Sunday, 21 September 2014

Quinoa "Meat" Balls

Six months and no post. It's a record, but now that I am finally settled in my new apartment in Toronto, I thought I might utilize some of the natural light here and begin posting again! Here's to not living in a basement anymore!

This Spring/Summer have been packed with studying, travelling, packing, moving and lots of good-bye's. I'm settling into my new home, program, and campus quite well… and eating and drinking almost everything new and exciting within my reach. Slowly but surely I will discover the countless neighbourhoods Toronto offers, and every foodie-spot within (unlikely actually but I'm going to try).

This recipe is awesome and completely adaptable to exactly what you need. Here, it's paired with pasta and tomato sauce, but I've also eaten them on their own, or as a meatless meatball sandwich. You could easily alter the veggies and herbs to suit another dish as well (apple sage?… jalapeño cilantro?)

To be honest, I don't measure anything in this recipe. I eyeball everything and it always works out. If it's too wet, add breadcrumbs, if it's too dry, add more egg/some oil. The quantities below are approximate.

~2 cups cooked quinoa
~1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms (any kind works)
1/2 cup diced onion
1-2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp tomato paste/marinara sauce (whatever is on hand)
A sprinkling of basil and/or thyme and/or chill flakes
1 egg
~3/4 cup breadcrumbs

+ more tomato/marinara sauce to coat them in after
Optional: parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top.

Preheat oven to 350*F

First, sauté the garlic and onions and mushrooms in a frying pan with the olive oil. Add in the tomato paste/marinara sauce. Add the herbs.

When the onions and mushrooms have softened considerably, take it off the heat and scrape the contents into your bowl of prepared quinoa. Mix well.

Add in the egg and breadcrumbs and mix-- adjust quantities so that you have a texture that is easy to work with-- you need to be able to roll them into balls and have them stick together.

Using your hands, roll mixture into balls (about 1-2 inches across) and place them into a muffin tin-- this keeps them from rolling around in the oven. Once the muffin-tin is full, bake them for about 15-20 minutes. They should be a bit browned when you remove them.

Proceed to put them back in your frying pan, add the tomato or marinara sauce and cook on medium heat until the "meat" balls are well coated and the sauce has had a chance to heat up and soak in a bit (about 5-10 min).

Serve over pasta! Or in a sub! Or by themselves!

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