i often make meatless meatballs or burgers. they are so easy, you don’t even need a recipe. the base is usually cooked beans, lentils or chickpeas, or a whole grain, then i add vegetables, spices and breadcrumbs or oat flakes.
that’s how these meatballs happen, too. i already had frozen roasted eggplant slices, and cooked beans to use through the week. they were gladly accepted by the ones that prefer normal meatballs in my family.
1 – 2 eggplants
½ cup cooked white beans
½ teaspoon mixed spices (paprika, coriander, ginger, turmeric, cardamom, cumin, allspice, chili and dried onion)
½ teaspoon pimentón picante (spanish hot paprika)
1 teaspoon oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
¼ cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons wheat bran
slice the eggplant in thick, around 1,5 – 2 cm slices, arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and roast in an oven preheated at 200°C, around 20 – 25 minutes, or until they soften. i usually make a lot of roasted eggplant slices when eggplants are in season and i freeze them to use in moussaka or other dishes.
mash the beans with a fork. cube the roasted eggplant, measure 2 ½ cups of them and mix with the beans. you can mash the beans and eggplant in a food processor, but i like to have some chunks, so i only use a fork. add the garlic, spices, breadcrumbs and wheat bran to make the mixture pliable, and sunflower seeds for crunch.
form golf-sized balls with oiled hands and bake them on a parchment lined baking sheet at 175°C around 20 – 30 minutes. turn them once, mid-baking. i baked these the whole 30 minutes because i wanted them to be drier and crunchier. take them out sooner if you want softer meatballs, the ingredients in them are cooked anyway.
this recipe yielded 21 meatballs. we had them in tortilla wraps, with sauted mushrooms and onions, white cabbage carrot slaw and, of course, sriracha hot sauce.
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