‘Meatballs’ with Spicy Marinara

I had meticulously planned meals for this week, so of course decided to use those ingredients to create something completely different. Ta-da, ‘meatballs’!

Crispy on the outside and succulent on the inside, they make a perfect weeknight staple. Great served traditionally with some spaghetti, or in my case with a big pile of chunky chips.


The Meatball Recipe

  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 and 1/2 cup chopped spinach
  • 1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Dash of soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dried herbs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion granules
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • Two slices of brown toast, blitzed to crumbs

* For a fiery kick, add half a teaspoon of chili powder or cayenne pepper.

  1. Heat some oil over a medium heat, then add your onions and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the mushrooms and spinach. Continue to cook until the spinach has wilted and the mushrooms are tender.
  3. Add your chickpeas, as well as your soy sauce, seasoning, herbs and spices.
  4. Cook through for another few minutes – taste, and adjust your seasoning if necessary.
  5. Once you’re happy, blend the mix into a smooth paste with a hand blender. Alternatively, use a regular high speed blender.
  6. Mix in the bread crumbs and fresh coriander until a reasonably firm mix forms – you should be able to squash it into balls. If it’s too wet, add some more breadcrumbs. Too dry? Add another dash of soy sauce or water.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 180.C .
  8. Shape your mix into as many little meatballs as you like and pop on a baking tray.
  9. Bake for about 25 minutes until firm, golden and wonderful.


The Spicy Marinara Recipe

  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons of hot sauce (I use Sriracha)
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 1 teaspoon onion granules
  • Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • Nutritional yeast flakes (optional)

* Nutritional yeast flakes act as a great cheese substitute on top of this sauce. It’s easily available online, as well as from many health food shops. I use the brand ‘Marigold Engevita’ on pretty much everything! It’s hard to explain the taste if you’re not familiar with it – just think savoury heaven. Anyway…

  1. Empty the tin of tomatoes into a pan, and begin to heat gently.
  2. Add the hot sauce and tomato paste.
  3. Add the salt and pepper, paprika, garlic granules and onion granules.
  4. Allow to simmer gently for about 5 minutes, taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. Finally add the chopped fresh coriander, and serve on top of your meatballs. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast flakes on top if you want to use some.


Prefer a thicker sauce? Mix one teaspoon of cornflour in a bowl with three teaspoons of water, then add to your sauce and heat for a few more minutes.



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