Chickpea balls in tomato sauce, a real athletes dinner!

My husband has signed up for his 11th Ironman Triathlon in June this year. A full triathlon means a swim of 3,8 km followed by a bike ride of 180 km and to finish it of running a whole marathon, all in one race! Obviously that means a lot of training, in this time of year about 10 to 12 hours a week, but increasing when the race-date approaches. These training sessions take place before and after working hours and of course in the weekends.

With a life style like that it is even more essential that you eat enough proteins and carbo hydrates (the good ones). So humus, peanut butter, flapjacks and oatmeal are a given in my pantry and fridge. As far as dinners are concerned I make sure that lentils, beans, chickpeas, and wholewheat pasta are a frequent part of our menu, combined with leafy greens of course!

Two weeks ago I shared my lentil balls in tomato sauce recipe which was well received by many of you and with good reason. They are extremely delicious! The possible down side may be that they require quite a bit of prep time. So I’ve put on my “creative cap” and came up with these chickpea balls in tomato sauce. Equally delicious, if not even better because they are “lighter” on the stomach. Chickpeas are little protein-bombs and you can buy them pre- cooked which makes the amount of prep time significantly shorter and easier.

Forming the balls take up no more than 15 minutes and while you leave them to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge you can prepare the sauce.

When the sauce is done it’s time to boil the water for the pasta (you can also choose to serve rice or bread with it). In the meantime fry the balls to give them a bit of colour, which will take no more than 5 minutes.

Fry the balls to give them an appealing golden brown colour

You can skip this step if you’re pressing for time, you can add them directly to the sauce and warm them, since the chickpeas are already cooked. Add the fresh cilantro leaves (flat parsley will do also) and you’re good to go!

Some fresh cilantro on top to finish it off

The comments from around the table where beyond positive. Words like: “restaurant quality”, “best recipe ever”, “delicious recovery food” were addressed to me! Needless to say that made me happy, as did the food, because Oh My Word, they are truly insanely delicious!!!!! The flavours are an encounter of Italy and the Middle -East, a killer combination!

Chickpea balls in tomato sauce with fresh wholewheat plantbased pasta

There is only way to check out if they I’m right and that is to head to the recipe and try for yourself!

I would love to find out what the comments around your table sound like😉!