I’m really enjoying making zoodles (zucchini noodles) from fresh local zucchini.  Here is a great topping to add to them when you want that vegan “meatball” over zoodles with marinara sauce. These Italian Chickpea Bites are great to eat all by themselves too.  Enjoy!  


Italian Chickpea Bites (Vegan)
Ingredients:
1 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 2.5 Tbsp water (use 1 egg for vegetarian version.  Egg and flaxseedmeal/water are binders)
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic,  minced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/3 cup loosely packed chopped sun-dried tomatoes (dry, not in oil)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
pinch each sea salt
1 Tbsp dried oregano (or 2 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped)
1 15-ounce (425 g) chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried
Directions:
1.            Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Prepare flaxseed meal in your food processor.  This will help the flaxseed meal to thicken. 
2.            Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until slightly browned, stirring often – about 3 minutes. Add a pinch of salt during saaute.  Remove from heat and cool slightly, then add to food processor with flax egg and blend.
3.            Next add to food processor garbanzo bean flour, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, nutritional yeast, salt, dried oregano, and 1 Tbsp olive oil (15 ml). Pulse/blend until small bits remain, scraping down sides as needed.
4.            Next add to food processor rinsed/dried chickpeas and blend/pulse until a moldable “dough” is formed, scraping down sides as needed. Blend just enough to ensure chickpeas do not remain whole.  May need to add a bit more chickpea flour.   
5.            Scoop out rounded 1 Tbsp amounts of dough and gently form/roll into balls – about 15 total.  Place on parchment lined baking pans. 
6.            Bake for 35 to 40 min or until Italian Chickpea Bites are golden brown and are firm to the touch, then remove from oven. Let cool briefly for a few minutes before serving. 
7.            To serve, top cooked zoodles or pasta with marinara sauce and desired number of Italian Chickpea Bites. Top with another sprinkle of nutritional yeast and fresh basil (optional).
8.            Leftover Italian Chickpea Bites will keep in the refrigerator for about 4 days, though best when fresh. Reheat in a 350 degree F oven until warmed through.

9.            Zoodles are great sautéed in olive oil and garlic. 

Nutritional Fact for 1 Italian Chickpea Bite: 


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