Monday, 21 September 2015

Chickpea & Eggplant Balls

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I love left overs. A little of this and a little of that can make THE best meals or snacks. Being that I didn't have a large amount of left overs, I ended up making "meatballs". They can simply be added to a lot of meals such as pasta, rice, or even on a sandwich, sub or pizza just to name a few. After a very high cholesterol scare in our house late last year most of my meals are vegan now so I'm making and posting mostly that at this time.  Last year I posted a vegetarian recipe for another eggplant "meatball". To be honest I think this recipe is more tasty than the vegetarian one. I'm still fascinated daily with how simple, easy & tasty vegan meals can be. Best of all "cholesterol free"! Foods that are cholesterol free are fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds & legumes. 

With approximately 3.5 grams of protein per piece, these are the ingredients I used today.  

Ingredients

1 cup chick peas 
1 1/2 cups eggplant slices 
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4-1/3 cup cup onion 
1 cup rice & quinoa mix ( doesn't have to be a mix, you can use just one )
1 cup spinach
1 tsp curry powder
Salt & pepper to taste

Yields approx 15-16 balls depending on the size you choose to make them.
***use organic when possible***

Reasons to eat eggplant 

Eggplant contains many vitamins, but its dominant vitamins are vitamin C, folate, B vitamins, and vitamin A. These vitamins improve the body's overall health, boost the immune system, and improve resistance to various diseases. Eggplant also contains a large quantity of minerals such as phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These minerals help prevent health problems such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and heart disease. Eggplant is also a great source of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber protects against colon cancer, keeps the digestive system working properly, and keeps the stomach feeling full after a meal. ( source--Natural News.com )

"Meatball" Coating

1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp garlic plus seasoning
1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
Use the left over coating mix for another recipe or cut the recipe in half.


Method

Heat oven to 375 F
Peel and cut approx 1/2 an medium size eggplant. Sprinkle slices on each side with salt into a mesh strainer to allow the moisture to release and place in the sink. 
Once water is released from the eggplant or most of it ( approx 15 mins ) give them a little sqeeze to help get more of the water out then add to all the other ingredients EXCEPT SPINACH and RICE/QUINOA mix and blend till slightly chunky to smooth. I used my mini kitchen aide. 
Chop spinach and add it and the rice/quinoa into a bowl with the other blended ingredients.
Using a fork or spoon to mix well. Give a little taste test at this time and adjust flavour if necessary.

Place all three ingredients of the coating mix into a separate dish and mix well.

Spray a baking sheet with oil and roll the mixture into ball shapes using your hands. The mix will be a bit loose but will be firm up once cooked. I gave them a little extra squish when shaping them to help with the firmness. Roll all sides into the coating mix and place onto the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the mix.
I also used my oil sprayer to spray the tops of each ball for extra color & crisp.
Bake for 30 minutes turning half way.


 In the oven they go


 Crispy and ready to serve


Not sure how I will serve these yet. I made them this morning for tomorrow. I'm thinking either edamame noodles with a tomato sauce or in a taco with an avocado dressing and cabbage. Hmmm.
That is whats so great about creating meals with left overs, the options are endless. Hope you enjoy and may you be Nutritionally Well.



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