Quinoa and Black Bean Balls in Marinara (Vegan)
Photo by Ian McCausland
3/4 cup prepared cold quinoa
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and patted dried
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp red chilis
1/2 cup white onion, minced fine
1/4 tsp sea salt (more to taste)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper flake (reduce for less heat)
3/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese
2 tbsp tomato paste
1–2 tbsp soy sauce
½ cup corn
Optional: chilli oil, vegan mozzarella cheese, basil
Bought or homemade Marinara sauce
Preheat oven to 350°F. Add rinsed, dried black beans to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove beans from the oven and then increase oven temperature to 375°F.
In a frying pan on medium heat, add oil, onions, and garlic. Cook till soft, then set aside to cool.
Add black beans to a food processor (or squish by hand), and mix with cooked garlic, onion, salt, oregano, red pepper flake, chili, and paprika. Mix until it’s a loose crumble (DON’T overmix). Add quinoa, vegan parmesan cheese, tomato paste, and soy sauce. Pulse to combine until it is a textured crumble that sticks together. Taste and adjust flavour as needed. If it’s too wet, add more vegan parmesan cheese and pulse to combine. If it’s too dry, add a bit more soy sauce. Remove from the food processor (if using) and add corn
To form balls, scoop with a tablespoon for consistent size. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add a small amount of oil (or chili oil) to prevent sticking, then add the meatballs. Sauté for a few minutes, till they are warm in the center and crisp on the outside. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20–30 minutes. Add Marinara sauce for the last 10 minutes for extra flavour.
Top with vegan mozzarella cheese or parmesan and basil for some flair!
Pair with: Lopez de Haro Crianza Rioja, Spain