I am just obsessed with chickpeas. They taste great and are so versatile. And, since I am not a big "faux meat" type I find that for me they are the best meat substitute. I have done "crab cakes", "tuna salad" and a variety of other things with chick peas, but until now, not a "meat ball". I actually saw a young fourteen yoear old girl "The Veggie Chef" make a very similar ball out of chickpeas and she inspired me to make these. How great is that!?!
They held together really well. The flavor was good, though next time I think I will increase the spice in them as they were just a little bland. For this dish, that is OK since the sauce has a some serious flavor.
This is a definite keeper. I will do these for spaghetti and "meatballs", "meatball sandwiches" and who knows what else. I think by adjusting the seasoning according to your dish these will go a long way. And, though I baked them I think they would be excellent done in a frying pan with some oil to get a nice crispy outside.
Enjoy and happy chickpeas!
Sweet and Sour Chickpea Balls
For the chickpea balls:
1 15 oz can chickpeas drained and rinsed
1 stalk celery finely minced
2 green onions minced (white and light green parts only)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
Salt and pepper to taste
For the sauce:
4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 green onions minced (white and light green parts only)
2/3 cup apricot preserves
6 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp hot sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
To prepare the chickpea balls pulse the chickpeas in a food processor until smooth but not completely pureed. Add the celery, onion, whole wheat flour, salt and pepper. Form the mixture into small balls and place them on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes turning once during the process.
To prepare the sauce mix all ingredients and pulse until smooth in a food processor. Transfer the mixture to a small sauce pan and heat over low heat. Once heated through add the meatballs and coat them in the sauce. Remove the meatballs from the pan and serve. These make a nice appetizer type dish and can be eaten easily with a toothpick.