Turkey Quinoa Meatballs

I decided to do my first entry on a favorite dish of mine, ground turkey and quinoa meatballs. I chose this dish because it was 9 p.m. and I realized that if I didn’t use the pound of ground turkey I bought on sale, I would have to throw it out.  I also thought this would be a perfect time to write an actual recipe for these meatballs instead of just telling people to put ground turkey and blah blah spices in a bowl. So this one is for you mom, I hope you bookmark this recipe on your kindle so you can cook it at home.

I thought of this when I first moved to Dallas a few years back when I was trying to  s t r e t c h  out a pound of turkey so it could be a few dinners and a lunch, instead of just one of each. I realized that quinoa was a great (and healthy) filler that allowed me to use less breadcrumbs, get a greater volume of meatball mix, and worked as a great binding agent because I usually don’t keep eggs in my apartment.  The spinach is also a nice way to add color and a different textural element to the dish.

I mostly made these because, like I said earlier, I had to use up the turkey. Also, I knew I would be able to take some time photographing my process, and time writing down the exact recipe I used. After I took the photo of my finished product, my boyfriend ate five meatballs in two minutes and told me “these are bomb”, so I think it’s fair to say they are very good (that’s him back there).

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup quinoa (1 cup water)
    • optional: Add 1/3 beef/chicken bouillon cube to water
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 4 cups chopped spinach
  • ¼ cup finely chopped white onion
  • [Little less than]1 tablespoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • ½ Tablespoon black pepper
  • 1½ teaspoon oregano
  • ⅓ cup bread crumbs [italian seasoning or plain]
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 Degrees farenheight.
  2. Cook 1/2 cup rinsed quinoa according to package (option: add beef/chicken boullion to water) drain any extra water and set aside to cool (I like to stick it in the freezer).
  3. While quinoa is cooking, add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to a pan and add the 4 cups chopped spinach until wilted. Place spinach on paper towel to absorb and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, add all ingredients EXCEPT olive oil and mix together until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  5. Roll into 1 inch balls
  6. Heat skillet over medium heat with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil until the meatballs are brown on both sides, about two minutes. If you are cooking the meatballs in two batches, you may want to split the olive oil as well)
  7. Place meatballs in a baking dish or on a cookie sheet and cook for 15 minutes.

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