Attack of the Pumpkins

Pumpkins  pumpkins every where!  What’s a girl to do?  Well she could make pumpkin pie, but let’s face it, that’s pretty much what every girl does. Pumpkin muffins?  Sure why not, except muffins, at least to me,  do not a meal make.  And yes, then there is this amazing recipe I wanted to try…Cheesy Bean & Rice Balls with Pumpkin-Sage Sauce.  okay so I get not everyone loves sage, but well you really do need to give it a try.  Trust me EY are super tasty!  And honestly easy peasy and oh so cheesy!  😉 (Kinda like me!)

So a wee bit of time is required, roughly half an hour to do the prep, at least an hour of chill time (do not skip this step unless you want trouble!) and fifteen minutes to cook the sauce. Myself that’s its.  Plus you get to have loads of fun with this one.

Here’s what you need, keep in mind you can adjust and modify as needed!

1 cup canned no-salt-added cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained (or any other kind including kidney beans)   I have to confess I used a full 15 oz can simply because who wants to measure?

2 c hot cooked rice (white or brown)

1 1/4 c shredded parm cheese (or another kind if you desire)

1 egg, lightly beaten if you wish

2 tbsp. freshly snipped sage (divided)

1/4 tsp ground pepper (or to your taste)

3/4 c panko (or whatever type of breadcrumb you like)

olive oil

1/2 c chopped onion

2 covers garlic minced (I was lazy and used dehydrated)

1 15 oz can of pumpkin (not the pumpkin pe filling stuff, just pure pumpkin)

1 1/3 c veggie broth

salt

cousely chopped walnuts, lightly toasted (optional)

Whew!  That’s a lot of stuff, but stick with me, it’s worth it!

Its about to get a wee bit messy, but that’s okay because you can take out your frustrations. What you need to do is  roughly mash the beans in a bowl.  (Have a nice large bowl because you will be using it for a bit.)  Now stir in your hot rice, you want to stir this well because it wills elf cool the mix down a bit.  Why on earth are we cooling the mix down?  Because we need to add an egg to it and we don’t want to cook the egg  that’s why!  So to the rice and beans we are adding our egg, 1 tbsp of  freshly snipped sage, the pepper and of course the cheese.

Stir this all really well until it’s fully blended.  And deep breath because it’s time for a confession,  I had some spare pumpkin so I threw that in the bean mix and stirred until blended.  Okay I feel better now.  So get some plastic wrap, cover the bean mix and put in the fridge for at least an hour.  Do not skip the chill time be use if you do, it won’t work.

Thanks to the magic of the Internet, an hour has just spun away!😊

Prehat your oven to 450F and line a baking sheet with either parchment paper or foil.  (It all helps make clean up so much better!)

Put breadcrumbs and walnuts (if using) in a shallow dish) and mix nicely.  Come to think of it, some er cheese would be great here too!

With moist hands, roll the ball mixture, you should have 14-18 balls, depends on the six should make them.  Once you have lovely little bean and rice balls, gently roll them through the breadcrumbs and olace on the baking sheet.  These will bake for 15 minutes or until heated through and slightly browned.

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Now we need the sauce because it’s all about the sauce!

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Put a small amount of oil in a sauce pan on medium heat.  Add onions and garlic snaps cook  three to five minutes, until onion is tender.  (Stir occasional) Add broth, a dahs of salt, the pumpkin and the other tbsp of sage and stir, heating until nice and bubbly!

When the balls are cooked, put a bit of sauce in the bottom of a bowl, added two or three balls into the bowl, sprinkle with more cheese if you wish or drizzle some more sauce over top and there you have it.  Super tasty and easy too!

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Here’s the beauty, you could skip the beans and just have rice balls or remove the rice, so many possibilities! And the same with the sage, you can discard that and try something else. Perhaps a bit of honey to sweeten it a bit!

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