I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but the ’90s are back. From sleek chokers and goth black lipstick to the return of Nintendo NES, our fave decade has dominated current trends. To continue this throwback vibe, we’ve crafted two meatless recipes to help put a healthier twist and a serious upgrade on the time-honored TV-dinner tradition. It’s the perfect complement for binge watching the latest ’90s reboots (OMG! Heathers and Charmed, nonetheless!). So to take this week’s meatless Monday to the next level, we’re filling our tray with chickpea animal nuggets and root fries. Scroll on and see how it’s done.



For the chickpea animal nuggets

  • 2 cups garbanzo bean flour
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • frying oil (canola)


  1. Mix the flour with the garlic, salt, garlic powder and smoked paprika. Add the boiling water to your mixture and whisk together to avoid lumps. You may want to mix this on the stovetop on medium heat to make sure the mixture properly thickens.
  2. Add the olive oil and whisk for a couple of minutes. Next, pour the mixture into a pan lined with parchment paper. Let cool and refrigerate for at least two hours.
  3. Once the mixture has settled and solidified, use your cookie cutters to make fun animal shapes. You can make different shapes with the excess mixture as well. Cut it into strips to make fritters, or make a small ball for a proper nugget.
  4. Heat the frying oil to 350 degrees on medium-high heat and cook the animal nuggets. Be sure to turn them over and cook until they’re a golden brown. To keep these even lighter, you can bake them. Set the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 40 minutes, flipping the nuggets 2-3 times.
  5. Let cool on a rack or paper towel-lined pan.
  6. Serve and enjoy!


For the baked root fries

  • 1 yam
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 purple sweet potato
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut up your veggies into sticks.
  2. Mix together with the oil, bread crumbs, salt and garlic powder.
  3. Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring one to two times. Keep an eye on the fries, as cooking time depends on the thickness of the fries.
  4. Remove from the oven, cool and enjoy!

Now that the nuggets and fries are done, it’s time to construct your meal!


Find a fun tray to house your chickpea animal nuggets and fries. But don’t forget about the side of veggies, condiments and dessert (even though they were totally gross, there was always a dessert). Ahhh… looks like it’s time to queue up that Netflix playlist.


If that’s not happiness on a plate, I don’t know what is.


In case you were worried, you’re never too old to play with your food.

What are some ways you spruce up Meatless Monday? Get some more inspo and recipes from our Pinterest page.

DIY Production + Styling: Lindsay Saito

Photography: Chris Andre

Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.