The Lady and the Tramp is a well known Disney classic film. As soon as you hear that name, you are likely to conjure up the image of two love sick pups who look longingly and lovingly into each others eyes as they each nibble on either end of the same spaghetti noodle. Then the background music reaches a crescendo as the noodle disappears between them and their lips touch. It is screen magic that makes viewers of all ages sigh and smile. Not only did viewers fall in love with these characters on screen – it helped us to forever associate amore with Italian food!
Eating a low fat whole plant-based diet does not mean you have to give up your love of Italian food. You just prepare it differently and with the money you save you can afford a trip to the movies with your loved one!
Step One: Pre-heat the oven at 375 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Step Two: In a food processor add:
- 1-15 oz can of no salt added chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
- 1/2 cup of chopped onion – blend on ‘pulse’ for a few seconds to break up mixture.
Step Three: Add to food processor mixture:
- 6-8 tBsp of mild or medium salsa (your heat preference)
- 3 tBsp low salt ketchup
- 1/2 tSp liquid smoke (optional)
- 2 tBsp dried Italian spice blend (salt-free)
- 1-2 tSp regular chilli powder (2 for a kick of heat)
- 1/2 tSp black pepper
- 1/2 tSp fine sea salt (optional)
Pulse for a few seconds until mixture resembles a wet, rough, chunky texture similar to a salsa (chickpeas should no longer be whole). Transfer mixture to large bowl.
Step Four: In a saucepan, bring:
- 1/4 cup of water to a boil
- stir in 1/4 cup of couscous – cover and take off heat immediately.
Let sit 5 minutes. The add couscous and 1/2 cup of brown rice flour to mixture in bowl – stir until it becomes a sticky mixture (if not sticky together – add a bit more salsa if necessary).
Once well mixed, cover bowl and place in frig to chill for 20 minutes (this makes it easier to roll into balls).
Step Five: Wet hands with water, shake excess off and roll our about 14 golf-sized balls with your hands, making sure they are tight and compact.
Place on baking sheet and bake for 15 mins on one side, turn over and bake another 15 mins until firm and getting a nice golden brown crust. For super crispy, add 5 minutes.
While balls are baking, prepare whole grain pasta or spiralize some zucchini and warm up some oil-free marinara sauce. Now layer your plate or bowl with this wonderful feast – sprinkle a bit of nutritional yeast on top and some fresh basil if desired.
Share it with a loved one!