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a bowl of meatballs made out of a plant-based diet using walnuts and cheese with breadcrumbs

Food Trend Alert!! Plant-Based Revolution of 2024

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In 2024, a culinary trend gaining momentum is centered on plant-based foods. The walnut is a versatile and humble ingredient in the “green revolution”. These bite-sized wonders aren’t just delicious; they’re a nutritional powerhouse, providing a plant-based protein option that’s as versatile as it is nutritious. 

Walnuts can complement various flavors and are easily used in sweet and savory dishes. They bring an earthy richness to a vegetable stir-fry or a subtle nuttiness that complements a dessert. Walnuts can even mimic ground meat’s texture and consistency, making them an excellent ingredient for those looking to transition to a more plant-based diet without sacrificing the heartiness of their favorite recipes, from taco fillings to meatballs.

Create these delectable walnut “meatballs” for a wholesome, plant-based alternative to traditional meatballs:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free option)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Directions

  • In a large bowl, finely chop or pulse the walnuts
  • Combine the walnuts with breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, minced garlic cloves, parsley, tomato paste, soy sauce (or tamari for a gluten-free option), dried oregano and basil, salt, and black pepper.
  • Bind the mixture together by adding beaten eggs
  • Form golf ball-sized “meatballs” and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet
  • Lightly brush or spray them with olive oil
  • Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and firm
  • Serve in your preferred style, with pasta and tomato sauce, in sandwiches, or as delightful appetizers.

Estimated Nutritional Value

Nutritional Information (Per Serving, assuming four servings):

  • Calories: 350-400 calories per serving
  • Protein: 12-15 grams
  • Fat: 25-30 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 20-25 grams
  • Fiber: 5-7 grams
  • Note: Values depend on exact ingredient quantities and the size of your “meatballs”

Whether you prefer a plant-based diet or are just starting to explore it, walnuts can add flavor and nutrition to your meals. These tiny nuts are versatile and can transform essential dishes into delicious and healthy meals. Let’s appreciate the walnut for its ability to enhance our food’s taste and nutritional value. This year, let’s continue to explore the world of plant-based foods and discover new ways to use this unique nut.