A New (Meatless) Take On The Classic Meatballs and Spaghetti

Never thought meatballs could be healthy? This delicious dinner proves they can be.

beal balls

*Courtesy of Running On Veggies

The weekends in my house usually go something like this. My mom makes a big Friday night dinner that includes a variety of delicious food. Throughout the weekend, my brothers, my parents and I will usually see to it that all the food is gone. Except brown rice is always left over and by Tuesday we have stale rice that gets thrown out. Wasting food really bothers me so I like to use it any way I can. Plus, it’s so fun to make something totally different out of leftovers.

This weekend my mom made black rice instead of brown rice. I love black rice because it contains more fiber and protein than brown rice. It also contains more antioxidants than a spoonful of berries! Just some more reasons to incorporate black rice into your daily diet. So I thought I’d hop on board with “Meatless Monday” and put the left over black rice to good use! Meatless meatballs or “bean balls” was what I came up with. My pantry is always stocked with organic canned beans so I thought to combine them with the black rice. It was a winning combo! You can also use any bean or rice you have on hand, so this recipe is totally versatile!  I would love to here your take on this recipe!

Meatless Meatballs or “Bean Balls”

  • 2 cups of cooked rice (black or brown)
  • 2 cups of beans or 1 15 oz can of organic beans (I used black beans)
  • 1 teaspoon of acid (either lemon juice or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (optional)
  • 1 1 /2 cups tomato sauce

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Process for a couple of minutes, making sure to start and stop the machine and scraping down the sides in between

3. Spray a medium sized oven safe pan with non stick cooking spray and heat on medium high. Scoop bean and rice mixture into balls. Place in hot pan—it should yield around 12 bean balls. Cook on each side for around 1 minute, making sure to flip them.

4. Once all sides are cooked and browned, add your tomato sauce to the pan. Place pan in the oven for 20 minutes to finish off and absorb the tomato sauce. Let cool.

5. Serve over your favorite pasta. I used brown rice spaghetti. Enjoy!