These chickpea balls are delicately seasoned with coriander, nutmeg and cinnamon, then tossed with tomato sauce and green peas. Kids will have fun mashing the chickpeas and shaping the balls with their hands and you’ll love that your kiddos are getting some healthy nutrients in a delicious way.

Ingredients:

For the chickpea balls:
1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, zested
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a little lemon juice*, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the tomato sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
10 ounces tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup low sodium vegetable stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper*
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
or
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

*Optional.

Method:

For the chickpea balls:
1. Kids: mash the chickpeas using your hands, taking care to keep some of the chickpea’s texture in tact. The chickpeas should still have a chunky consistency, when you are done mashing. Transfer the chickpeas to a large bowl.

2. Together: Add the garlic, lemon zest, bread crumbs and egg to the bowl. Mix with your hands. Season the chickpea bread crumb mixture with the coriander, nutmeg and cinnamon. Mix again with your hands, taking care to ensure that the spices are well distributed.

3. Kid: Scoop tablespoons of chickpea breadcrumb mixture and roll them into balls using your hands. If the chickpea breadcrumb mixture is too dry, add a little lemon juice until it reaches a consistency that will stick together. Transfer the chickpea balls to a plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4. Adult: Place the olive oil into a large frying pan over medium heat. Place as many chickpea meatballs as you can comfortably fit with a little space in between each chickpea ball. Cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until the chickpea balls are golden on all sides.

To complete the Chickpea Balls with Tomato Sauce:
1. Adult: Place the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook 2-3 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more, or until it becomes fragrant.

2. Together: Add the wine to the skillet and allow it to simmer for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and veggie stock to the skillet and let simmer for 8-10 minutes.

3. Together: Season the sauce with the cayenne pepper, if using. Stir the peas and chickpea balls into the sauce. Allow the sauce to simmer for 5-10 more minutes, or until it has reduced slightly. Remove from heat, divide into 4 servings, top each with the parsley or cilantro and enjoy!

–This recipe comes to us from Trudy of veggie.num.num.

We’ve teamed up with the Kids Cook Monday initiative to bring you a weekly recipe that encourages families to set aside the first night of every week for cooking and eating together as a family. Be sure to check out their website for more great ideas on how to empower your kids in the kitchen!