Do you ever feel pressed for time when it comes to making healthy meals? Especially when you need to get a training run in AND get dinner ready? Me too! Sometimes, I slip up and I don’t get my meals prepped. Or my runs take longer than anticipated. These two scenarios lead to me picking up fast food so I don’t have to spend my entire night cooking and cleaning when I get home.
I’m sure some of you can relate to that. Today, I’m going to share a recipe with you that is healthy, quick, and most importantly – versatile.
I’m talking about quinoa meatballs. Whatever you use meatballs in (spaghetti, for example), you can use quinoa meatballs for. You can make as many as you want ahead of time, and then you have them to use in the meals for the next few days.
The recipe calls for ground beef, but you can use ground turkey instead if you’d prefer. You might have to season the turkey a little more heavily than you would the beef, turkey being more bland. You could also use sausage as well, if you like a spicier meatball. See? Versatility. It’s all about personal preference when it comes to your food. Knowing what your stomach can handle after a run or what your family is more likely to eat is very important. I need to keep my flavorings on the mild side, because I know my kids don’t like as much spice as I do. So, if I’m preparing these meatballs for myself, I’ll usually double up the garlic that’s suggested, as well as throw in a little cayenne.
I like to put the meatballs with my spaghetti. The kids like the meatballs too, and it’s a fun way for them to get more protein. I also like to eat these meatballs on their own, with a quick, homemade tomato sauce found in the Standard Process book, 1 Degree of Change.
I will throw meatballs in with soups, and I will bust them up for use in burritos. I can even heat them up with eggs for an omelette. Keep in mind what you’re going to be using them for later when you’re seasoning them.
Here is the recipe for the meatballs:
1 pound of lean, ground beef (or turkey/sausage)
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 grated carrot
1/4 cup grated zucchini (squeeze as much liquid out as possible)
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 egg, slightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 450
Mix all ingredients until well-combined, shape into golf-ball-sized balls and place on baking sheet. Bake until they’re cooked through and a nice golden brown. This takes about 15-20 minutes.
You may also fry these in a skillet with olive oil or your oil of choice. This will take about 10 minutes. Make sure you have a lid and that you rotate them occasionally to brown on all sides.