Chickpeas in the meatballs: Recipe makeover – more greens in the meat

Meatballs with chickpeasIf you not yet call yourself a vegetarian, but want to eat more vegetarian – perhaps for the sake of the environment or for your own health – there are many ways of adding a bit of extra greens or beans in your cooking. Living with kids who believe you’ll die eating something green there are a few good tips for sneaking some vitamins into the food. Here are a few tips:

Bolognaise: Add a deciliter / half a cup of red lentils in the sauce, preferably in the beginning of the cooking process to they have time to soften. Or beans, kidney beans, black beans and white beans work really well. You can also add mushrooms and finely grated carrots. Think of it more as a vegetable stew with a bit of meat than a bolognaise.
Meat balls/ meat loaf: Add a deciliter / half a cup of hemp seeds, no one will notice. Or a few deciliters / a cup of chickpeas and an egg for keeping it all together.
Here is an example how you can change a basic recipe for Swedish meatballs:
The original recipe:

  • 0.5 yellow onion
  • 150 ml / 1 2/3 oz water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 400 g / 14 oz minced beef
  • 4 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter

With a few small adjustments this could be the new recipe:
IngredientsIngredients

  • 0.5 yellow onion
  • 200 ml / 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 400 g / 14 oz minced beef
  • 4 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • + 230 g / 8 oz CHICKPEAS
  • + 1 EGG

Cooking instructionsHow to

  1. Rinse 230 g / 8 oz chickpeas, pour them into a bowl and mix them using a food processor or a hand held mixer.
  2. Mix with 4 tbsp breadcrumbs, 1 tsp salt, 1 pinch black pepper and 200 ml / 7 oz water and let it swell for a while.
  3. Grate 0.5 onions or chop finely.
  4. Add the onion and 400 g minced beef and 1 egg to the bowl and work it into a smooth mix.
  5. Roll the mix into meatballs, one tip is to wet your hands before rolling. It won’t stick as easily if you do.
  6. Fry in 1 tbsp butter at medium heat. When they’ve gotten a nice color, lower the heat and fry them for another 5 minutes.

See, it’s quite simple to take an ordinary recipe and make it “half vegetarian”! Do experiment with other recipes too.
EatMoreVegetarian.com

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