Spaghetti and Chickpea Balls

Spaghetti and Chickpea Balls

Spaghetti and Chickpea Balls

If you haven’t actually made any of the recipes from my blog yet, now is the time to start! You know you’ve done it right when your husband giggles like a schoolgirl after his first bite and requests this as a weekly meal! I found this recipe on Pinterest and then adjusted it for what I wanted.  You can make it as is with the link below, or follow my recipe, but this was by far the best recipe I’ve made for plant-based “meat”balls. When I tried to make them out of lentils they were mushy and fell apart, but these held together beautifully and had a great texture. They were crispy on the outside, and soft in the inside and the flavor was spot on. When rolling them, it reminded me of the chicken meatballs I used to make all of the time because the texture is similar when raw but you don’t have the nasty raw meat hands. Also, why make chicken or turkey meatballs when you can have a healthy plant based version that you know is good for you? People usually consider spaghetti and meatballs a guilty pleasure food, but with this recipe it can be as often as you want. It’s the seasonings that actually make meatballs flavorful, not the meat. No one wants to eat plain turkey balls because they’d be so bland, but chickpeas have a neutral flavor that you can add all of the same seasonings too and they taste amazing. This probably ranks in the top 5 plant based recipes I’ve tried, plus they were really easy to make and didn’t have oil or salt!

Spaghetti and Chickpea Balls

6 servings

2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2/3 cup rolled oats

2.5 tbsp ground flax seed + 5 tbsp water

1 tsp onion powder, onion powder, basil, and 21 Seasoning Salute

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 shallot, diced

1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

1-2 jars of Rao’s Marinara Sauce (or your favorite sauce)

1 lb Brown Rice Penne Pasta (TJ’s)

nutritional yeast for topping

I know I’ve talked about Rao’s a lot on here, but honestly it’s the BEST marinara sauce I’ve ever had, including restaurant sauces. It’s on the pricier side, so when it goes on sale I buy several jars. It can be found at any big name brand grocery store. Here’s what it looks like! It does have oil in it, so I use it only sometimes.

  1. Preheat oven to 450* and combine the flax seed and water and set aside to create a flax “egg”.
  2. Add chickpeas, oats, spices, shallot, and Worcestershire in your food processor and pulse until flaky.
  3. Once flax egg is gelled, add it in with the chickpea mixture and then put processor on high until combined. It will be thick and smooth. If too sticky to roll, add more oat flour.
  4. I used a small ice cream scooper to make all the same size, and then rolled them to make them round. It made 24 chickpea balls and then add them to a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 25-30 min and flip them halfway through, until crispy on the outside.
  6. While cooling, boil pasta, and warm marinara in a large saucepan.
  7. Add chickpea balls to warm marinara and gently stir to combine.
  8. Top pasta with mixture and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.
Spaghetti and Chickpea Balls

Spaghetti and Chickpea Balls

The finished product! The serving size is 4 chickballs for about 130 calories. Hooray!

Original Recipe-

To increase my iron levels, I’m going to try and incorporate more dark leafy greens, beans, tofu, and Vitamin C into my diet so my after school snack today was baked kale topped with garlic powder and nutritional yeast.

Meal planning 3.10.18

This peanut butter banana sprouted grain toast was a great way to start my Saturday! I use powdered peanut butter because it’s about half of the fat and it still tastes good. This breakfast keeps you full and I’m ready to go wedding dress shopping with my cousin today and then have a fun night getting together with about 20 family members and visit with my sister and her family who is in town. Hooray!

I meal planned some quick dinners for the week this morning and I was surprised that I can create 4 meals with 10 ingredients because my pantry is already stocked. Money saver! My birthday is Wednesday so I already know we’re going out to dinner to celebrate on Wednesday and Friday. 🎉 This is what I came up with for the other days.

Sprouted Crust Veggie Pizza– I found sprouted grain pizza crust at TJ’s yesterday which is exciting! I’m going to roast eggplant, onion, mushrooms, and kale for an oil free pizza.

Black Bean Burrito bowls– We haven’t had these in a few weeks so I’m craving them. I’m topping rice with black beans, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, salsa and guacamole.

Chickpea balls and Pasta– I found an oil free recipe to make “meatballs” out of chickpeas. They look really simple and easy to make so I’ll bake those and them combine with brown rice pasta and marinara.

Black Bean burgers and sweet potato fries– Well I never made these last week so I’m planning on making them this week. The good thing is none of the ingredients are refrigerated so they can wait.

I hope everyone has a fantastic week!

Simple Spaghetti Pomodoro

Simple Spaghetti Pomodoro

Simple Spaghetti Pomodoro

I invited a friend over for spaghetti and the Bachelor finale last night and at least I stayed awake for the spaghetti. I used a recipe from Michael on The Chew and I’m always thrilled when they make something almost vegan that I can try now. This is a simple and quick pomodoro sauce that doesn’t take hours to simmer, and it tasted really fresh. I adjusted the recipe to take out the oil, butter, and Parmesan and added a few things. The fresh basil makes it really pop and I made some easy vegan cashew Parmesan to sprinkle on top.

