You could also use pecans/pecan meal, or both.
Made 9 or 10. Yours may yield more or less depending on how much ingredients you use and the size of your meatballs (or patties, as I’m sure you can make these into patties, too, if you want to).
- about 2 cups walnuts, ground in a blender or other appliance used for grinding nuts and seeds, such as a coffee grinder (or you could use pre-made walnut meal, if it is available to you and more convenient)
- about 1/2- not-quite 2/3 cup of chick pea or oat flour (the latter of which you can make by grinding oats in a blender)
- about 1/4-1/2 cup vegan breadcrumbs
- about 1/4-1/2 bell pepper, diced small (I used yellow, I think.)
- 1-2 large handfuls of fresh spinach and/or kale (I used a combination of baby spinach and kale, which I think was also baby kale)
- about 1/2 of an onion (or 1 full if very small), peeled and sliced small or diced
- about 3-4 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (or about 1/4 cup) (optional)
- 3 pinches of salt (I used sea salt.)
- Italian seasoning (or a combination of oregano and thyme, perhaps with other seasonings such as rosemary)
- 1/4 cup oil (I used olive oil in the walnut meatballs. If you do not want to use so much oil, you can use less or none at all, though it may affect the flavor and texture. You could replace with something else, such as sauce or water, or you could even use coconut oil or another oil. The healthier the oil, the better, and coconut oil is most likely better for baking, but olive oil may be fine for baking, too. )
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Sautee onions and pepper with the greens (spinach and/or kale) in a little bit of water until soft (use just enough water to keep the onion and pepper from sticking to the pan and burning).
- Combine walnut meal, breadcrumbs, and chick pea or oat flour in a bowl. Add salt. Dash in basil, Italian Seasoning, and Parsley, to taste (recommended: If you are not sure, start with a teaspoon and work your way up if more seasoning is needed.).
- Mix in nutritional yeast flakes.
- Mix in sauteed pepper and onion. Also mix in the water, if there is any water left, if there is only a little bit (such as a tablespoon or two).
- Mix in oil.
- Mix all to form a dough. You may need to get in there with your hands. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly first, especially under the fingernails and even your wrists, especially when cooking for others. Our walnuts were moist, and the oil and the little bit of water from the sauteed vegetables was enough (or seemed to be). If your dough is too dry even after thorough mixing, you may need to add a little bit more liquid. I recommend using some tomato sauce or blended diced tomatoes, or some water or vegan milk (such as soy/almond milk). If you are not sure how much to use, start with a tablespoon and work your way up. You could possibly add more flour if you go overboard and the dough is too wet.
- Lightly grease a baking pan. I used coconut oil. To get coconut oil, which has solidified, to melt, you could heat up the oil, or you could put the pan in the oven for a couple minutes with or without the oil, and then rub the oil on (using a fork) as it softens.
- Roll and pat the dough between the palms of your hands to form the meatballs. If they are not shaping well, your dough may be too wet, and you may need to add more liquid or some sauce.
- Bake, covered, for about 35 minutes to an hour. I think ours were baked about 45-50 minutes, give or take a few minutes. Uncover and let cool at least 5 minutes, maybe 10.
Got some advice from my grandma before making these. Thank you, grandma!
To make the breadcrumbs, I took a slice of sprouted grain wheat bread from Clark’s Bakery and baked it for a little while, though maybe not long enough, and then crumbled it in the blender.
You may also top these with sauce before baking, and bake them in the sauce. Many times vegetarian meatballs are brought to fellowship dinner this way, and they are delicious and ready to add to the spaghetti. You can use these on spaghetti or other pasta with or without sauce, in a sandwich, or eat them as they are, perhaps with or on salad. You can also crumble them and eat them in other ways, too. (In fact, if you desired to do so, I’m sure you could shape these into patties and make burgers instead.) I think my favorite ways to eat them are on spaghetti with sauce, or on a sandwich. This may be delicious in a lasagna, too. Yum!