Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Italian Bean Balls and Spaghetti Squash

This meal is a family favorite and probably one of the easiest so far to convert to adhere to all the rules of the elimination diet. I made the tomato sauce from scratch, as I usually do. If you're more of a canned type of person, I think there are a few brands that don't have sugar, but you're going to have to look a bit. As for the bean balls, this is one of our favorite recipes. I've made it in the past with white beans and regular oats. But since oats are banned, I used gluten-free all purpose flour instead and because I had no kidney beans or white beans, I used black beans. I haven't tested this theory yet, but I'm pretty sure you could use any type of beans or nuts that you like and they would still be amazing. I did puree the mixture a bit too much since I was being lazy and trying to make it all in one batch in the food processor, so ignore the consistency in the pictures. One of those do I as I say, not as I do sort of situations.

Italian Bean Balls and Spaghetti Squash 
(Adapted from Oh She Glows)
Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free, paleo


3/4 cup pine nuts (or walnuts), finely chopped and toasted
3/4 cup gluten-free flour
1 cup shredded carrots
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons finely chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15-0unce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons ground flax + 3 tablespoons water, mixed
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Toast the nuts for 7-9 minutes until fragrant and golden.

Meanwhile, mix the flour, grated carrot, parsley, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and nuts into a large bowl. Stir to combine.

Pour the drained and rinsed beans into the food process and process until finely chopped. The mixture should be a coarse paste with a few beans still intact, but don't completely puree the mixture. Stir  the processed beans into the bowl with the vegetables and flour.

In a mug or small bowl, whisk together the ground flax and water. Let it sit for only 15-20 seconds, otherwise it will get too thick. Stir into the vegetable bean mixture until fully combined.

Stir the oil, oregano, salt and pepper into the bowl, adjusting amounts to taste if necessary.

Shape the mixture into 18-20 golf ball-sized balls, packing each ball tightly between your hands so it holds together well. Place each ball on the prepared baking shit an inch or two apart.

Bake for 20 minutes, then gently flip the balls and bake for another 15-20 minutes until golden on both sides.

After baking, you can heat them over medium heat in a very little amount of olive oil to add a bit of a crispy crust, otherwise, let the balls cool for 10 minutes.

Serve with spaghetti squash or pasta and tomato sauce.


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