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.

Hippie Bowls

The end of summer is upon us here, in Colorado. What a glorious summer it has been though! Full of hiking, mountain climbing, adventures, new coasts and exploring.

Summer Summits
Summer Summits

Throughout the summer, my girlfriend and I have kept up our Wednesday Yoga tradition as much as we could….every Wednesday, we’ll do an hour of yoga at one or the others house, and every other Wednesday one of us will cook a vegan feast. It’s been an awesome tradition we’ve been doing since February (2015) and this past week’s meal was a farewell to summer.

Hippie Bowls
Hippie Bowls

On the Menu
Homemade Pesto & Roasted chili pepper & white bean dip with Rosemary Bread, Hippie bowls with a Tahini sauce, and raw mini strawberry ‘cheese’ cakes

Hippie Bowls

Roasted Eggplant (2 small eggplants)
Roasted Beets (2 large beets)
Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Carrots (1 & 1/2 large sweet potato & 4 large carrots)
Roasted Broccoli (2 medium stalks)
1 Roasted Red Pepper
3/4 cup of raw sunflower seeds
3/4 cup of raw pumpkin seeds
1 Avocado (sliced)
5-8 cloves of roasted garlic
Wild Grain Rice

Cut all veggies into cubes. Drizzle with olive oil, toss with garlic and rosemary. I separated my veggies into piles when I roasted them, adding garlic & paprika to the potatoes & carrots, rosemary and olive oil to the beets, cummin and olive oil to the eggplant. Get creative here! Roast all but the broccoli for 30-440 minutes at 375, stirring halfway. Broccoli took about 20 minutes.

Cook rice according to the directions. I cooked the serving for 4 (these made 4 large hippie bowls)

Tahini Sauce
1/3 cup Tahini paste
2 tablespoons nutritional Yeast
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/2 cup of water (more to thin the sauce)
Sriracha to taste

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Add more water to thin the sauce.

Assemble the bowls with rice on the bottom and veggies piled high and deep!

Veggie Hippie Bowls
Veggie Hippie Bowls

These Hippie Bowls were the perfect way to say goodbye to summer – and a fabulous introduction to the root veggies that are right around the corner!

Happy Fall!