During the week we are now eating more vegan and vegetarian dinners. I decided a few years ago to cut back on the amount of meat we were eating. So I thought about where I could cut back on meat dinners and I felt the best time to eat them was at the weekend.
There are several reasons I decided that we should only eat meat on the weekend. Firstly I have been learning through various ways that it is much better for the environment. I also didn’t want to cut meat entirely from our diet. My belief is that we all have different body types and a lot of people can thrive without meat. However, I feel we need a little bit of meat in our family.
My final reason is that it saves us money so when we do buy meat we try to buy organic. Plus I also think that we do have a lot of meat in our diet and this is also not good for our bodies. Life is about balance and our diets should also be balanced. It’s not always easy in this fast paced society we live in but this is one way I’m trying to help myself and my family.
- Food processor
- Grater attachment on the food processor or a grater
- Sharp Knife
- Chopping board
- Large pan
- Plastic brush
- Baking tray
Ingredients for the Chickpea Meatballs
- Chickpeas x 2 400g tins
- Gluten free oats x 100g
- Cashew nuts x 100g
- Carrot x 2
- Tahini x 2 tbsps
- Milk (of your choice) x 20 – 50 mls
- Dried mixed herbs x 2 tsps
- Salt and pepper to taste
Method for the Chickpeas
- Preheat the oven to 180 ° C or gas mark 4 and put the baking tray in.
- Peel and grate the carrot.
- Put the grated carrot into the food processor.
- Drain the chickpeas and wash them thoroughly.
- Add the chickpeas to the food processor.
- Along with the gluten free oats, cashew nuts, dried mixed herbs and the tahini.
- Start to blend these ingredients together.
- If the mixture is dry then add a little milk a little at a time.
- Until the mixture is wet enough to make into meatballs.
- Divide the dough into 16 balls and remove the baking tray from the oven.
- Place the balls into the baking tray and drizzle with olive oil.
- Spread the olive oil over the balls with the plastic brush.
- Put the baking tray into the oven for 25 – 30 minutes or until the balls are golden brown.
Ingredients for the sauce
- Onion x 1
- Red pepper x 2
- Courgette x 1
- Tinned Tomatoes x 2 400g tins
- Tamari x 1 tbsp
- Tomato puree x 2 tbsp
- Basil x 1 handful
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for the pan
- Pasta (of your choice) x 300g
Method for the sauce
- Peel and slice the onion and the garlic.
- Remove the core from the red pepper and slice it.
- Next peel the courgette and slice it thinly.
- Put the large pan on a high heat and add oil to the pan.
- Brush the oil across the base of the pan until evenly spread.
- Wait for the pan to heat up and add in the onion and the garlic.
- Fry until the onion become translucent/see through.
- It should take around 3 – 5 minutes for this to happen.
- Add the sliced red peppers to the pan and continue to fry until the peppers start to soften.
- It should take a couple of minutes for this to happen.
- Now pour in the tomatoes and add the tamari and tomatoes puree.
- Stir all of the ingredients together.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and stir again
- Bring all of these ingredients to the boil and turn the heat down to low.
- Leave the sauce to simmer while the you cook the pasta and meatballs in the oven.
- Cook the pasta as per the packet instructions.
- Once everything is cooked, add the pasta to the sauce and serve.
- Put the meatballs on top and enjoy.
Chickpea Meatballs with Red Pepper and Tomato Pasta was a quick and easy mid week vegan dish for us. It took me about 20 minutes to prepare and about 30 minutes to cook. So in under an hour I had a yummy meal on the table for my family. Plus the chickpea meatballs also make a great snack which will keep for a few days in the fridge. If you want to make extra sauce and freeze it you can. It will become an even quicker mid week dinner. However you decide to eat this dish, as always, enjoy.
Do you have a favourite alternative vegan or vegetarian dinner and if so, what is it? Let me know in the comments below and please don’t forget to like and follow me. Thank you. xxx