Greek-ish Orzo Salad with bean balls

So this weekend, I made a Greek inspired orzo salad, made only with ingredients I could find in our pantry and fridge, which is going to be a lot of what this blog is, because I find a lot of recipes require either a) a ridiculous number of ingredients, or b) too much time.

orzoingredients2

Most of the ingredients

At one point I got an email about a pot meal of spaghetti and meatballs from The Plant Strong Vegan , and I loosely adapted my bean balls from that recipe, though I couldn’t really remember what was in them other than oats and beans? But still, credit where credit is due!

This was a really delicious salad, and so easy. I think that is one of my favorite things about pasta salad (I mean, other than PASTA), is how easy it is to make a meal out of almost anything you have on hand. Green+protein+colorful vegetable+sauce and the pasta and you are set.

The bean balls were pretty easy to make, and also gave me ample opportunity to make ridiculous double entendres about said bean balls to my spouse, who is verrrry used to the kind of terrible jokes I make.

orzobeanballs2

Bean balls in all their glory!

Anyway, onto the recipe.

For the bean balls:

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed.
1/3 c oats
1/2 c nutritional yeast
1 T nutritional yeast
1 t liquid aminos, or soy sauce, or ketchup, or vegetable broth
1 t garlic powder
1 t Greek seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

Blend up the oats in a blender, and add that to a bowl with the rest of the bean ball ingredients. At this point you can either just get in there with your hands and mash it all up, or put it in a food processor. Totally up to you. Roll the mixture into balls, using a scant tablespoon (for mini balls), and fry them in a nonstick skillet with a touch of oil, until they are brown and crispy all over. Set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the salad ingredients.

Add to a bowl:

1/2 lb of orzo, cooked to your liking (I’m not going to put instructions on how to cook pasta on this blog because I feel like we’re all to a point that we know how to cook pasta. If you need help cooking pasta, we’ll talk).

1 T dill. I did not use fresh dill, I used this Litehouse “Instantly Fresh” dill. I think instantly fresh just means freeze dried and kind of pricey, but it is surprisingly delicious, and spices are one of the areas that I find I am willing to spend a little more money on. Store brand almost everything else, but I’m sort of bourgie about my spices.

1 T olive oil

1 t garlic.

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved.

Once your bean balls have cooled and you’ve mixed it all together, you’re ready to go. We had some kale, so I sauteed it and served this salad on a bed of garlicky kale. But then I made the exact same salad again a day later and added arugula and kalamata olives (from Aldi, not I’m not an olive snob). The juice and zest of a lemon would be a great addition, too.

orzoinbowl2

Looking tasty in the bowl!

Thanks for stopping by! If you try the recipe, let me know if you like it! Also follow me on Instagram if you want to see more of A Budget Friendly Vegan!

-Carmen