Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Vegan Chickpea Meatballs

Who knew that you could make cruelty free meatballs that are still full of flavor and packed with protein?! I did!! ;)

This recipe is SO simple, with minimal ingredients and not stuffed with breadcrumbs. The binding ingredient is zucchini...simple enough!

What you need:

  • - 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • - 3 garlic cloves (I used the same serving size but with minced garlic)
  • - 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • - 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • - 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • - 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • - 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • - Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • - 1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 large zucchini)
  • - 1-2 jars of your fave marinara sauce
Step 1:

In a Nutribullet or food processor, combine the oats, chickpeas, and garlic. Just pulse for a few seconds--you don't want it to become powder, just chopped up a bit.

Step 2:

Dump the blended ingredients into a larger bowl, and combine with the spices, sea salt, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and shredded zucchini. Mix it up together with your hands. I found the consistency to be perfect, but the recipe from here recommends you can add a bit of flour and/or nutritional yeast if there's too much water from the zucchini.

Step 3:

Preheat the oven to 375 (F), line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and use a spoon and your hands to roll about 12 chickpea balls total. Arrange them on the baking sheet like so:

Bake them for about 25 minutes until they're golden brown. I baked mine for about 30 minutes and checked on them once, but it really depends on your oven.

They smell absolutely AMAZING and fill your whole kitchen with veggie goodness! You can serve them directly over pasta with your marinara sauce of choice, or do what I did! I cooked separately some zucchini and beet noodles I got at Whole Foods and I served the chickpea balls on top, with some delicious marinara sauce, and topped it off with some nutritional yeast!

It's hearty, healthy, and something I'll definitely be making again! Are you going to try it? If so, I'd love to know your thoughts below! :)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Spicy Lentil Stew

Tis the season for hearty, yet healthy meals perfect for the holidays! This stew is perfect for a chilly night, next to the fireplace while you binge watch Christmas movies!! :)

Here's what you need:

- 1 cup cooked lentils (I used the Autumn blend)
- 1 can Kidney beans
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
- 2 to 3 teaspoons taco spice blend recipe (below)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1.5 cups water
- Sea Salt to taste
- Ripe Avocado to put on top (optional)
*I'd recommend adding whatever veggies you have leftover in your fridge! I found mine was a bit too soupy, and needed to be thickened with more veggies! Try adding carrots and sweet potatoes :)

Step 1:

Cook the lentils according to the package directions, and in the meantime chop all the veggies and wash them.

Step 2:

Add olive oil to a large pan on medium heat, and throw in the onion for a few minutes. Then add in the garlic and combine for another few minutes.

Step 3:

Add in the chopped tomatoes, chipotle pepper, taco spice seasoning, and cook until the tomatoes take on a sauce texture. Then add in the bell pepper and cook for about another minute.

Step 4:

Next add in the lentils, kidney beans, sea salt, and water and stir it all together. Cover the pan and cook for about 20 minutes on low.

Step 5:

Stir, add more salt to taste, and simmer for a few minutes uncovered to thicken it all up. 

Let it cool a bit before serving, but top with whatever you want! Get creative and add some hot sauce (although you don't really need it), avocado, nutritional yeast, vegan cheese, vegan sour cream, put it over quinoa, brown rice, whatever!

I LOVE adding Kelly's Croutons on top of mine--click here to check them out!!

Taco Spice Mix:
Mix 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon powdered garlic, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 2 teaspoons cumin powder, 1 to 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Mix it all up and store it! You'll have some left over and it's absolutely delicious!

What other recipes would you like to see? Would you like me to veganize any holiday dishes this season!? If so, comment below, tag me on IG (LaurenMcHugh_14), or send me an email here:

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