Black bean ‘meatballs’ | VEGAN

I stopped eating meat when I was 12, so don’t have a huge recollection of ever really consuming it. I remember I enjoy some things, but disliked most, especially the older I got. One thing I remember always disliking was spaghetti and meatballs, as I never liked having huge chunks of meat.

This weekend just gone was my birthday, and after a massive weekend of both celebrations and working, I’m feeling pretty run down. I wanted something easy and comforting, and for some unknown reason, I decided I felt like the one meal I distinctly remember not enjoying as an omni.

I picked a few things out of the pantry, threw them in the food processor, and what I was left with was delicious. Oil free, super tasty black bean balls that are full of protein and will leave you munching on them until you have to lie down with a food baby (whoops). I like these because they’re not similar to mock meatballs, but have a unique flavour and texture.

I served these as spag and meatballs, however they would also make a great snack dipped into your favourite sauce.

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INGREDIENTS
Makes 24 balls

  • 1 onion, roughly diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 200gm firm organic tofu (I use Woolworths Macro)
  • 50gm pecans or walnuts
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ cup flat leaf parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

To serve

  • Spaghetti or pasta of choice
  • Your favourite pasta sauce

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METHOD

  • Throw all ingredients into a food processor and blend until a chunky paste forms. The final texture is up to you, I liked mine to still have a bit of bite, but you can blend until completely smooth, if desired (see note)
  • Bake at 190ºC on a lined baking sheet for 15 minutes. Gently flip (they will be fragile!) then bake for another 10 minutes. Leave to firm for 5 minutes, then serve!

NOTE
The bean balls are quite fragile, as there is no real ‘firming agent’ as such in the mix. If you decide to process your mix to be very smooth, or just would prefer a sturdier bean ball, add ½ cup flour of choice to your mix.

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