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Cheesy Bean-and-Rice Bites with Pumpkin-Sage Sauce

These rice and bean balls are reminiscent of fritters, but loaded with nutrition. At under 300 calories per serving but still packing 14 g protein and 6 g of fiber, they're a fall comfort food you can feel good about eating.

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  • Makes: 6 servings
  • Yields: 3 rice balls and 1/2 cup sauce each
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Chill: 1 hr
  • Bake: 15 mins 450°F

Cheesy Bean-and-Rice Bites with Pumpkin-Sage Sauce

Directions

  1. In a large bowl coarsely mash beans. Stir in rice and cheese. Stir in egg, 1 tablespoon of the snipped sage, and the pepper. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil; set aside. In a shallow dish combine panko and 1/4 cup walnuts. Using moist hands, shape rice mixture into 18 balls. Gently roll rice balls in panko mixture to coat.
  3. Arrange rice balls in the prepared baking pan. Coat balls with cooking spray. Bake about 15 minutes or until heated through and light brown.
  4. Meanwhile, for sauce, coat a medium saucepan with cooking spray; heat saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in pumpkin, broth, salt, and the remaining 1 tablespoon snipped sage. Cook and stir over medium heat just until bubbly.
  5. To serve, divide sauce among shallow serving bowls. Top each serving with three rice balls. If desired, sprinkle with additional walnuts and garnish with sage leaves.

Nutrition Facts (Cheesy Bean-and-Rice Bites with Pumpkin-Sage Sauce)

  • Per serving:
  • 279 kcal cal.,
  • 10 g fat
  • (4 g sat. fat,
  • 3 g polyunsaturated fat,
  • 2 g monounsatured fat),
  • 43 mg chol.,
  • 558 mg sodium,
  • 35 g carb.,
  • 6 g fiber,
  • 4 g sugar,
  • 14 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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