Quinoa Meatballs

Again, with the no/low-carb meals.

Quinoa is actually not a grain, it is a member of the grass family and related to beets and spinach.

Sally Fallon, the president of the Weston A. Price Foundation and co-author of Nourishing Traditions, says: “Quinoa is a staple food of the Incas and the Indians in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia… Quinoa contains 16-20% protein and is high in cystine, lysine and methionine–amino acids that tend to be low in other grains. It contains iron, calcium and phosphorus, B vitamins and vitamin E, and is relatively high in fat. Like all grains, quinoa contains anti-nutrients and therefore requires a long soaking as part of the preparation process.”

Soaking instructions: Soak in a warm water mixture (warm water plus 2 Tablespoons whey, yogurt, kefir or buttermilk). Use a 1:3 ratio of quinoa to warm water (for 2 C quinoa, use 6 C water) at least 12 hours to remove phytates. Rinse and drain well. Then put in pan with double the amount of water or stock and bring to a boil. Skim (foam off the top), reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour or more on very low heat. (watch and taste to see when done.. with this low amount it could be done sooner than this. I make more at the same time for another dish during the week, so I have never made only 3/4 C.)

You can use quinoa in place of rice and as fillers for things like meatballs and for salads and casseroles. It has a unique flavor, so it does add a little different twist on things so don’t expect it to just disappear into meatballs and not notice that its there. You will. But it’s good!


1# ground beef
3/4 C. quinoa, cooked
1/4 C. finely chopped onions
1/4 C. grated carrots
1/4 C. grated zucchini
2 T ketchup
1 T chopped garlic
1 T soy sauce
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. dried thyme
1 egg

[photo credit]