My Chef's Hat - Asian Quinoa Meatballs

I've done a horrible job of eating quinoa lately.  And I really don't know why.  I like it, and it's really good for you.  But I have this bad habit that once I stop eating healthy stuff, even if just for a little bit, I fall completely apart with it.  I need to do a better job of not doing that. 

I had actually come across the recipe for Asian Quinoa Meatballs a couple of months ago, and have been meaning to make them forever, but kept putting it off.  On Sunday I was home, with no plans to leave the house, and had run 8 miles that morning.  So I figured this was a perfect chance to make a healthy meal.  I also thawed out some of the homemade pasta I had made a couple weeks ago to cook with them.  The same day I made the pasta I made my own veggie broth.  So much better for you than the boxed/canned stuff.  And the color is very rich and deep. I use the homemade stuff all the time now, including to make the quinoa. 

The process for this dish is a little time consuming, because you have to make the quinoa, make the meatballs, and then bake them.  I know some people make quinoa by the gallon so they can skip that step... but I'm not one of those people.  So this would not be a quick weekday lunch, unless you made the meatballs the night before.  Which I would never do. Because I would either decide I want something different, or completely forget I even made them. 

Here is the recipe version 

And here is my version
Just out of the oven
These were so delicious!  The recipe calls for ground turkey, which I used, but you could easily substitute beef.  The meatballs felt super moist and sticky, so I mixed in some Panko bread crumbs.  I've always seen on the cooking shows that they add some kind of breading when making meatballs.  So I added just enough to add another layer of texture and flavor.  The quinoa adds a nice texture, and takes the place of some of the meat.  And it's more than filling enough that you really don't notice that it's not all meat.  I made 1/4 of the recipe, and still got 7 substantially sized meatballs.  According to the recipe if you make the whole thing you get 18-20 meatballs.  I guess it's all in how big or small you make them.

Finished product, including sauce, over homemade pasta
The sauce was REALLY sweet.  I'm not sure if that was operator error or what.  But I'm glad I had the pasta to eat it with.  I'm honestly not sure if I could have eaten it on its own.  So next time I'll need to figure out what to cut back.  But really, you could use teriyaki sauce or another bottled sauce.  I'll probably play with a few different ones to see what I like best.

Overall, I really enjoyed the dish.  And I will definitely make it again.