Resolution Food #2: Quinoa

Okay hear me out.

 Red Quinoa with Avocado

Red Quinoa with Avocado

I do realize that quinoa isn't the first thing that came to mind when you were thinking about reinvigorating your breakfast and lunch routines. But seriously, quinoa is good stuff. It's so easy to make - just set up 1 cup of quinoa (rinse first) with 2 cups of water or stock, bring to a boil and cook covered on a low heat until the liquid has evaporated - about 15 minutes. And on top of the fact that it works well in sweet and savory dishes, it's loaded with protein, fiber and iron, among other things. 

We've had successes and failures with quinoa in my house. My toddler absolutely loves it. It's great with fruit in the morning and this recipe for Breakfast Grains with Blueberries, Hazelnuts and Lemon from TheKitchn is fabulous (we omit the nuts). My girls enjoyed Quinoa with Avocado for lunch recently and with just 5 ingredients, I couldn't be happier. 

 

Red Quinoa with Avocado
1 cup of cooked quinoa (we used red quinoa but any will do)
1/2 ripe avocado, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
 

Place all ingredients in a bowl and gently combine. Add salt if desired. 


 Ground beef, quinoa meatballs

Ground beef, quinoa meatballs

More thoughts on quinoa... 

I thought about kibbeh the other day out of the blue – Middle Eastern meat and bulgur meatballs, usually deep fried. I wanted to create something using quinoa and had some fresh mint on hand. I baked these Vietnamese-inspired Quinoa Meatballs and served them in DIY lettuce wrappers. Big thumbs up, especially from my husband who added Sriracha. My kids are not typically fans of lettuce but got a kick out of eating and holding it this way. 


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Vietnamese-Style Quinoa Meatballs 
2/3 cup cooked quinoa
1 large egg
1/2 cup chopped red onion
6 oz ground beef
1.5 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint
2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
1/2 cup chopped kale (we used frozen)
Romaine hearts
Sriracha to taste

Preheat the oven to 350. Place the quinoa, egg and red onion in a mixing bowl. Add the ground beef and gently combine. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, mint, ginger and kale. I found it most efficient to use my hands to ensure that the ingredients were evenly distributed. Form into balls (about 2 inches in diameter) and place on parchment paper on a baking tray. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes. Serve on romaine hearts with or without Sriracha. 

Check out other New Years Resolution foods right here. 

 Vietnamese Style Quinoa Meatballs with Sriracha

Vietnamese Style Quinoa Meatballs with Sriracha