Dr. Wonson’s Kitchen: Vegetarian Walnut Meatballs
Posted on Feb 24, 2021
For thousands of years, Chinese medicine has viewed walnuts as a brain food. One of the oldest principals of Chinese herbal medicine says that eating foods that resemble parts of the body can actually benefit that body part.
The surface of the walnut resembles the crinkled brain surface, so this is why it is believed to benefit the brain. Modern science also confirms that walnuts contain nutrients that may help protect your brain from damaging inflammation and support good brain function as you age.
Walnuts have many health benefits:
- Excellent source of antioxidants that can help fight oxidative damage in your body, including damage due to “bad” LDL cholesterol, which promotes atherosclerosis.
- Good source of the plant form of omega-3 fat, which may help reduce heart disease risk.
- Contain several plant compounds and nutrients which may help decrease inflammation, which is a key culprit in many chronic diseases.
- Nourishes the beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. This promotes the health of your gut and strengthens your immune system.
- Polyphenols in walnuts may reduce your risk of certain cancers, including breast, prostate and colorectal cancers.
- Help control type 2 diabetes, reduce your risk of the disease and help control your weight. Walnuts might have more direct effects on blood sugar control as well.
- Eating 1 ounce (28 grams) of nuts daily, including walnuts, as part of a heart-healthy diet may help improve blood pressure and lower harmful cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which contribute to heart disease risk
- A healthy diet that includes walnuts may help preserve physical function, such as walking and self-care abilities as you age.
VEGETARIAN WALNUT MEATBALLS WITH GARLIC TAHINI SAUCE
These vegetarian meatballs get a triple dose of good fats from luscious walnuts, extra virgin olive oil, and creamy tahini. Serve them as an appetizer, entree, or sandwich!
½ cup coarsely chopped onion
¼ cup oat flour
2 cloves garlic
1½ cup cooked chickpeas (1-15 ounce can, rinsed and drained)
¼ cup fresh parsley
1 large egg
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp coarse salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for pan searing or baking
Garlic Tahini Sauce
¼ cup tahini, lightly salted, room temperature
¼ cup warm water
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp honey
½ tsp salt
Optional: toothpicks for serving
- Add the onion to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.
- Add the remaining vegetarian meatball ingredients. Pulse until the mixture comes together and is easily formed into a ball. If the mixture is too wet, add a bit more oat flour.
- Roll into 1-inch balls. (Tip: add a little olive oil to your hands for a cleaner rolling process.) Refrigerate 30 minutes up to overnight. The vegetarian meatballs can be cooked on the stovetop or baked in the oven.
- On the stovetop: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the no-meatballs in batches. Turn to brown evenly on all sides, about 10 minutes.
- In the oven: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or prep with olive oil mister generously. Roll each ball in the olive oil. Place onto the baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake 25 minutes, turning once halfway through cook time.
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly before assembling.
Garlic Tahini Sauce & Assembly
- Add all tahini sauce ingredients to a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth.
- Place the walnut meatballs on a serving platter. Drizzle with tahini sauce and serve warm or at room temperature.
These vegetarian walnut meatballs can also be frozen and thawed for later. Serve them as an appetizer or entree.
Source: Vegetarian Walnut Meatballs
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