Quinoa Meatballs Activity

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Updated on Apr 8, 2013

For those whose kids don't care for quinoa on its own or kick and scream when it comes to eating veggies, we offer up this recipe. Packed with protein-rich quinoa and a variety of fresh vegetables, these meatballs are the perfect answer to kid food woes. And if you've never tried cooking with quinoa before, now is the perfect time to try!

Quinoa, pronounced “keen-wa,” is a complete protein that's easy to digest and possesses a mild, slightly nutty flavor. It's a great source of nutrition for kids and can be easily substituted for rice or couscous. Try serving these meatballs with gluten-free spaghetti for a hearty, healthy meal you can feel good about serving.

What You Need:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/3 pounds lean ground beef
  • ½ cup quinoa, cooked in gluten free chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup carrots, grated
  • ¼ cup zucchini, grated
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce (Lee & Perrins is gluten free)
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated

What You Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking pan with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together all of the ingredients, except the beef and cheese.
  5. Mix in the beef by hand and make sure all ingredients are combined well.
  6. Form meatballs by rolling small amounts of meat mixture in the palm of your hand. They should be about the size of a golf ball. This recipe yields about 22 to 24 miniature meatballs.
  7. Bake the meatballs for approximately 12-14 minutes.

Serve these scrumptious meatballs with your favorite marinara sauce on a bed of gluten-free pasta. Wondering what to do with leftover cooked quinoa and veggies? Whip up our Quick Quinoa Scramble.

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