Quinoa Meatballs

Whew. It’s been a while since we posted a recipe. This one became a fast favorite as soon as we made it: Quinoa Meatballs. We got the inspiration from similar meatballs at Wholefoods, already prepared. Though they were tasty, the ground chicken that was used to make them was too dry for our liking. With a prescription for ensuring to include fat in my diet, opting for low-fat options just isn’t a good idea for me. So, we re-vamped what we ate.

The base recipe is pretty simple, with a ratio by volume of 50/50 ground pork to quinoa. It’s not an exact science, so if the ratio is a little off, not to worry. But, do err on the side of the meat being the higher ratio. Finely diced vegetables and a bit of parsley add flavor. And a couple of eggs add depth and richness as well as bind everything together.

These meatballs are pretty easy to change-up. Make it Asian with ginger and/or galangal. Simmer the meatballs in a lemongrass and coconut milk broth for a Thai influence. Go to Italy by adding rosemary and oregano to the meatballs themselves and serve them with a lovely marinara. Or head to Northern Europe with a cream broth. Toss in some nettles, borage, savory, or even spinach for extra greens. With a little imagination, these little meatballs can carry flavors from anywhere.

These rich, full meatballs are adaptable to other meats as well – ground chicken or turkey if you’re concerned about fat content, beef, lamb, bison, or a combination of meats. Just keep the ratio of ground meet to quinoa at or close to 50/50, and don’t forget the eggs. Keep in mind too the fat content of the meat itself is important. A leaner meat will result in a dryer meatball. Especially if the meatball is dry, you’ll want to serve the meatball smothered in a sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste

Make It

Combine ingredients together with hands or other preferred method (if using a small kitchen appliance, keep in mind the heat from the appliance may melt the fat in the meat). Roll meatballs to desired size (I recommend about 2 tablespoons per meatball). Brown on all sides in a skillet on medium-high heat and transfer to a 350F oven for 10 -15 minutes, or until cooked through. Serve on their own, smothered in something delicious, or with a dipping sauce on the side.

This recipe will be available as a public recipe on the {IMH} Meal Planning Board. Start your meal planning bliss today!