Mexican Bean Balls With Tomato & Avocado Salsa

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These baked bean balls are a fantastic entrée idea when you serve it up with the salsa in this recipe, some cashew sour cream or cashew cheese and a side salad or brown rice. Alternatively, you could make them much smaller and serve them as an appetizer before dinner.

They are gluten-free (as long as you use a GF alternative such as rice breadcrumbs), soy, egg and dairy free, protein-rich which is why they can stand alone as an entrée and they are vegetarian and vegan friendly.

Mexican Bean Balls With Tomato & Avocado Salsa

Serves 4 people

Yields 12 bean balls

2 15 oz cans black beans

1 small yellow onion, finely diced

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 cup + 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, divided

2 cups tomatoes, diced

3 green onions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup cilantro, minced

1 tsp chilli powder, divided

1/2 tsp sea salt, divided

3 tbsp olive oil, divided

1/2 avocado, diced

1/2 lime, squeezed

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a saute pan over medium heat using 1 tbsp of the olive oil sauté onions until translucent (about 5 minutes). Set aside.
  3. In a food processor (or you can use a potato masher), pulse black beans, onions, garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp sea salt and 1 tbsp olive oil - just a few times. You don't want it to be too mushy, we're after a bit of texture. At this point taste the mixture to ensure it's seasoned enough. Adjust accordingly.
  4. Stir in 1/3 cup of the breadcrumbs and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside for now.
  5. In a small bowl combine chopped tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, 1/2 tsp chilli powder and 1/4 tsp sea salt. Stir 1 cup of this tomato mixture into the black bean mixture. Set the tomato salsa aside for now.
  6. In another small bowl mix remaining 1/2 cup breadcrumbs with 1 tbsp olive oil and remaining chilli powder until breadcrumbs are coated with the oil.
  7. Take 1/2 cup of the bean mixture and form it into a ball using your hands. Press each bean ball into the breadcrumb mixture turning it to coat each ball evenly. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat this process until all of the bean mixture is used.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  9. Stir avocado into remaining tomato salsa and squeeze lime juice over it. This will be served with the warm bean balls as well as other options such as cashew sour cream or cashew cheese which can be prepared while the bean balls bake.

Enjoy! - Valerie XO

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