Cracked Wheat Stuffed Meatballs w/Basil Mint Chicken, Parsley & Pine Nuts
aka Keufta (Armeanian/Middle Eastern Stuffed Meatballs)
Garnished with Parsley & Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
Prep, Soak & Cook Time: 4 Hours 3o Minutes
Yield: 30 Keufta Balls
(15 Item Recipe)
Vegan & Vegetarian Version Listed Below
Outer Shell Ingredients:
3 Cups Fine Organic Cracked Wheat Bulgur
3 cups Purified water
2 cans Organic Garabanzo Beans
3 large organic Eggs or vegan egg replacer
3/4 cup Organic Whole Wheat Flour
2 Boneless, Skinless Breast of Organic Chicken, cooked and minced fine
4 Yellow Organic Onions, chopped
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Cup Organic Italian parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon Fresh Mint Leaves, chopped
1 Teaspoon Fresh Sweet Basil, chopped
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
1 cup Creamy Organic Peanut Butter
1 Cup Pine Nuts, you can use Chopped Walnuts as well or a combination of both
Take the cracked wheat, purified water and the juice of one lemon into a bowl and soak for 3-4 hours. Once cracked wheat is done it will have absorbed all the water and softened the wheat. Next take your garbanzo beans and food process until smooth. In large bowl take cracked wheat and garbanzo bean paste mixing together until well distributed. Knead into a soft doughy mixture. Next form it into 30 balls. Depress your thumb to make a inner cavity where stuffing will be placed.
In a large pan take your olive oil and cook on medium heat saute chicken and onions in olive oil until onions and chicken juices run clear. Drain off any excess oil or liquid. Take chicken in food processor getting it to a fine chop. If you do not have a food processor you can also chop the chicken fine. Take the chopped chicken and onions in a bowl. Add the rest of filling ingredients (Parsley, Mint, Basil, Peanut Butter, Pine Nuts, sea salt and pepper) and mix together. Cool and set aside. Take a tablespoon of the filling mixture and place into the cavity of the cracked wheat ball. Bring the cavity edges together and seal the filling inside. It is important to make sure they are sealed. You can roll them with hand on cutting board to get a nice even shape.
Once all balls are formed and sealed.
Take the number of balls you will be serving the rest can be stored in the fridge or the freezer.
For the Balls you are Serving:
In a pot place your balls inside. Cover the rest with Chicken Broth or Vegetarian Vegetable Broth for our Vegan and Vegetarians. Add two dashes of sea salt to broth. Broth should be covering balls. Cook until broth boils and keufta float to the top. When they float to the top you know they are done. Remove from Broth. Serve in a small bowl of broth with slice of lemon. Squeeze lemon juice over the Keufta and Enjoy. You can also serve the Keufta without the Broth garnish with fresh diced parsley and a slice of lemon to squeeze over top.
Storing Keufta Balls:
You can keep some in the fridge if you plan on eating them within 2 days. You can also store them in the freezer. When preparing them from frozen everything is the same with the cooking process they will float to top when done and will take a couple more minutes when preparing them.
These are super nutritious, fast and easy to prepare once made and make a wonderful filling meal. Although they are labor intense and take a bit of preparation and wait time they are well worth the effort. Our family enjoys these so much we make 100 at a time freeze a bunch and always have these delicious keufta balls on hand to eat anytime.We just pop them in the broth and can eat in minutes we usually make a tabbouleh salad with them and throw some okra in the pot while we boil them and dinner is served. This is a super low fat, delicious and nutritious meal to make for the whole family. It is also super fun to get everyone involved in the process.
Vegan & Vegetarians:
For the Vegan Vegetarian Version substitute chopped tofu for the chicken or omit both. Substitute egg replacer or omit. Substitute vegetarian vegetable broth for the chicken broth to cook them in.
For a Smaller Batch:
If you don’t want to make as many at once simply cut the ingredients in half for 15 balls which is good for serving 4.
If you are two adults with children it will work perfectly also.