Tempeh Beanballs and Spaghetti with Spicy Cajun Marina Sauce

(Yields 5 servings; 278kcal, 6.5g fat, 43.1g carbs, 19.3g protein per serving)


  • 8 oz tempeh
  • 15 oz black eyed peas
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp thyme, divided
  • 2 tsp oregano, divided
  • 1/2 tsp paprika, divided
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 24 oz (2 cans) crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs Cajun spice
  • 8 oz whole wheat spaghetti


  1. Prepare a steamer basket on the stove. Break the tempeh into bite size pieces and add to the steamer. Steam for 10 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add the black eyed peas and mash using a fork or potato masher. Mash until no whole beans are left, but not so much that it becomes like a purée.
  4. Grate 2 cloves of garlic into the mixing bowl and add in 1 tsp thyme, 1 tsp oregano, and paprika. Add in soy sauce and tomato paste. Mix well.
  5. Once the tempeh is steamed, add it to the mixture and mash week. Once cool enough to handle, add breadcrumbs and 1/4 tsp salt.
  6. Roll into balls, about 2 tbs of mixture each. Place on baking sheet and cover loosely with foil. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove foil, flip the balls, and return to oven for another 10 minutes.
  7. In the meantime in a 2-quart pot, sauté 3 cloves of garlic in 1 tsp olive oil for about one minute. Add 1 tsp thyme, 1 tsp oregano, and some black pepper. Sauté for one more minute.
  8. Add the crushed tomatoes and Cajun seasoning*. Stir to combine. Cover the pot loosely, leaving a gap for steam to escape, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  9. Prepare the 8 Oz of spaghetti noodles according to package directions.
  10. Divide the noodles, balls, and sauce between 4-5 plates.
  11. *omit the Cajun seasoning if you don’t want your marina to have some heat
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