Over the past couple years I have had a lot of practice cooking for one. Living in an apartment withroommates has given me the opportunity to work around two obstacles…space and time.
Space you ask? When living with people outside your familial realm you realize the concept of sharing cabinet, fridge and freezer space. Often time space is tight and it puts a limit on grocery purchases, meals prepared, etc.
Time…no not the time it takes to cook but the time it takes for all the wonderful food you just bought to go bad before you can consume it. Cooking for one is hard if you’ve never done it. It’s all about being creative with what you buy, how much you buy and how many different meals you can stick the same ingredients into!
So with these obstacles methods in mind, I came up with Black Bean Balls….questionable name I know. These are similar in preparation to a meatball, but made with black beans. I love black beans in tacos, quesadillas or rice dishes but I only ever find myself able to eat about a half a can before they go bad on me! So with that I created bean balls which I can eat right away or freeze for later use. I generally estimate the quantities of my ingredients and I usually only use half a can, but for these purposes I have “doubled” what I believe I used in my own bean balls.
You will need:
- 1 Can Black Beans, rinsed
- 1 Medium Carrot, peeled and roughly
- 1/3 cup Chopped Onion
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 1/4 Cup Corn (optional) I always have it on hand so I threw some in
- 2 Tbl Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Tsp Chili Powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/8 tsp Pepper
- 1/2 Cup Panko Inside Mix
- 1/4 Cup Panko for Rolling
Preheat oven to 350
Begin by throwing peeled carrot, corn, onion and garlic into food processor. Process until finely grated. Add in black beans, olive oil, lemon juice, chili powder, salt and pepper and continue to pulse in food processor. Once everything has been combined the consistency should be somewhat gooey. Now is the time to add in Panko. Start with about about 1/4 cup Panko and incorporate into the mixture. This should thicken up the mixture, if you feel you need more slowly add more. I wouldn’t recommend more than a 1/2 cup as it will get really dry. You should be able to easily roll a ball (a somewhat sticky one) out of the mixture.
In a flat dish pour 1/4 cup Panko. Roll formed balls in the panko, lightly coating each side. Once all the balls have been coated, spray a nonstick pan with cooking spray and heat to a medium heat. Place balls into the pan and cook each side as you would a meatball, lightly browning them. Once all the balls are evenly browned place them on a baking sheet and pop them in oven for 15-20 minutes.
I often pair these with brown rice and edamame or salsa and warmed tortillas. Feel freeze to serve them all or freeze them for a later date!