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Friday, July 15, 2016

Bean and Rice Meatless Balls for One

These delicate little balls have a very mild flavor. You could go nuts with seasoning, or, if you’re like me, go nuts with a flavorful sauce.

2 TBLSP olive oil
¼ small yellow onion
2 ounces sliced mushrooms (about ½ cup), button, cremini, Portobello—whatever you have
½ shallot, sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup cooked beans (black, garbanzo, navy—whatever you like, even lentils!)
2 TBLSP fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
1/3 cup cooked brown rice
2 TBLSP breadcrumbs (use gluten-free, if you like, so long as they’re fresh)
½ teaspoon tapioca starch (which is the same thing as tapioca flour)
¼ teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
Canola for frying
  1.  In a non-stick pan, add the olive oil and sauté the onion and mushrooms until they’re lightly browned. 
  2. Add the shallots until they begin to soften and brown.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for one minute, until just fragrant. Transfer the onions and mushrooms to a food processor.
  4. Add the beans, parsley, rice, breadcrumbs, tapioca starch, salt and pepper to the food processor and pulse until the mixture just barely comes together in a ball. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. It seems to help with the frying.
  5. With your hands, form the mixture into 1-2-inch balls. There should be between 6 and 10 of them.
  6. In the same non-stick pan you used before, heat some oil for frying—it’s not deep-fry, but there should be plenty of oil in there to make the cooking go quickly. Panfry the balls in a single layer, about 2 minutes on each side. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need more than one batch. 
  7. Let them rest on a paper-towel-covered plate while you prepare whatever vessel and sauce they’re going onto.

Shown here with Stroganoff Sauce(immediately above and below) and Portobello Mushroom Sauce (up at the top).

It’s nice served in a sauce (I like mushroomy sauce, like Mushroom Gravy, but you might also try pesto or a tomato sauce), on a sandwich slathered with pesto or mustard, or dipped into a ranch-style dressing on the end of a toothpick. Oh, and why not put them on top of a big pile of pasta or on a pizza, while you’re at it! 

 You could also make this into two burger-sized patties and fry or bake for a hamburger experience.

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