Low Fat Vegballs

Present in all gastronomic cultures from West to East, queen of homemade cuisine of our Italian grandmothers and a universal symbol of a poor but common sense diet, by this we mean knowing how to transform leftovers into one of the tastiest and most comforting dishes. The meatball is another of those preparations that in recent years has had its gourmet revenge, attracting the attention of great chefs, first of all the famous Romagna-based Bruno Barbieri - who between nostalgia for tradition and innovation have made it a highly creative theme, using ingredients ranging from cereals, meat, fish and vegetables.
And it is precisely vegetables, or rather legumes, that make up the vegballs of today's recipe. These are similar to the classic falafel, but in a version that is much richer in taste and nutrients because, together with chickpeas, they also use lentils and broad beans. The latter in particular, unjustly less and less present on our tables, should be rediscovered for their countless properties: In addition to the low caloric intake and the very high value of fibre, necessary to keep the intestine healthy and contain the absorption of sugars and fats, the broad beans contain iron, folic acid - very valuable when in pregnancy - phosphorus, vitamins A and K and even a substance that seems to increase plasma levels of L- DOPA, a precursor of dopamine, the neurotransmitter used as a drug of excellence in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

All the reasons to love our vegballs

You'll love our vegballs for three reasons: they're a concentrate of protein with very little fat, so perfect for lunch/dinner post-workout, they satiate you just like grandmother's meatballs, while being much lighter and digestible, and finally, they're prepared in a flash. It is enough to combine legumes, even in cans (pay attention to preservatives and salt, read the labels) together with aromatic herbs, sesame seeds, which give the dough a fragrance of "toasted", and a hint of chilli pepper, salt, pepper. Once everything has been chopped and mixed, the maximum effort will be to form balls ready to be baked. See it as an excellent anti-stress remedy and a moment of active meditation before a meal, try it out after a difficult day.

As an alternative to a rich sauce to accompany the meatballs we suggest using a jar of yogurt and lemon as a dipping sauce. Then add some herbs - we prefer: mint, basil, oregano, chives and delicious dill, a herb of Indian origin with carminative (helps digestion and prevents the formation of gas in the intestines), diuretic and purifying properties. It can be replaced fennel which is equally fragrant.

A few minutes in the oven and the meatballs are ready. If there is a lot of hungry people, you can place them on half of a sandwich without the crust, which is also dipped in the yoghurt sauce. The challenge is now the feared judgement of grandmother, who will surely appreciate the use of legumes which were so loved in the kitchens of the past.

Ingredients for 4 people
80 g of dried lentils
80 g dried broad beans
80 g dried chickpeas
40 ml extra virgin olive oil
100 g of onion
Salt as needed
Pepper to taste
Chilli as needed
Sesame seed to taste
Basil to taste
Parsley as needed
Chives as needed
For the sauce
125 ml low-fat yoghurt
Juice of 1 lemon
10 g of lemon zest
Salt as required
Pepper to taste
20 ml extra virgin olive oil
50 g of onion
Basil as needed
Mint as needed
Dill as required
Chives as needed
One teaspoon of oregano
Wholemeal bread to taste

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