I have really been trying to watch my spending recently since we are working towards saving to buy a house- Woof… Naturally, my downfall is groceries. I love going to the grocery store, and typically go more than once per week. Half because I forgot something and half because I  like going. And more often than not, I come out with way more than I went into get… Oops? When we moved out of downtown Detroit we literally though “we will be so much closer to grocery stores”… dietitian priorities….

I usually do the bulk of my shopping on Tuesdays, because that is my day off and Aldi is so much more bearable at 11am in the middle of the week- I get “cart-rage” when there are too many people in an aisle.  So, when it was Sunday, and I realized I hadn’t bought/planned anything for meatless Monday, I was determined to get a little creative and use whatever I had on hand.

The result? Black bean “meatballs” and me questioning why I had never tried this before…

This meal cost a total of less than $3. And I was rounding up, seriously. That’s $1.50 per serving. **Holds for applause**




Black Bean "Meatballs"

Yield: 10 meatballs
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

A great vegetarian alternative to regular meatballs!


  • 1 cup canned black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg white
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients except oregano into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

Form 10 medium –sized meatballs. Place meatballs in a greased mini-muffin pan or on a baking sheet.

Bake for ~12-15 minutes, until no longer fragile.

I made some whole wheat rotini, warmed garlic-herb pasta sauce, and steamed broccoli to go with, adding a finishing touch of parmesan and oregano. 

As we were eating Joe says to me “You could even add a little worsterchire sauce to these for a more “meaty” taste.” …. The student has become the master? Yeah right… But good tip, my dear, we’ll give it a try.

Feel free to adjust the spices as you like. If you haven’t noticed we LOVE cumin, and add it to just about everything. I feel like it adds a little need warmth, but to each their own.

Penny pinching and a happy tummy make for a great day.