Do you love quinoa but are tired of your old recipes? Perhaps you’re craving something new and want to know what else you can make with this meat substitute.
Or maybe you’re on a diet and are looking for healthy alternatives to your favorite meals.
Quinoa is an excellent option to consider whether you’re searching for a meat alternative for Meatless Monday or for a new plant-based dish to add to your diet.
Quinoa is an easy grain to work with in the kitchen, and the grain itself is loaded with protein derived from plants (making it a great alternative to meat).
If you want to eat better, you don’t have to give up eating the foods you love the most, as this is just opening the door to temptation and you might end up going back to your old food habits.
If you love meatballs, then you have to try out this quinoa meatball recipe!
These Quinoa Meatballs are every bit as meaty as a regular beef meatball, but they contain a lot less saturated fat thanks to the substitution of quinoa for the beef.
You’ll get a portion of whole grains in addition to a protein if you eat quinoa meatballs rather than turkey or chicken meatballs, which makes them an even better alternative to the traditional options.
Also, because this recipe includes complex carbs for energy as well as protein for strengthening muscles, they are the ideal foods to consume before engaging in physical activity.
This means that these quinoa meatballs are perfect to eat as a pre-workout meal.
Try out this very easy quinoa meatball recipe to see if it will be your next favorite meal!
- 1/2 cup quinoa dry, pre-rinsed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ounce of water
- a single egg white (for a vegan alternative add 2-3 teaspoons water)
- 1 cup of cooked and well drained green lentils
- 1/4 of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper diced
- Sea salt to taste
- 1/4 of a cup of chopped onion
- 1/2 tablespoon of black pepper that has been freshly ground
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped.
- 1 tablespoon of oregano that has been chopped fresh
- 1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs or whole wheat panko bread crumbs (if the meatballs need to be firmer and aren’t holding together very well, add extra bread crumbs).
- 1 level tablespoon of parsley leaves, finely chopped and fresh
- 1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Put the quinoa that has already been washed and some water in a medium-sized saucepan, cover it and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and then continue cooking for another 15 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed
- While you’re waiting, add one tablespoon of olive oil to a large nonstick pan, turn the heat to medium-low, and sauté chopped onions and bell pepper for approximately four minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Then, add minced garlic, parsley, and oregano, and continue to sauté for an additional minute.
- Take the quinoa away from the heat, and let it sit for ten minutes. To extract any further moisture from the quinoa, press it down firmly with a paper towel.
- Combine the sautéed onion, garlic, parsley, and oregano in a large mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients, except the oil. You may mash the ingredients with a potato masher or a fork, and you should do so until the lentils are well mashed.
- Form into meatless meatballs measuring 1 1/2 inches in diameter using your hands, then transfer to a big bowl, cover, and set in the refrigerator for about two hours, or until the meatballs are cooled.
- Place the quinoa (meatless) meatballs in a large non-stick pan, add the remaining two tablespoons of oil, and heat the skillet over medium-low heat. To finish browning the meatballs, flip them over and repeat the process on the other side. Cook for approximately 16 minutes, or until browned and cooked all the way through. Take out of the skillet and let drain on some paper toweling.
- Add the meatballs to the marinara sauce and give them a gentle stir to coat them. This step is only necessary if you intend to serve vegetarian meatballs with marinara. Simmer till heated and serve over spaghetti.
And just like that, you have a delicious dinner all ready to go!
Making This Meal Vegan
If you are following a vegan diet, then you know that you have to avoid any milk or egg products, both of which are found in the recipe above.
Don’t worry though! These Quinoa Meatballs may be made into a fully vegan meal with the help of a simple and quick trick that we have.
In place of the eggs, combine one tablespoon of powdered flax seeds with three tablespoons of water in a separate mixing bowl. Before incorporating it with the rest of the ingredients, give the mixture a minute to settle first.
In the usual recipe, the quinoa, lentils, and any other individual components are held together in one ball thanks to the egg.
When coupled with water, flax transforms into a material that acts similarly to gel, making it an ideal candidate for use as a binder.
The expansion of flax seeds is comparable to that of chia seeds, with the exception that flax does not have the same sort of chewy consistency that you will find in chia seeds.
When it comes to cheese, this is used mostly as a flavor component, so you are welcome to exclude it from the recipe if you are observing a dairy-free or vegan diet.
If you love a hearty meatball dinner, then you have to try the quinoa recipe above. This dish tastes just as good as the real thing but is a lot healthier for you.
This dish is packed with protein, and whole grains, but very little saturated fat, which you are probably trying to avoid.
Give this recipe a go and it might just become your new favorite dinner!