs, pasta made up, all he had to do was plate his food.  I sat down and began to eat, and hubby did the same. He commented these meatballs are different, did you use something other than beef?  I asked why?  Do you not like them.  He replied, no, I do like them, but I know they are not beef, what did you use?

I chuckled and said chickpeas.  He looked at me surprised and said oh, they are actually pretty good.  I guess I did not need to go all cloak and dagger over meatless meatballs afterall.  He thought they were good and when I asked if he would eat them again, he said YES!

Can you believe it?  I was floored!  So in case you were wondering if this is a good recipe or not, you can give them a try - he liked them, it is what I base all of my recipes on before I share them with you.  I am not pulling your leg... these are pretty good, so the skeptic (me) became converted to meatless meatballs too.  

Another reason to give them a try?  The price of meat... are you kidding me?  It is kind of high these days.  You can purchase a can of chickpeas for $.78!  That is a bargain if you ask me when it comes to making meatballs for dinner.  

I have noticed a lot of folks commenting on grocery prices lately.  I have done it myself.  Plus, have you noticed the increased issues with meat being contaminated?  I like to keep the blog light because this is my happy place, but we actually do know someone who contracted a serious illness by eating contaminated meat which caused a debilitating disease, and eventually ended in death.  Very sad story and makes you be more aware when it happens to someone close to you.

Let's go back to our happy place where chickpeas are easy to locate, and guess what?  They can be pretty tasty too when mixed with excellent sidekick ingredients.  

Well, what do you think?  Do you think you will give chickpeas a chance at being your alternative to your next meatball dinner?  If you do, please let us know what you think!  I am curious about your thoughts.   

On this particular evening, I even made my own chunky sauce to compliment those meatballs and penne pasta.  Pasta sauce is something I have come to learn I love to make homemade.  I always begin with whole canned tomatoes and then add Italian seasoning and spices as I go.  

To me, cooking can be emotional. When I am making something unfamiliar to me, I go by feel.  I think of recipes I have consumed with loved ones and I think about the ingredients of those dishes.  I then think about whatever I want to make and figure out the base of my dish and then build from there.  Some recipes are a bust and I get disappointed, but I keep cooking and baking and learning.  It is what keeps me going.            

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