Greens & grains meatless meatballs with a chilli chickpea tomato sauce


A delicious vegetarian lunch or dinner option for 4 that packs a serious healthy punch.



1. Start by making your meatballs. Wash and pat dry your greens using kitchen paper. Pulse in batches in a food processor – or you can finely chop with a knife. They should be in very small pieces but not puréed or mushy. Set aside in a large bowl.


2. Heat a large frying pan over medium-low heat and add the oil, onion, and a good pinch of sea salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, which should take about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin seeds. Stir for another few minutes, until the garlic is softened.


3. Add your greens to the pan and sauté until they have wilted. Don’t be tempted to add water. You’ll probably need to do this in a few batches. Tip your mixture into a large bowl, and wipe clean the pan to use later.


4. Allow the greens to cool for five minutes, then add the pitta breadcrumbs, super seed mix, lemon zest and feta or goats cheese. Mix well, then taste for seasoning. Add plenty of ground black pepper and more salt if necessary— this is your chance to get the seasoning right while the mixture is egg-free.


5. Crack the eggs into the bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands to incorporate. Roll your mixture into small balls, squeezing them as you roll to make sure they don’t fall apart. Set aside on a plate and cover with clingfilm until you are ready to cook.


6. Now make your chilli chickpea tomato sauce. Heat your olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Fry until they are just starting to turn light golden, then add the rosemary. Stir for a minute or so until the oils in the rosemary start to release.


7. Add your tomatoes, chickpeas, water, paprika and stock cube and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and using the back of a fork crush half the chickpeas to help thicken the sauce. Cover and keep on a low heat while you fry your meatballs- if it thickens too much just add a splash of water.


8. Heat oil in your pan over medium-high heat. Fry your balls in batches – they should sizzle when they hit the oil—then turn heat down to medium or medium-low. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Use a fork to flip the balls to the other side and cook for another 2 minutes or so.


9. When they are almost ready toast your whole pitta breads then cut into shards, drizzle with a little olive oil and then rub all over with a cut garlic clove.


10. Serve a few large spoons of sauce into a bowl and top with the meatless balls then poke in a few pieces of garlicky toast, perfect to spoon up your sauce. Top with a small drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of parsley, and a wedge of lemon.

Recipe Info


Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 50 mins



For the Greens and Grains meatless balls:
10 cups/about 8 oz) loosely packed greens, you can use any combination you like of spring cabbage, kale, chard,
spinach, watercress)
1 loosely packed cup (approx 1 x 100g packet) soft herb(s) such as dill, mint, parsley or chervil
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 white onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lemon, zested and then quartered to serve
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 The Food Doctor Cereal & Seed Pitta Breads, blitzed into breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons The Food Doctor Super Seed mix
1⁄2 cup feta or goats cheese, crumbled
2 free range eggs
Olive oil for frying


For the chilli chickpea tomato sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 springs rosemary, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
1 x 400g chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1-2 cups water
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 vegetable stock cube
1 small bunch of basil, roughly chopped


To serve:
2 The Food Doctor Cereal & Seed Pitta Breads
1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half
Olive oil
Flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 lemon, cut into wedges