Who doesn’t like a good meatball? Well I’ve always been a big fan of them– on top of my spaghetti, in my meatball subs, and even in my movies (“Wedding Singer”). They are just so good! I’ve tested a bunch of vegan and gluten-free meatball recipes, but for a while, I wasn’t a fan of any of them. One day, though, I serendipitously came up with an idea for a new meatball while I was making veggie burgers. I thought to myself, ‘hey- this mixture would make a mean meatball’. The next day, I made the veggie patty recipe again, and instead of forming patties, I formed them into meatballs. They were perfect! I love their sturdy texture, they hold up in my sauce quite nicely, they taste good and they are also packed with lots of protein, fiber and warming foods. With a good marinara, these meatballs are a winner! (Also, you can use this mixture to make burger patties, too!)
Time: 45 minutes
Servings about 40 meatballs
V. GF, GFV, DF, SF, SRF, CFNF, NF
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 onion, finely chopped
1/4 red pepper, finely chopped
3/4 poblano chile pepper, deseeded and destemmed, finely chopped (can sub with 4 jalapenos)
3 cups spinach, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, finely minced
2 small carrots, peeled and minced
1.5 tsp celtic or Himalayan sea salt
1 tbsp of cumin
1/4 tsp + cayenne pepper
1 cup oat flour
1. Cook, drain and cool quinoa in filtered water. Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2. In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, pasilla pepper, celery, and carrot and cook until onions are translucent. You do not need any oil to sauté this mixture since the water from the onions and other veggies will seep out and will help cook the rest of the vegetables.
3. Add the salt, pepper, cumin, spinach and quinoa. Stir well and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and add the oat flour. Stir well until everything starts to bind together and the mixture cools. If it doesn’t bind together right away, add filtered water, a tablespoon at a time, at most 3-4 tablespoons.
4. Disclaimer: I recommend using gloves, or just have a slice of lime handy afterward because the hot peppers can burn your hands. Rubbing your hands with lime can help alleviate any burning.
Using your hands, form the mixture into meatballs, using 2 Tbsp of the mixture per meatball.
5. Heat a large pan over medium heat (I recommend cooking on a non-stick pan) with 1 tablespoon of oil or use non-stick cooking spray (I use coconut cooking spray) to prevent sticking to the pan. Brown all sides of the meatball. Alternatively, brown them in shallow bath of oil on medium heat and remove when browned. Drain on a paper towel.
6. Add the meatballs into your cooked marinara sauce, top your pasta with meatballs, or stuff your sandwich with meatballs.
Makes 40 meatballs.
Note: This mixture can also be used to make burger patties! I usually make a few patties to freeze or to enjoy the next day. :)
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