Sometimes a food blogger feels compelled to post a recipe, even if she does not quite know what else to say, besides “ta-da!”
I planned the last week of meals carefully; not so tonight. By the time the light had gone, the evening was underway and my supper ideas were scarce. I headed to the refrigerator, peered in, and found an assortment of odds and ends, including some leftover cooked quinoa, half a bell pepper, some kale, a handful of baby carrots, and a few zucchini.
What to do with that? Something relatively quick, without an additional trip to the store. I pulled out the aforementioned quinoa and vegetables and set to work.
Something meaty, but without meat, suddenly seemed just the thing, What about quinoa meatballs? I gathered a few more bits & pieces from the pantry, and, with Nick playing in another room with Kevin, the kitchen felt transformed to a haven of plain dealing, the tile floor, smooth counters, and utensils a guarantee of good things. All at once, my off-the-cuff dinner switched from exertion to ease.
In under an hour, dinner was served and glasses of wine (and one sippy cup of milk) poured. There was no fanfare, no exclamations of joy from Kevin or Nick, nor accompanying pride from me. But we cleaned our plates. Ta-da! Happy eats, everybody!
I like to use my cookie scoop to make the meatballs; it keeps the meatballs uniform in size (for even cooking) and eliminates a considerable amount of time and mess.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup chopped orange or red bell pepper
- ½ cup peeled chopped carrot
- 3 cups stemmed, chopped kale
- 1 pound white or brown mushrooms, trimmed, chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian herb seasoning
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini (white) beans, rinsed and drained
- 1-1/4 cups cooked quinoa (can be hot or cold)
- ⅓ cup almond meal or almond flour
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell pepper and carrot; cook and stir for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, kale nd Italian seasoning; cook and stir for 5 to 6 minutes Cool slightly.
- In a food processor, pulse the mushroom mixture, using on/off pulses, until beans are just broken down and mixture is chopped (do not puree). Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the quinoa, almond flour and nutritional yeast; stir to combine.
- Shape mixture into meatballs (I used a medium-size cookie scoop) spacing evenly apart on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Serve with your favorite pasta, vegetable noodles, or any way you like!