Melding two of my favourite foods together, burritos and soup! This has all the flavour of a burrito with the fixin’s, excluding the tortilla. Although you could serve it with tortilla chips though if you desired.
You start with the bean balls, which is a variation of my Spicy Black Bean Falafel some things removed and some things added. The great thing about this recipe is that the bean balls are baked (versus deep-fried) with very little oil making it significantly healthier. I do like to spray the tops of the bean balls as they can get dry and cracked in the oven. Fat is essential to our diet but because 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories vs. carbs or protein having only 4 calories per gram we need much less of it. Baking helps to control the amount of oil we are adding and it still tastes great. I used grape seed oil as this is an oil with a high heat tolerance. You could get an oil spray bottle and fill with the oil of your choice instead of the pressurized cans of canola or vegetable oil which is an environmental choice to reduce waste plus you get to choose the oil you’d prefer. That’s a win!
You start by placing all the bean ball ingredients except the rice and beans into a food processor and pulse until incorporated but there is still some texture left. This shouldn’t take too long. About 30 seconds or so. Give it a little mix then add the rice and beans and pulse again just to incorporate and break up the beans and rice slightly. Form them into little bite sized balls by rolling them between your wetted palms. I made about 20 from this recipe but yours could be different depending on how large or small you think a bite is! The bean balls do not hold their shape in the soup for a long period of time. If you serve it immediately it’s fine but if you’d like to use this recipe for meal prep then I suggest storing the soup base and the bean balls separately, heating them separately, then adding the balls in just before eating.
If you want to use the cashew cream and have never made it before it’s easy-peasy, I’ll tell you how: Soak 1 cup raw cashews for about an hour in water (if you don’t have an hour use hot water for about 30 minutes or until softened). Drain. Add to a high-powered blender along with about 3/4 cup water and juice from 1 lemon. Add 1/2 tsp salt if desired. Blend slowly then turn up the speed until blended smooth. Slowly add more water as needed for desired consistency. You may think you have too much water at first but as it blends it thickens as well as upon sitting.
Mexican spice blend:
These are rough amounts but I try to stick to these ratios. I re-use mason jars to store my spice blends. I start with a base of 1/2 cup paprika then add about 4 tablespoons each of turmeric, dried oregano, ground cumin, ground coriander, garlic powder and onion powder. Depending on the spice level of the chili powder will determine how much I add. For a mild chili powder I’ll add about 2 tablespoons. 1 tablespoon each of salt & pepper. Place the lid on, give it a good shake and store in the pantry until needed. It goes pretty fast in my house!
For the Beans and Rice balls:
- 2 cups cooked black beans
- 1/2 cup cooked rice
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp Mexican spice blend
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp ground flax-seed
- 1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp grape seed oil
For the soup base:
- 1 red onion
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 sweet pepper
- 2 tbsp Mexican spice blend
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 2 cans of water
- 1 tbsp tamari
- Handful of spinach
- the other half jalapeno pepper (finely diced)
- 1/2 cup corn
For the garnish:
- green onion
- cashew cream
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C
- For the bean balls: In a food processor, add everything except the rice and beans and pulse until chopped but some texture remains (about 30 seconds). Add the rice and beans and pulse a little more, just until incorporated but texture remains. (about 30 seconds).
- Prepare a baking sheet: spray lightly with oil spray so beans don’t stick.
- Using damp hands form bean balls by rolling between your palms about 2 inches in size (bite sized). Should end up with 18-20 balls. Place on baking sheet. Spray lightly with oil.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until browned. Remove from oven and set aside.
- For the soup: In a large stock pot heated on medium, add the oil.
- Peel and slice the onions, add to the pot.
- Dice and seed the pepper and add to the pot.
- Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- When onions and peppers are softened, add the Mexican spice blend, stir, then add the tomatoes and water.
- Let simmer for about 15 minutes then add the tamari, corn, spinach and the other half of the jalapeno pepper (finely diced)
- Let simmer for about 5 minutes then remove from heat.
- Add the bean balls and serve immediately with the garnishes of your choice.
- Enjoy life in the pink!