Pantry Cookin'

Because my work load has greatly decreased this month (and I'm hesitant to pick up any shifts due to the fact that I don't want to), I'm trying to curb my habit of going food shopping every other day. Which is hard because I love food shopping. So I'm trying to keep it down to one trip a week.

As I already went on Thursday and I've still got several days until this Thursday and the fridge is looking a little bare, I turned to the pantry to figure out some way to make pasta interesting for the next few days. What did I see? A can of black beans and Panko bread crumbs. What did I make? Black bean "meat" balls.

The recipe is adapted from a black bean burger recipe a friend gave me several years ago. I think she got it out of Eating Well magazine. The original recipe used cumin, tabasco and salsa, but as I planned on making meatballs, I used tomato sauce and Italian-spiced breadcrumbs instead. You'll see I didn't add any spices or even salt to this; between the sauce, parm and Italian-flavored breadcrumbs I figured I was covered. Of course, that doesn't mean you can add stuff to your heart's content.

Black Bean Neatballs


1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 to 1/3 cup onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup Italian-flavored bread crumbs
1 to 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese (I didn't measure, but about that)
2 Tbsp pasta sauce of your choice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking sheet.
2. Using fork or food processor, mash beans.
3. Add rest of ingredients and stir until combined.
4. Form into balls. I managed to get nine rather large neatballs, but you can make more or less depending on your fancy.
5. I baked them for 20 minutes. Crusty on the outside, still a little mushy on the inside. Of course, I planned to use them over the week, so I purposefully undercooked them a little; they'll cook a little more when I add them to pasta sauce etc. If you're planning on serving them right away, I'd actually recommend putting them in a baking dish and covering them with a layer of pasta sauce, and then baking them for 30 minutes. The sauce will prevent them from drying out too much and they'll be a bit more cooked. Please keep in mind I haven't tried this and am making this up as I go along.

Edited: Holy cow these are freakin' GOOD!

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