Quinoa Veggie “Meatballs”

30 Mar

I saw these meatballs a while back on The Small Boston Kitchen blog (http://onceuponasmallbostonkitchen.blogspot.com) and I thought I’d try them out and share them with you. They have a great texture and flavor and are very versatile. I ate them for breakfast with a fried egg on top, for lunch inside a wrap and for dinner on top of a salad. They take a little bit of effort to make, but I encourage you to try them!

Veggie Quinoa “Meatballs”
1/2 cup quinoa (buy this from the bulk bins to save $$)
1 cup chicken stock (or water)
5 – 6 large button mushrooms
extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 bag fresh baby spinach, chopped (usually 9 ounces in a bag — 1/2 bag is about 3 cups)
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup onions
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds (or pine nuts or pretty much any nut you happen to have on hand)
2 eggs, one for egg wash
crushed red pepper for taste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
salt and pepper for taste

If you shop at a store that has a bulk spice bin, I highly recommend buying your spices there. You will save a ton of money by buying from the bulk bin. It also makes more sense, because spices do lose their flavor over time, and how long would a jar of dried rosemary be sitting up on that shelf? Which brings us to another point — spices lose flavor faster when they are exposed to temperature changes? And where do most people store their spices? … Above or near the stove!  Use the bulk bin – save money, get more flavor and save space.

Okay, so first you’ll want to get that quinoa cooking in the chicken stock according to package instructions. Once it’s done, let it cool. Then prep your vegetables. Here are all of our veggies chopped up. Beautiful colors!

Heat your olive oil in a large pan and saute the mushrooms and onions until the mushrooms just brown and the onions begin to soften.

Then put your mushrooms and onions in a large bowl and set aside. Add the spinach to the pan until it has just softened as well.

Add the spinach to the bowl along with the red bell pepper and combine. Add the sunflower seeds, crushed red pepper, oregano, rosemary, salt and pepper and combine.

Then add in the cooled quinoa and one egg and mix together.

Line a baking sheet with parchment, and use your hand to form the mixture into balls and place them on the lined baking sheet. Mix the other egg with a splash of water for an egg wash and brush it on the meatballs.

Bake at 400 degrees, until they are browned and slightly crispy.


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