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Chickpea-Zucchini ‘Meatballs’ w/ Marinara & Gluten-Free Pasta [Vegan]

Hey, lovelies.

So, we made it to South Dakota. If you’re interested in seeing a vlog of the trip (I know, I’m finally back to making videos again — exciting, right?), you can watch that below:

Right now, I’m sitting in Colorado, in a sweet, minimalistic cafe called Harbinger Coffee. The place has a modern look, plays chill step music (bonus points), and has ammaaaazing coffee. In addition, the almond-macadamia milk is house-made (drooool).

I’m only allowing myself one coffee every week or two, so this is a great treat. Why am I limiting the drink of endless joy? Because it can be very taxing to the adrenals, and I’m trying to feel great all the time without the assistance of many — if any — substances.

Anyhoo, I am very excited to share with you a new recipe for zucchini-chickpea meatballs, served with gluten-free pasta and marinara. They turned out delicious if I do say so.

Nom nom nom...

Nom nom nom…

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My only recommendation is for you to make them smaller — less than 1 Tbsp in size. The middles didn’t turn out entirely cooked the first time, but when I made them smaller they were perfect.

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Faux meat alternatives are oftentimes unhealthy, and I personally don’t like eating animals if I can avoid it. And, the truth is it is very easy to avoid eating our furry friends.

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These zucchini-chickpea meatballs are rich in protein, due to the oats and chickpeas, are high in fiber, and are anti-inflammatory, thanks to ingredients such as garlic and lemon.

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I’m sure you’ll love them. So, without any further ado…

Zucchini-Chickpea ‘Meatballs’ w/ Marinara & Gluten-Free Pasta [Vegan]

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Serving Size: 16 zucchini balls

Ingredients

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 large zucchini)
  • 32 ounces marinara
  • 8 ounces whole grain pasta

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the drained and rinsed chickpeas, garlic cloves, and rolled oats for 5-10 seconds. The mixture should be finely chopped and should hold together between your fingers when pressed together.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl along with the dried herbs, salt, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and shredded zucchini. **It is recommended you allow the zucchini to drain on a paper towel for at least 3 minutes to reduce excess moisture.
  4. Stir mixture together until well-combined. If the mixture is too wet to handle, add a little coconut or almond flour; you could also grind extra oats into the flour to absorb excess moisture.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease it with 1 Tbsp coconut oil (I followed the latter method). Then, scoop out heaping teaspoon-sized “meatballs” and roll into about 16 separate balls. Arrange on the baking sheet so the zucchini mixture is not touching, then bake the balls in the oven for 25 minutes.
  6. While the meatballs are cooking, prepare pasta as directed. Once the zucchini balls are golden brown, remove them from the oven and set aside. Serve over warm, cooked pasta and delicious marinara sauce. Garnish the dish with basil and enjoy!

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Tip: Dry the shredded zucchini by placing it on a paper towel; the towel will absorb excess moisture within 1-3 minutes.

Tip: Dry the shredded zucchini by placing it on a paper towel; the towel will absorb excess moisture within 1-3 minutes.

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Chickpeas and oats make this meatball alternative high in protein!

Chickpeas and oats make this meatball alternative high in protein!

If you make them, please comment your thoughts below! I love hearing back from readers.

Until next time,

sign-amanda