Spicy Turkey Quinoa Meatballs
This recipe caught my eye on Cooking Light. With an Italian mom, half my childhood diet consisted of meatballs. Not that I'm complaining. I love 'em, and welcome the creativity to try different ingredients that bind, yet hold moisture. Whether it's coconut milk with gluten-free breadcrumbs or quinoa with eggs, each work in different ways. The quinoa-egg combo produced a dense, yet not dry, ball.
Alone, these guys have a little heat, but once sauced they are tamed. I made my adjustments...turkey for pork, some onion for shallot, added salt and dried basil. I used the tomato sauce from my spinach turkey meatballs, or I suggest buying a jarred version to save you time.
My son gave it a "not bad." Translated from teen to adult lingo that means, "I love them. Thanks so much for making me a healthy dinner, mom. You're the absolute best." At least that's what I meant, Mom!
1/2 cup washed quinoa
1 cup chicken broth
1 pound ground turkey, 93% lean or 3/4 breast, 1/4 dark
1 medium diced shallot, chopped with this.
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, smashed in this.
2 large eggs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Rinse quinoa. Combine quinoa and 1 cup broth in medium pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
Place all ingredients, including all quinoa, into a large bowl. Using your hands, mix until ingredients are well combined.
Shape into balls. Place evenly on the lined baking sheet. (If there is leftover mixture, consider making small patties to have as turkey burgers. Cook in a sauté pan, sprayed with olive oil.)
Place baking sheet in the oven and cook the meatballs until they're slightly browned and internal temp is 165º, 12 to 15 minutes.
Serve with a good jarred tomato sauce, or I used the tomato sauce from our spinach turkey meatballs.
Top with shredded parm if you're one of the lucky people who can consume dairy without digestive upset.
MAKES: 16 - 20 meatballs
TIME: 45 start to finish
PLAN AHEAD: make quinoa early if trying to speed up dinner
HEARTFUL RECIPE - Remove parm if dairy-free - One of our real food recipes that focuses on veggies, protein, healthy fats and/or healthy carbs and doesn't include gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar, corn or peanuts.