Quinoa Vegetarian Meatballs

I found this recipe and decided to try it because I’m looking to eliminate or at the very least reduce the flesh I consume. I know many who do quite well without even any animal products, but I’m cool with vegetarian for now.

I’ve decided that I’d rather cook for myself. If the other people in my house don’t like it, they can be the ones to make their own dinner. I’m cooking one meal, the healthy alternative one.

The following is not my original recipe. I found it, tried it, liked it, shared it.

Quinoa Vegetarian Meatballs {Gluten Free Option}

By: Lindsey

Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Yield: 18 Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa [instruction below] (Mare’s Note: I used Success Quinoa in a bag (use two bags)
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated (Mare’s Note: I used shaved to great result)
  • ¼ cup asiago cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced (Mare’s Note: I do not like cilantro so I left it out; recipe still delicious)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 3 small garlic gloves, minced fine (Mare’s Note: I used three large cloves but I don’t plan on breathing on anyone anytime soon.)
  • 1 large egg (Mare’s Note: I used two to hold it together better)
  • 2 large pinches kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 pinch to ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. In a fine sieve strainer, pour 1 cup quinoa, pick over for stones, and rinse with cold water. In a medium saucepan mix the quinoa with 2 cups cold water (or broth). Add about 1 tablespoon olive oil and a large pinch of kosher salt, and stir to mix. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stir, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook covered for approximately 30-40 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is soft.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350°. Heat a large cast iron skillet or pan over medium heat until searing hot.
  3. Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour a little olive oil into the preheated skillet. Form a meatball a little smaller than a golf ball and place the meatball in the skillet starting in the center. Working as quickly as possible, repeat with the remaining meatballs, radiating them out from the center in a spiral pattern. [You could certainly pre-form all the meat balls and have them ready for this step, but I am all about cutting out wasted time, and that, is wasted time.]
  4. Once you have finished placing all the meatballs in the skillet, it is time to start turning them! Gently turn each meatball once it has browned on the opposite side. My burner causes my large cast iron skillet to be unevenly hot, so I swap some of the middle meatballs for the outer meatballs to ensure an even sear.
  5. Bake in skillet or transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.

Notes:

To make these meatballs gluten free, simply use gluten free breadcrumbs. You could also try substituting gluten free flour for the breadcrumbs but I cannot vouch for how that will work.

I like to make a large pot of quinoa at the beginning of the week, so that I can make these or anything else quickly without having to wait for the quinoa to cook.

(MARE’S NOTE: I whipped up a jar of spaghetti sauce instead of fussing with it, making an easy meal. The meatballs are really worth the wait. My uber-carnivorous roommate and husband devoured it.)

Herb and Plow CSA Week 7

Blackberries and Celery

As a younger woman, around 26 or so, I moved in with my Gram due to unforeseen circumstances. She lived on 13 acres about 10 minutes from town. Country convenience she used to call it. In early summer along the back acres there were lines and rows of blackberry and raspberry bushes ripe with luscious fat black and red juiciness. She’d send me out with a colander to collect enough for the three of us for dessert (My Grandpa Pat, too). Dutifully, off I’d trudge.

When we got our berries this week, I dang near wept. They looked like one of the safest times in my life. They were bursting juice out of the containers as if they’d been styled by a food artist. Purple tartness pooling in the bottom of my bucket. I could hardly wait to gorge myself. But. I didn’t.

Instead, I found a non dessert way to experience the tasty goodness of Blackberries. I found the recipe HERE.

Pork Chops with Blackberry Port Sauce

Big, purple, plump, juicy blackberries

Big, purple, plump, juicy blackberries

Ingredients

  • 6 (4 ounce) boneless pork loin chops
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 shallots, minced (onions work too)
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  • 3/4 cup sweet port wine
  • 3/4 cup blackberry juice
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries

Directions

  1. Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and pan fry the chops until they are lightly browned and no longer pink in the center, 2 to 3 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C). Set the chops aside.
  2. Heat 1 more teaspoon of olive oil in the skillet, and cook and stir the shallots and thyme until the shallots start to become translucent, about 1 minute. Pour in the port wine, blackberry juice, chicken broth, and balsamic vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil, scraping off and dissolving any brown flavor bits from the skillet into the sauce. Cook until reduced by a third, about 5 minutes. Mix cornstarch and water into a paste, and stir into the sauce. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to low, and stir in the blackberries. Simmer until berries are hot.
  3. Return the chops to the skillet, and turn to coat with sauce. Serve hot, topped with sauce.

This was incredibly flavorful with the rich blend of flavors dancing in a delectable sauce. OH BOY!

