Sep 11, 2015

veganmofo - nutrient + carb load

Day 11 at #vgnmf15 is brought to you by the Nutrients of Veganland.

This is another mofo prompt that was a collaboration among the womenfolk of the family. My son is away at Berkeley and hubby wasn't able to be part of the plan; he just reaped the rewards.

The girls and I have been thinking that carbohydrates have been getting a bad reputation. It's low-card this, Atkins that, paleo here and there and everywhere. And, of course, bacon.

Most people are not aware that carbs are an essential nutrient for brain function and it is your main source of energy for your cells and organs.

Therefore, we devised a beautifully Carb Load supper for last night: corn/quinoa pasta with homemade spaghetti sauce, my Carb Load Balls made with polenta and white beans, breaded in panko and baked, served with garlic bread. It was carby-licious!

"The roles of carbohydrate in the body includes providing energy for working muscles, providing fuel for the central nervous system, enabling fat metabolism, and preventing protein from being used as energy. Carbohydrate is the preferred source of energy or fuel for muscle contraction and biologic work.

Foods containing carbohydrate are in the grains, fruit, and legume groups. Vegetables have a small amount of carbohydrate.

After carbohydrate is eaten, it is broken down into smaller units of sugar (including glucose, fructose and galactose) in the stomach and small intestine. These small units of sugar are absorbed in the small intestine and then enter the bloodstream where they travel to the liver. Fructose and galactose are converted to glucose by the liver. Glucose is the carbohydrate transported by the bloodstream to the various tissues and organs, including the muscles and the brain, where it will be used as energy."

Chew on that!

If you haven't entered the contest to win Vegan Bowls (AmazonB&N) yet, head over to Tuesday's post HERE. Good luck!

Carb Load Balls
Makes 13 to 15 portions

2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup medium-ground cornmeal

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 ¾ cups cannellini beans 

¼ cup unsweetened plain vegan milk
3 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
1 ½ cups panko crumbs
½ teaspoon garlic granules
½ teaspoon sea salt
Oil spray

1. Polenta: Combine the broth, oil, and salt in a medium pot. Bring to boil and whisk in the cornmeal. Bring to simmer, stir and reduce the heat to low. Cook, covered, until the cornmeal is tender and thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes. 
2. Beans: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, fennel and oregano. Cook until golden, about 1 to 3 minutes. Add the beans and cook until heated through. Mash the beans and remove from heat. Mix the polenta mixture with the beans mixture and transfer to a shallow pan. Spread the mixture out to about 1 ½-inches thick. Set aside to cool until firm but not completely hardened.   
3. Breading: Preheat oven to 375-degrees F. Oil a baking sheet. Combine the milk and starch in a shallow pan. Combine the panko, garlic and salt in a separate shallow pan. Cut the stiffened polenta mixture into about 1 ½-inch cubes. Form each cube into a ball. Do not piece the mixture together from separate parts as the balls may fall apart; form each square into a sphere. First, dredge each ball in the milk mixture and then in the panko mixture. Press the panko lightly to adhere. Transfer the balls to the prepared baking sheet, spray with oil and bake until golden, about 30 minutes, turning the balls as needed. Serve.

 © 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


  1. Oh yum, this sounds great! Carbs are my favourite of all. All this low carb-no carb business, I roll my eyes. Besides being tasty, carbs are kind of super important!

    1. I feel so bad for all the people who have been tricked into thinking that carbs are bad. *sigh*

  2. You're right, we are always villanizing something or other and carbs are the scapegoat right now when they should be celebrated in all their carby glory like you're recipe here!

    1. Yup. The only "extreme" that we should be adhering to is compassion, not "diets."

  3. We picked the same nutrient!! =D =D =D
    Love the sound of this pasta! It sounds like the perfect meal to have the night before a good, long run. Mmmm pasta. I love carbs and they are healthy! I'm so sad at all of the fad diets for dragging their good name through the mud :/

  4. I know what you mean! Carbs do get a bad rap and that is so sad! I LOVED your post and could really go for this dish RIGHT NOW!!!!!!


Thanks for your comment! I'll check if it's spam and post if it is not. I appreciate your time and effort for commenting! ~ Zsu