It's lunch time and Mexican flavors sounded like the right place to go. These albondigas, or meatballs, are great for kids or picky adults because they are loaded with vegetables but undetectable to stubborn palates. These would also be great to bring to a potluck or prepare for a party. Replace the vegetables with whatever you like best or play around with different kinds of beans.
Pinto and black beans combined with tons of fresh veggies and crispy breadcrumbs baked into cute little meatballs, served with a cooling avocado and tomatillo salsa with cilantro and lime. Smoked paprika, garlic and butter form a rich sauce to soak up in the meatballs.
4 tbl extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup minced red pepper
1/4 cup minced red onion
1 carrot, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 tbl cumin
salt and pepper
1-15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1-15oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 350.
Saute the red pepper, red onion, carrot and jalapeno in 2 tbl oil. Cook until the vegetable become slightly soft, 10 minutes. Season with cumin, salt and pepper.
Place a baking sheet in the oven to heat up.
In a large bowl, combine the beans and mash to a chunky consistency. Add the vegetables and breadcrumbs and stir to combine.
Remove the hot baking sheet add the remaining 2 tbl of oil and scoop small balls of the bean mixture onto it. Bake for 35 minutes until browned and crisp on the outside.
Fresh Avocado Salsa
2 tomatillos, small dice
1 avocado, small dice
1/4 cup rough chopped cilantro
juice of one lime
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
Combine all of the ingredients, season to taste.
1/4 cup earth balance vegan butter
1 tsp smoked hot paprika
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch turbinado sugar
pinch of salt
Melt the butter in a small pot, add the remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Pour over pinto albondigas.