Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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A Culinary Nutrition &

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Cauliflower Quinoa Meatballs

July 31, 2016

 

Although I'm not a vegan, I do enjoy quite a variety of vegan recipes, including this latest one I've discovered for "Vegan Cauliflower Quinoa Meatballs" from the blog "The Almond Eater:  Healthy Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less".

 

The recipe may be accessed here:  Vegan Cauliflower Quinoa Meatballs

 

While I've tried making walnut and herb meatballs (delicious!), I was curious to see how the cauliflower and quinoa combination would turn out...love them!  The great thing about them is that they are a balanced dish, compete with carbohydrate and fiber (cauliflower), protein (quinoa) and healthy fat (extra-virgin olive oil).

 

Cauliflower is very high in Vitamins C and K, amidst a long list of other vitamins and minerals. Quinoa is a COMPLETE, plant-based protein, containing ALL essential amino acids that our body requires via our diet.  Parsley is also very high in Vitamins C and K,  as well as B vitamins, particularly folic acid.  Parsley acts to strengthen the immune system, as well as support both the nervous system and kidney function.

 

I did make a few adaptations to the recipe, as follows:

 

  • I did add (Pink Himalayan) sea salt, to taste, for a bit more kick with the flavour.  While the recipe calls for dried oregano, dried parsley and Italian seasoning, I felt the mixture still needed a bit more bite!

  • Rather than using dried parsley, I chose to use fresh Italian parsley, as this is one of my favourite herbs and it added some colour to the meatballs.   Rather than measure the parsley, I typically just eyeball the amount of fresh herbs I'm using, based on colour within the mixture and overall taste!  In my mind, I can't overdo it when it comes to fresh herbs!  They're just too good!

The following images illustrate a few of the steps within this recipe:

Once the quinoa is cooked via stovetop and the cauliflower has been cooked independently as well (I chose to chop and steam the cauliflower in my steamer for 10-15 minutes), the cauliflower and garlic cloves are mashed together via food processor (prior to the cooked quinoa and remaining ingredients being stirred in).

 The mixture was then rolled into golf ball-sized meatballs; ensure your hands are wet prior to attempting to roll this mixture into balls to avoid the mixture sticking to your hands!  I found they held together nicely once rolled; should they not hold together you have the option of stirring more flour into the mixture, as the recipe suggests.  I used oat flour, but other options include brown rice flour, buckwheat flour or gluten-free, all-purpose flour.  I lightly rolled them in extra-virgin olive oil and sautéed them on medium heat to lightly brown them, prior to placing them into the oven for 15 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

This dish is versatile!  You may pair these meatballs with:

 

  • a plate of pasta

  • a green salad

  • eggs

  • raw noodles, such as spiralized zucchini noodles

 

Or, you may enjoy them all on their own!  It's really up to you!

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