Spaghetti Pomodoro

1/4 c vegetable broth

1/2 large yellow onion, diced

1 tbsp tomato paste

1.5 tbsp minced garlic

1 28 oz can peeled San Marzano tomatoes

2 tbsp oregano, dried

Small handful of basil leaves, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional)

1 lb whole wheat spaghetti

1. Sauté onion in veggie broth in a large sauté pan until translucent and add tomato paste and garlic.

2. Add can of tomatoes and use your hands to squeeze the tomatoes and break them down to create a tomato sauce. There will still be small pieces, just make sure there’s not large ones.

3. Add oregano, basil, and salt and pepper.

4. Simmer for about 20 minutes and if it gets too thick, add a ladle full of pasta water.

5. Cook pasta while sauce is simmering and once al dente add to the sauce at the last minute and combine.

Sprinkle with basil and cashew parm.

Cashew Parmesan

1/4 cup raw cashews

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tbsp garlic powder

Sprinkle of sea salt

– combine in a food processor and pulse until grated Parmesan consistency.

original recipe-

Thicker Hair- I Care!


                                               2015                                                                        Today

I used to have much thicker hair and then it started breaking off and thinning so noticeably that I was getting concerned that something was wrong with me. I tried thickening shampoos, Nioxin shampoo, biotin, hair vitamins, using the gentlest highlighter at the salon, using 90’s clips instead of ponytail holders, anything I could to make it look like I had more than 5 pieces of hair. This picture probably wasn’t even the worst it got because I think that’s right after I had it done at the salon and that’s with a blowout! Nothing was working and I was beyond frustrated so I just wore my hair up because I was sick of hearing “Oh wow, your hair really is thin!”

Ever since we went vegan about 6 months ago, my hair has been growing in and gaining thickness and everytime I feel it I’m amazed at the difference. My stylist even noticed all of my baby hairs growing in after a few months of going vegan! I finally found something that works and I was reading that your hair is the biggest indicators of your overall health, which also is a relief because it’s a confirmation that I really am eating the best foods for my body and it’s paying off. I then realized that my hair was thicker and then I went on Nutrisystem and after that my hair was super thin, maybe that’s the correlation? Maybe I wasn’t actually getting adequate nutrition and it showed. I mean I lost a lot of weight eating that astronaut food, but also lost all my hair. Granted, I’m not losing weight and my hair isn’t holding on to color like it used it (PH change or something?) but I’m so grateful that it’s looking thicker and it’s one of the biggest visible signs of our lifestyle change. You might not be able to tell a big difference in the pictures, but when I run my hands through my hair it’s a big change for me.

If you’re having trouble with your hair, here are some of the most important foods that help your hair stay healthy and strong. We eat a lot of these now and it’s making sense that my hair would show a change.

Protein– chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, beans, tofu, tempeh, nuts

Vitamin C– citrus, guava, strawberries (most berries actually)

Iron– whole grains(also have biotin), pasta, lentils, soybeans, dark leafy greens, chia seeds, tahini

Beta Carotene– mango, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, and carrots

Omega- 3– nuts and flaxseed, acai

Vitamin E– avocados, fortified almond milk

Biotin-chard, romaine, tomatoes, carrots, avocado, cucumber, cauliflower, onions, raspberries, strawberries, oats

B12 supplement

Lots of water!

Now go eat your way to healthy hair!

Vegan Grilled Cheese

Yes, vegans can still have grilled cheese! It’s my first grilled cheese in a long time and it was my first vegan one ever, and let me tell you it was just as I remembered! It was delicious! After a crazy morning of running Christmas errands, this was just what I needed to go along with my leftover soup. Whole Foods had the vegan cheese slices that I read about so I picked some up today, along with too many other new vegan goodies. The brand is Field Roast Original Chao Creamy slices. I added two slices in between sprouted whole grain bread and spread the outside with Earth Balance butter spread and it was delish! Perfect lunch for a cloudy day.

Beyond Meat Burgers

When you’re vegan and you crave the burger that you used to know, this is the one for you. Beyond Meat makes these plant based burgers that have 20 grams of protein and taste just like the real thing. They’re in the refrigerated part of your grocery store, ours are in the healthy section (I call it) of the store.

All you have to do is pan fry them for 3 minutes on each side and top them with your favorites! If they still look pink, they’re cooked it’s just the beets. I sauteed them with some sliced mushrooms, so I topped them with a little bit of So Delicious Cheddar shreds, sauteed mushrooms, tomato, avocado, vegan spread, and mustard. I used Whole Wheat Slims (TJ’s) as buns and they were so yummy for an easy Saturday night meal.

I roasted some leftover cauliflower and broccoli with minced garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil until crispy and some chopped pineapple as sides.