I try to monitor my intake of soy/gluten based meat substitute products because, whilst some of them are awesome, they’re still processed and can be as unhealthy as eating meat (IMVHO).

Last night, whilst on my way home from spending a day visiting stores in the midlands, I decided that I wanted “meat”balls but I didn’t want to eat the frozen ones from Tesco that’re sitting in my freezer. I googled a basic recipe and adapted it to what I had in my cupboards.

Here’s what I came up with:


  • 1 can of chick peas
  • 1.5 tbsp finely ground breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • one egg
  • some parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
  • some parmesan (up to you how much you use)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • some coconut oil for baking (or your oil of choice)


  1. put everything in a mini electronic mixer/blender
  2. pulse until it’s mixed – it should be thick with chunks of chick pea, not hummus
  3. take a tablespoon out at a time and roll it in the palm of your hand until it’s a smooth ball.
  4. melt some coconut oil in the oven on a baking tray
  5. take tray out of the oven and place each meat-less-ball evenly
  6. bake until golden on each side, turning regularly

We had ours with a tomato pasta sauce, I used harissa this time to change it up a bit, and brown fusilli pasta that I cooked as per the instructions on the packet. I’ll post a recipe for red pasta sauce another time as mine changes all the time. For this, you can use home made or a jar. You can also change up the recipe for the meat-less-balls by using a different bean/pea/pulse like cannellini beans or lentils, adding harissa, pesto or different green herbs. You can also veganize it by replacing the egg with your dairy-free milk of choice and leaving out the cheese! Also, if you don’t have a mini blender, you can use a bowl and a potato masher or a fork. Just make sure that everything is smooth enough to give you some good looking bawlz…………………………………………………………..she said.

What are some of your favourite healthy “meat” substitutes?




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