I like this variation of a meatball as they are hearty and have a fantastic texture. The sage and paprika together will bring through a meatier, smoky flavor. This recipe created ~24 balls and they can be kept in the refrigerator, uncooked, up to 1 week or you can freeze them for about a month.
1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth or water
1 can Great Northern White Beans
1 jar sundried tomatoes, with oil (4oz jar)
2 whole cloves of garlic
1.5 tsp paprika
1 tbsp sage
0.5 tbsp parsley
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
**PREHEAT YOUR OVEN BEFORE GETTING STARTED: 375° F
1. Blend the Beans and tomatoes! In a food processor or blender, you will want to pulse the beans along with the garlic and sundried tomatoes until smooth. Once this is done, set aside. No need to strain the tomatoes prior to adding to the food processor: the oil from the tomatoes will assist in holding the mixture together.
2. Rinse the Quinoa. If you are using a quinoa that is not pre-rinsed, you will want to rinse the quinoa.* You can rinse quinoa by using a fine sieve and running warm water over the quinoa while agitating the quinoa a bit with your hands or a spoon.
3. Cook Your Quinoa. I like to cook my quinoa in vegetable broth. Combine the broth and quinoa in a saucepan, bring to a boil. Once boiling lower the heat and cover your saucepan. It will take 10-15 minutes for the quinoa to cook. Cooked quinoa will be fluffy and most (if not all) of the liquid will be absorbed.** I then let the quinoa rest for a few minutes, removed from heat so that it cools a bit before being handled.
4. Mix it all together. Once your quinoa has cooled a bit, combine the bean mixture and quinoa in a large mixing bowl. At this point, you will also add your spices: the sage, paprika, black pepper, and salt. The mixture should be tacky (that's the beauty of the white beans! food glue!)
5. MAKE THE BALLS. roll the mixture with your palms into 1.5inch balls. I like to scoop the mixture into my palm using a spoon -- this creates less mess. Once you have your balls, place them gently on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
6. Bake at 375° for ~35 minutes. The outside will brown a bit.
These quinoa and bean balls are great with pasta. I like to add these into my marinara and simmer for a few minutes prior to serving. I'd image these would be AWESOME on a sub too :)
*Rinsing quinoa removes the natural coating on it. If you do not do this, your quinoa might taste a little more bitter than you're expecting. Some brands of boxed quinoa comes pre-rinsed so no effort is needed there :) If you buy bulk foods, you will need to rinse!
**Cooked quinoa will have "germ" (the outer ring of the quinoa) start to separate from the seed.