Mama Mia: Homemade Kidney Bean Balls

Being mostly plant-based may seem like I’m missing out – no meatballs, hamburgers, sausages or meatloaf!?!?! Well, I’m going to be bold and say the plant-based versions of all of these are better!

Plant Power
Plant Power

Not only do they contain enzymes, nutrients, vitamins essential for our health, they leave out the saturated fat & cholesterol animal protein adds. Think of the cow as the middleman – it eats plants to get nutrients, but the nutrients gets filtered through its system and passed on to our plates with all the extra bullsh*$!

And above all else, the plant versions are delicious!

I was craving Italian, something hearty, so whipped up these kidney bean balls last weekend. They turned out amazing – super hearty, filling, and packed with plant goodness. The secret ingredient? Fresh baked breadcrumbs! I had stale whole wheat hamburger buns in my fridge, so ripped em’ to shreds and made an Italian style breadcrumb that added a ton of flavor.

Ingredients

Breadcrumbs

Stale bread (2-3 slices, or 2 hamburger buns)
2 tablespoons oregano & parsley & onion powder
2 Tablespoons of olive soil
Pinch of sea salt & pepper

Crumble bread into bite sized pieces and put into a bowl. Mix all dry ingredients and toss oil into the bowl – mix well. Bake breadcrumbs at 350 for 12-16 minutes.

Kidney Bean Balls

1 can of organic kidney beans (rinsed)
1/2 medium red onion
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon balsamic olive oil 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon of flaxmeal mixed with 2 tablespoons of water – let mixture sit until gooey)

Chop onion and put into a cuisine art along with the garlic gloves. Mix until minced. Add can of beans and pulse about 4-5 times. You want mixture to be chunky. Add flax egg and balsamic stir with a wooden spoon. Toss in breadcrumbs and mix. Form into balls and put on a cookie sheet with parchment paper (I sprayed a bit of olive oil on parchment paper). Bake at 375 for about 15-20 minutes. Balls should be firm.

Check out my instagram page to see a video of the plant-goodness!

Enjoy!

Make it Spicy – Salsa Verde!

Here in Colorado, we’ve been having gorgeous weather. High 70’s in mid-late October means lots of weekend hikes, walks with the pups and yard work.

Hiking in Matthew Winters Park
Hiking in Matthew Winters Park

Last week, however, temperatures dipped into the low 40’s overnight, leaving our ample tomato plants in the lurch. Our neighbor, Rico, let us know that once the plants get frost on them, they’re not going to produce or ripen any longer. Bummer!

Salsa Verde
Salsa Verde

Mike and I pulled a ton of green tomatoes from the bushes this weekend and I made a spicy salsa verde to use on tacos, rice bowls or as a dip!

Salsa Verde

15-20 medium/small green tomatoes cubed
1 small onion diced
1 chili pepper (or a jalepeno)
1 green pepper
4 Thai chili peppers (whole)
7 cloves of garlic minced
3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar

Put all ingredients into a pot on the stove and bring to a boil – about 20 minutes.

Boiling down the veggies
Boiling down the veggies

At this point I added another splash of vinegar, turned down the heat, then let cook for another 15 minutes.

Blend
Blend

Let it cool for a bit, remove the whole Thai chili peppers, then transfer to a food processor or blender. Blend until your desired chunkiness.

 

Put into mason jars and store in the fridge.

Let them Eat Cake!

I would consider myself a super healthy eater. I try not to eat refined white sugar, I don’t drink soda, I cook 80% of my meals using whole foods, I eat mostly plants, I eat a ton of fruit and raw veggies, I buy organic.

Good for me, right!?

Taking care of my body starts with a nutrient rich diet and I want to eat the healthiest I can to ensure my health and wellness. Yup, I got that down. But what about dessert!

I grew up in a household where we had dessert every night. It was homemade, included real ingredients, and followed a wholesome well-balanced dinner. That meal agenda sounds pretty awesome to me….so I’ve started baking.

I’m not the greatest baker though – you need to be exact – plus, I really don’t love super sweet things and refined sugar is horrible for you (check out the documentary Fed Up for an eye-opening look at this epidemic). But I do love a piece of something chocolate at the end of my meals, damnit!

Zucchini Cake
Zucchini Cake

So today, I made this Zucchini Cake with an avocado icing. It’s vegan, can be made gluten free, and I subbed out the refined sugar in part of the recipe. Plus, I had zucchini from our garden to use up. Win-Win!

The cake turned out beautifully and actually has a ton of protein and nutrients. I substituted whole wheat flour for the quinoa flour and switched 1/2 cup of brown sugar & 1/2 cup of coconut sugar for the 1 cup of sugar.

Here are the ingredients I used as well as the icing recipe.

Happy baking!

Zucchini Cake
Zucchini Cake
Ingredients
  • Dry Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 cups Quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar & 1/2 cup of coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • Wet Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons flax meal with 7 tablespoons of water
  • 3/4 soy milk
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cups zucchini, grated
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven and grease baking pans.
  2. Mix flax meal and water and let sit for several minutes while preparing the remaining ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Grate zucchini, then add to flax mixture along with the rest of the wet ingredients. Add wet to dry and mix just until combined.
  4. Pour into baking pans and use the back of a spoon to spread the batter to the edges of the pan. Bake at 350F. Test using a toothpick – I baked for 25 minute.

Icing

1 avocado
1/2 cup of confectionery sugar
1/3 cup of cocoa powder 1/3 cup of soy milk

Blend in a food processor & put on cooled cake.