Baked Turkey Quinoa Meatballs

Okay, I clearly have an obsession with quinoa! I'm noticing a trend here. But it's not a bad trend! Quinoa is so good for us and is a great alternative to rice and sub for breading in any meatball, meatloaf, burger, donut, cookie or any other baked good, surprisingly!Not only is it gluten free (for those of you that are gluten intolerant), but it's a low-carb, supergrain that contains 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, iron, potassium, and a ton of other vitamins including magnesium, folate and other amino acids (in a 1 cup serving). I say all this to say that quinoa is pretty much the ISH and you should add it to your life ASAP!

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I had a serious craving yesterday for a meatloaf (random, I know) and wanted to do something a little different, so I made meatballs instead. But not just any meatball -- QUINOA meatballs, with a yummy Asian inspired sauce. Using lean turkey meat (97% lean, 3% fat) helped me keep in line with the serious meal prep I have going on, and this recipe makes a ton, so I have lunch, dinner and lunch again for a couple of days!

For those of you that are trying to get in and out of the kitchen fast... this recipe was also super quick and easy - 10 min prep, pop in the oven and bam, you're eating in no time! I tossed these over a bed of sautéed kale. SO FREAKING GOOD! Check it out below and get to cooking! I'll be sharing a ton of other low carb, healthy recipes that I'm whipping up along the way!

BAKED TURKEY QUINOA MEATBALLS

INGREDIENTS

For the meatballs:

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey

  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa

  • 1/2 cup spinach, diced finely

  • a few sprigs of fresh cilantro

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 green onions, sliced thinly

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha - if you love spicy like me, use more!

  • sea salt, black pepper - to taste

  • sesame seeds for garnish, optional

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (since I'm on no sugar, I substituted coconut nectar, can also use agave)

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

*BONUS! If you don't want to buy all of these ingredients - another option is to get grape jelly and chili sauce, simmer together in pot and you have a simple + yummy sauce! 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking dish or cookie sheet, I used parchment paper. Add all meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together well using clean hands or a spoon. Roll meatballs out into about 1-inch balls and place on the prepared baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, or until all sides are brown and meatballs are cooked through.

To make the sauce, whisk together soy sauce, rice vineagr, ginger, sugar, sesame oil, Sriracha and 1/2 cup water in small sauce pan over medium heat. In a separate bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. Stir into soy sauce mixture until thickened.

Garnish meatballs with some sesame seeds and spring onion and enjoy with your favorite veggie!