Many of you might be thinking that I have disgraced the word ‘meatball’. Save those thoughts for another day and try these:) They have amazing flavor. They aren’t supposed to taste like meat. So, if you are eating a bean ‘meatball’ and it tastes like meat, well, then you have a bunch of fillers. Things like soy and textured vegetable protein (whatever that is), salt, and a bunch of chemicals that are supposed to taste like meat.
These are supposed to taste like black beans, quinoa, and onions. And they are a great alternative to meat – and a lot cheaper. When we talk about how much the average person should be eating red meat, really, it shouldn’t be more than once a week. I actually like to keep it at once every two weeks. I buy it on sale and put it in the freezer.
I don’t like to eat meat every night. It makes me feel too full. I love to switch up our meat-free meals by having something like this. I call them meatballs because it definitely sounds more fun than black bean and quinoa balls. What kid on any planet is going say, “mom, I’d really like to have those super tasty black bean and quinoa balls”…nope, not a single one. But if you call them black bean meatballs, then you may just get them to eat one or two.
This is the same recipe I use for my black bean burgers, which my husband actually really likes. I got really lucky when I got a guy who doesn’t have to have meat every night. Not to mention, he has a pretty open mind when it comes to some of my recipe creations.
These taste great with a dip. Two of my favorites are spicy mustard and avocado creme. Avocado cream is avocado, sour cream, lime, and a little salt. Out of this world!
Alright, some tips on making these. If cooking them right away, pan fry in some olive oil (my preferred method).
My second favorite method, although almost equal is to freeze them in advance. After you make them, put them on a baking sheet, put in the freezer. When they are frozen solid, put them all in a freezer bag. Take out as many as you want to bake and set the oven to 375°F for 15 minutes and done!
- 1 - 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- ¼ cup onion, diced fine
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon each: ground coriander, paprika, cumin, chili powder
- ¼ cup seasoned Panko breadcrumbs (you could use whatever breadcrumbs you have)
- Cook quinoa according to package directions, measure out 1 cup
- Rinse and drain black beans and add to a medium mixing bowl, mash until smooth, leaving small chunks of beans if you desire
- In a small skillet, add 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium heat and add onions
- Saute until translucent
- Add onions, quinoa, and remaining ingredients to the black beans (starting out with 3 Tablespoons of bread crumbs and adding more if the mixture is too wet to hold together)
- Mix together and form into 1 inch balls
- If eating immediately, add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to the same skillet used to cook the onions over medium heat
- Saute the black beanballs until golden brown on the outside
- If saving for later, place on a baking sheet and freeze. Transfer to a freezer safe bag. Bake at 375°F for 15 minutes