Sometimes you just want a classic.Growing up, spaghetti and meatballs were a celebrated dish. This dish was easy, safe and it was always delicious.
Today, ground beef is not on the menu, so I took on the task of recreating meatballs without the meat. We call them "neatballs" in our house, and they've dethroned the classic for a healthier, compassionate version.
Though I try to avoid it in recipes whenever possible, I did use oil to pan fry the neatballs. I'm sure you could bake them for an even cleaner version. If you are going to fry them like I did, choose an oil that can withstand high heat. I used grapeseed, but other options are sesame, canola, and safflower. Sadly, olive oil is NOT a good choice for high heat.
- 1 (15oz) can of black beans, drained & rinsed
- 3 tbsp grapeseed oil, divided
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 c shitake mushrooms, diced
- 1/4 c walnuts, chopped
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp multi-purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill for a gluten free mix)
- salt to taste
Add 1tbsp of grapeseed oil to a pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent—about 5 minutes. Add your mushroom, walnuts, and a pinch of salt. Continue to cook another 5 minutes until mushrooms have softened. Empty mixture into a large mixing bowl.
Pulse black beans in a food processor until broken loosely apart (NOT mashed). Add beans to the mixing bowl.
Add nutrition yeast, onion powder and flour to the bowl, mix until combined. Do not over mix.
Using your hands, roll out individual balls and set aside on a plate to rest.
In a saute pan, heat the remaining 2 tbsp of grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Place the neatballs into the pan. Cook evenly on all sides—2-3 minutes each side. Remove from heat and let cool for 3-5 minutes before serving.
Serve with your favorite pasta and sauce. Bon Appetit.