If I may be honest, cooking hasn't been my top priority as of late. I've been going through some really bad anxiety and a bit of depression, so it was hard enough just getting through the day. The idea of trying to really cook wasn't happening. But I recently stumbled upon The Vegan Stoner's blog thanks to some ladies in a vegan group I'm in on Facebook and I was really impressed with how simple the recipes are. I don't know about you, but when I get home from work I don't have 5 hours to make food. I wish I did. My goal is to be a stay at home wife, but sadly, that's never going to happen.
If you're one of those people that's like I'm gonna have homemade everything, this blog is not for you. It's simple, using mainly store bought items, not that you can't replace the store bought with your own if you prefer. You do you boo.
I decide to try the Zoodles and Beanballs recipe. Super simple recipe, that I'm fairly positive anyone could make.
Here's the ingredients I used:
2 zucchinis and a spiralizer
Salt and pepper for taste
Garlic and herb seasoning
Can of black beans
Gluten free Panko bread crumbs
First spiralize your zucchini. Cut the ends off, but leave the skin on. And don't salt your zucchini (I learned that the hard way.) I got a handheld spiralizer from Bed Bath and Beyond for $15, and it's a piece of cake to use. For reference, one zucchini is enough for like one person's meal, since it's light.
Mash a whole can of black beans with a fork or a masher. It's a work out. Be prepared. I put my oats, spices, and 4 tbsp soy sauce in a separate bowl, then combined them all once your beans are mashed. I only added a few shakes of spices, just enough so the Beanballs didn't taste just like plain beans. Also, add some of your breadcrumbs to the mixture too. Roll your Beanballs in bread crumbs before cooking them. Then, add some olive oil in a pan, and cook your Beanballs for a few minutes on each side. It shouldn't take longer than ten minutes to cook them.
While your Beanballs are cooking, place your zoodles in a pan with marinara sauce and just warm them up a bit. You can eat the noodles raw too, it doesn't matter. It's whatever you prefer.
Once you're all done, combine and serve! I sprinkled some more breadcrumbs on top too, in lieu of cheese. You can sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top if you're craving that cheese flavor.
Overall, I thought everything turned out pretty good.
Don't be mad at me, because I forgot to take any photos of the final product. We were rushing to leave and I didn't have time to take photos. However, I did get a great photo of Leopold being my furry little helper in the kitchen, so there's that.
I had the rest of them for dinner tonight and everything still tasted good heated up! Even my husband, who doesn't like black beans, thought they were good considering what they were. My sister and my best friend liked them too!
I'm going to do make some changes when I cook them again, which will be regular since they're so easy. Here's what I'll be changing:
-The Beanballs weren't very sturdy. They got all deformed as I was flipping them. I'm gonna add a flax egg to help bind everything together. Also, I might add some other beans to the mixture. The more the merrier. -I got plain Panko bread crumbs which were the perfect size. They were bigger so they added a good crunch. And I liked the gluten free ones too, since they had a different texture than regular bread crumbs. But, next time I'm gonna get the Italian seasoned gluten free bread crumbs, since I think they'll add more to the flavor.
-Do not salt your Zoodles. I mentioned this above but I wanna reiterate it. The salt pulls all the water out from the Zoodles and they become soggy and basically impossible to cook with since they're a drippy messy. Zucchinis are literally almost all water. Salt and water don't mix!
-Cook your noodles in a pan with a hint or olive or vegetable oil, not with the sauce. Pour the sauce over everything when you're all done plating everything. Or, just have the sauce on the side. The marinara really brought out the flavor of the Beanballs, so I definitely will use that. Don't store your leftover Beanballs in sauce, otherwise the breadcrumbs will probably get soggy. No one likes soggy breadcrumbs.