Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I know.  I wish it had a better name too.  But they are so, so good and I'd like to share them with you.
We are not vegans, but since we are a dairy-free family who tries to eat meat only one to two times a week I find myself turning to vegan cook books quite often.  My favorite vegan chef by far is Isa Chandra Moskowitz, and my favorite book of hers (so far) is The Veganomicaon, and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, and Vegan Cookies Invade your Cookie Jar.  She is something of a vegan magician when it comes to deserts.  Nothing is dense and chewy (when it's not supposed to be) and she even has a recipe for frosting that tastes just like frosting! It's a good feeling to watch someone devour a cookie and tell you it's great and then you get to say, "It's vegan!"

The thing I love about the Veganomicon is that she uses real food.  There isn't a lot of fake, factory made "cheeze" or even an abundance of tofu.  The recipes are all made with food, which means a lot to me because I've gotten basically all the food that isn't really out of my life and I'd hate to backslide now.  Don't get me wrong, in order to make that amazing frosting you do need some earth balance or some other vegan margarine, but hey, it's a cupcake, you know?  The other thing about this gigantic cookbook is that it's really funny.  It's like the joy of cooking with a couple of glasses of wine and no animal carving how-to's.  Anyway, I highly recommend it. 

However, I rarely follow a recipe exactly, and this is a version of the recipe she has in this book. It's gluten free and I actually think they have a nicer texture than the ones that have wheat gluten and bread crumbs in it.  They stand up a little better to sauce and reheating. I haven't experimented with adding veggies but I'll make them again in another couple of weeks and I'll give it a try.  They are perfect transports for hidden (frozen) kale.


1 (20 ounce) can kidney beans rinsed and drained (about three cups)
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons steak sauce
2 Tablespoons Olive oil (plus some for baking)
2 cloves garlic grated or minced finely
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest (I have never had a lemon handy so I've always left this out)
1/4 cup potato starch flour
1/4 cup corn flour
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat oven to 375

Mash up the beans with a potato masher and get the stubborn renegades with a  fork. It shouldn't be smooth, you should know that they are made with kidney beans, but no whole ones left.  Add soy sauce, steak sauce, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest potato starch, and corn flour. Use a fork to mix everything together until it well combined and firm. 
Roll the mixture into walnut sized balls (about 12-15) but don't make them too being, smaller is better for texture.  Place them on an oiled cookie sheet and drizzles or brush them with additional oil.  Bake them for 15 minutes, then flip brush with more oil and bake for another 10.  Add them to warm sauce and serve. 

I served them with broccoli polenta, and the sauce I canned this summer.  The polenta went over so-so with the little ones but the bean balls were a hit for dinner and for lunch the next day too!


  1. Yeah!! Thank you! They were so yummy!!!

  2. Hey Jannelle,

    Have you ever considered avocado for frosting? Not what you typically expect to make into a dessert topping, but it provides a similar texture/mouth-feel and can be flavored (I'm thinking cocoa powder) and sweetened to your preference. Plus it's got all that good monounsaturated fat, potassium, and vitamins C, E, K, and all the Bs (esp. folate).

    This recipe looks great; I'll try it out with my after-school and farm groups :)