CELERY

Savory stalker, celery

Savory stalker, celery

I still had celery left from the last time. It was still crisp and fresh. Martha Stewart had a tip to wrap the celery tightly in aluminum foil and it keeps the celery the way we like it. But truthfully, I’m overwhelmed with celery. I thought it only for sticks that you put dips and peanut butter on as snacks. I never really thought of making other things with it being the primary ingredient. Here are a couple really easy ideas.

HINT: If you’re going to make this cream soup, put together all the ingredients (you can also use vegetable stock which works just fine) but the milk and freeze. Thaw out the starter, add the milk to the thawed product and you’ll have “store” quality with homemade taste cream of celery soup. Further, keep in mind that this celery we’re getting is really fresh so the flavor is incredibly tasty. A little goes a long way, so adjust accordingly.

Cream of Celery Soup

  • 3 quarts chicken stock

  • 3 pounds celery, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 pound carrots, julienned

  • 1/2 pound onions, chopped

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 3 quarts hot milk
  • 1 cup margarine (I use real butter and the flavor is way better)
  1. Pour the chicken stock into a large pot, and bring to a boil. Add the celery, carrots and onion to the pot.
  2. Whisk together the flour, salt, pepper, and milk; add to the pot along with the margarine.
  3. Boil for 10 minutes, then strain out the vegetables by pouring through a sieve, or if the vegetables are large enough, a colander may be used.

Braised Celery (side dish)

  • 1 bunch celery, cleaned and cut into 4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 cube chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  1. Arrange the celery in a single layer on the bottom of a large skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Dot with butter. Dissolve the bouillon cube in boiling water, and pour over the celery.
  2. Cover pan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

I have not tried this one yet, but it looks easy enough for even a hot day quick cook side. Plus, it also appears to have a great deal of potential as far as “doctoring” to my families likes (garlic and onion with a zing of peppers, for example). Any comments if you try it, would be appreciated. See if you can beat me to it. 🙂

Herb and Plow CSA

www.allrecipes.com (One of the best recipe sites I’ve found. The comments really bring life to each dish.)

Herb and Plow CSA: Week Three

The Swiss have more than cheese and chocolate?

Learn more about this CSA at Herb and Plow Blog

As I looked through the ground candy overflowing with abundant goodies (minus the cilantro which tastes like dish soap to me which I’ve been told indicates an allergy to it), I discovered Swiss Chard among the bounty. I’m normally a veggie person, believe it or not, but I’d never had reason or cause to select Swiss chard as a vegetable option. Truthfully, I thought, “The Swiss have something besides chocolate and cheese?” Okay, color me ignorant about that, but I had no idea how to cook it, or is it one that is eaten cold? Off to Google I went!

Miss Chris, our farmer delivery woman, suggested a bed of olive oil sauteed onion strips and minced garlic to which the chard is added and cooked only until it just wilts. The stems can be put in with the onions and garlic as the start of the saute’. Wanting to add another option, I discovered a similar recipe on THIS SITE. Make sure to read the reviews for more tips, ideas, and recipe additions.

Recipe and Photo from Epicurious.com

Recipe and Photo from Epicurious.com

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Onions

Ingredients

  • 3 pound green Swiss chard (about 2 large bunches)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Preparation

Cut stems and center ribs from chard, discarding any tough portions, then cut stems and ribs crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Stack chard leaves and roll up lengthwise into cylinders. Cut cylinders crosswise to make 1-inch-wide strips.

Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook onions and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, covered, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add chard stems and ribs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until stems are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add chard leaves in batches, stirring until wilted before adding next batch, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl.

Cooks’ notes:

· Chard can be washed, dried, and cut 2 days ahead and chilled in sealed bags lined with dampened paper towels.
· Chard can be cooked 4 hours ahead and reheated over low heat on stove or in a microwave oven.

NaPoWriMo: Finger Licking Good

PUERTO RICAN RED RICE

1 Tbs oil
1 pkg Smokey Links, sliced
1 lg onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 6oz can tomato paste
1/2 lg jar salad olives
1 teas garlic powder
1 1/2 teas dry oregano
1Tbs cumin
1# (2 cups) rice

Heat the oil and the sausages medium sliced,

Onions, olives, and peppers add as they’re diced

Not yet for the paste, but add in the rice

Cook until it’s brown stirring it twice.

Add the rest of the ingredients, mixing well

Three fingers of water over, allow yourself to smell

The aromas as they blend

Cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is ten-

Der.

This makes me think of Demi, the lady from where this comes

She used to live upstairs from me on Caufield where I’ve from.

She taught my mom to make this, and it’s still a fave of mine

I think of her when I make this dish, each and every time.

magalyguerrero.com/napowrimo-with-magaly-guerrero-2015 NaPoWriMo

magalyguerrero.com/napowrimo-with-magaly-guerrero-2015
NaPoWriMo