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On days when I prepared quinoa salad, at the beginning of the month, I found myself with a lot of extra quinoa to dispose of. I could not just keep making a salad, however delicious it was, thus I thought to recycle it by making meatballs.
These vegetarian quinoa and vegetable meatballs are not only quick to prepare, but also a real treat to eat: they are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, and for obscure chemical reasons that I cannot explain seem to be made with chicken (I swear!), of which, of course, there is no trace. Try them and tell me if they do not seem to be made with chicken!
It is somewhat like what happened with the lentil meatballs with tomato sauce which are identical to beef meatballs… sometimes, you can really create magic with vegetables!
As an aside before starting: this recipe lends itself to many variations, and can very easily become both gluten-free and vegan. Friends with Celiac disease can eat quinoa, thus they only need to replace the breadcrumbs (*) with gluten-free bread crumbs and they are good to go; vegan friends will have to replace the eggs with a flax seed concoction, and grated cheese with nutritional yeast flakes. So we should all be in a position to eat these delicious meatballs without problems.
- 200 gr of quinoa
- 2 carrots
- 1 shallot
- ½ stalk of celery
- 1 zucchini
- 1 handful of fresh peas
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 small handful of parsley
- 50 g of grated cheese
- 2 eggs
- 4 tablespoons of breadcrumbs (*)
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- First cook the quinoa in about ½ liter of salted water, according to the instructions on the package, then drain, and let it cool well before using.
- While the quinoa cools, wash all the vegetables, chop finely (excluding the peas, which you can leave whole) and sauté them in a little olive oil.
- Mix the quinoa with the sautéed vegetables, the minced parsley, the grated cheese, and the eggs, then season with a little salt and pepper.
- Add the breadcrumbs only at the end if necessary: the dough must be moist but not wet, otherwise the meatballs may crumble during cooking. Form with the meatball or croquette shapes by hand, and heat about an inch of olive oil to cook the meatballs until fully browned.
- The meatballs must form a thin crust, thus be careful to turn them gently so as not to break them.
- Serve hot or cold, with a nice fresh salad as a side dish.