A hearty gluten free chickpea meatball served in al dente spaghetti squash boats.
Author: McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Recipe type: supper, entree
Serves: 18 meatballs (3-4 servings)
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup chopped sweet onion
1 egg, beaten
½ cup nutritional yeast
¼ cup rolled oats
⅓ cup hemp seeds
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
¼ cup chopped dry sun-dried tomatoes
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon sea salt, adjust to taste
Pinch of red pepper flakes, adjust to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, adjust to taste
1, 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using a sharp knife, poke holes all around the entire spaghetti squash. Place the squash directly on the rack of your preheated oven and cook for 45 minutes or until a knife easily goes through the skin. Take out of the oven and slice the squash in half, longways, be careful it's hot! Scoop the seeds and center out, discard or roast the seeds as an option. Using a fork, gently scrape the sides of the squash until all the flesh is in ribbons. Set aside.
In a medium heated skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and onion. Saute for 2-4 minutes until they start to soften; add minced garlic with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes until fragrant.
In a food processor or blender, combine the sauteed onions and garlic with nutritional yeast, hemp seeds, egg, chopped walnuts, basil, sun dried tomatoes, oregano, sea salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, remaining olive oil (2 tablespoons), and chickpeas. Pulse together until the mixture comes.
Pour this mixture out into a large mixing bowl. Adjust seasonings to taste before you start rolling these into about 1 tablespoon balls. Use a little olive oil or water to coat your hands to prevent the chickpea meatballs from sticking, repeat until all of the batter are in balls.
Using the same skillet you sauteed onions in, add in 1 tablespoon olive oil just to cover the bottom of the pan, add chickpea meatballs to cover the bottom and cook on medium until the outside is golden brown, about 5 minutes each side. Be gentle when flipping over each chickpea meatball so it doesn't lose form. Use a baking sheet with parchment and paper towels to drain any excess oil
To serve: Place chickpea meatballs into the center of the squash halves with the spaghetti squash noodles inside already, pour your favorite heated marinara sauce on top and garnish with fresh torn basil.
Another option, to take out all the spaghetti squash noodles into 1 large serving bowl and mix all the chickpea meatballs and sauce on top. This is great for serving a large group at once. Otherwise, serve individually and reheat meatballs in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes or until warm.
Chickpeas: may use dried beans that have been soaked and cooked overnight. Organic canned beans are a quick, simple, and affordable option
BAKE: You can bake the chickpea meatballs instead of pan searing them, bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until firm and golden brown.