I’ve been craving some good meatballs, but the frozen substitutes are so expensive! So I decided to try a recipe for “beanballs” from Veganomicon, a book I highly recommend to vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters alike. Full of delicious and healthy recipes! Anyway, these beanballs are positively divine. I couldn’t stop eating the mixture off of my hands while I was rolling them into balls. I just ate them with spaghetti and decided I’d rather eat them by themselves as some pop-in-your-mouth protein treat. They’re bursting with flavour! First I’ll type out the recipe as it is in the book, then make some notes of some changes I made:
- 1 20-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and rained (about 3 cups)
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp steak sauce
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
- 1/4 tsp grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1/4 vital wheat gluten (this makes them chewier, but you can substitute whole-wheat or all-purpose flour…I used flour)
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
Preheat oven to 375F. Mash the kidney beans in a mixing bowl until no whole beans are left. (Start with a potato masher, then use a fork to get any rogue beans). You don’t want them to be completely smooth; you should still be able to recognize that they are kidney beans. Add the soy sauce, steak sauce, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, bread crumbs, wheat gluten, and herbs and use a fork to mix everything together. Use your hands to knead the mixtre for about a minute, until everything is really well combined and firm.
Roll the bean mixture into walnut-sized balls [here they said you should have 12-15 but I got about twice that…guess I made mine tiny] but don’t make them too big; smaller makes for the best texture.
Grease a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Place the balls on the sheet and drizzles them with a little more oil to coat [I sprayed Pam]. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom, then flip them and bake for another 10 minutes.
Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Pour about 1/4 in of olive oil in the pan, then add your beanballs. Cook for about 15 minutes, tossing them often, until browned on all sides.
Nutrition info per baked beanball if you get 24:
Calories: 48; Fat: 1.2 g; Protein: 2 g; Carbohydrates: 7,3 g
Some changes that I made: I used Italian-seasoned bread crumbs since that’s all I had. That may be one reason these suckers are bursting with flavour. I’m also not a huge garlic fan and don’t like the idea of biting into a chunk of garlic, so I used 1/8 tsp of garlic powder instead. I left out the lemon zest since it wasn’t worth me buying one lemon for such a small amount of zest. As for the thyme and oregano, I had this Tuscan Sunset spice mix sitting in my cabinet, so I used a teaspoon of that instead. Yummm! These definitely make the list of recipes I will make again and again! They were quick and easy. I even made the mixture the night before and rolled them into balls out of the fridge. I think having them cold may have helped the mixture stick to itself a little more easily.