This meatball recipe actually has nothing to do with meat. Instead, the balls are formed from healthy beans. They can be served over pasta, just like normal meatballs, with sauce.
It doesn’t seem right to call meatballs that are made with beans “meatballs”. They should be called beanballs. But that sounds like something that you might hear in a whispered conversation between fourth-grade boys. Regardless, these meatballs made with beans make a quick and satisfying supper with plenty of leftovers for meatball sandwiches later in the week.
If you’re not a vegetarian, I imagine it’s tempting to skip right by this recipe. But don’t! These really are quite tasty and there are a number of advantages to using beans instead of meat.
First, you don’t have to put your hands into raw, ground meat. This is a big plus for me; I’ve never liked the smell of raw meat and I would much rather mush around in beans than bits of turkey.
Second, beans have much more fiber than meat. If you’re looking for additional sources of fiber now that whole-grain wheat cereals are off-limits, this is a good option.
Third, and probably most important for some of you, beans have almost no fat and less than half the calories of an equal weight portion of ground turkey. It’s easy to cut fat and calories from your diet, while feeling completely satisfied, simply by substituting beans for meat in some of your dishes. Using an egg white rather than a whole egg in this recipe would reduce the fat even more.
Later this week, I’ll have a recipe for Spinach Meatball Sandwiches, so that you can use up the leftover meatballs.
(Yield: 4 servings (you’ll need sides) plus leftover meatballs)
Making the pasta
Divide the pasta onto four plates. Place 3 meatball on top of each serving of pasta. Serve with a green salad, green beans, or some other scrumptious green vegetable.