(mis?)adventures in the kitchen: gluten-free meatballs

January 21, 2013 0 Comments

I don’t generally pay much attention to the diet/workout section of Us Weekly – I’m mainly there to catch up on the gestational stages of the Kardashians and to keep track of what’s “in”, fashion-wise (peplums; goddess gowns; Swarovski crystal-studded leather rompers paired with high-heeled Uggs). However, while flipping through the January 14th issue (Kourtney K.: “How I Got Thin Fast!”), a recipe from Sheryl Crow’s dietitian caught my eye. Rachel Beller, the aforementioned dietitian to the stars, submitted a recipe for penne and meatballs that looked, well, actually edible.

Ms. Beller’s recipe forgoes breadcrumbs in the meatballs in favor of quinoa, which makes this gluten-intolerant gal VERY happy. Quinoa is a staple in our household, so it wasn’t difficult to get Mr. Seeking Ambition on board with this recipe.

Gluten-Free Meatballs
from Rachel Beller’s Eat to Lose, Eat to Win via Us Weekly

  • 1 lb meat of some sort (ground beef, turkey, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 24-oz jars of marinara sauce
  1.  In a bowl, combine the meat, quinoa, egg, oregano, and thyme. Season with salt and set aside. Coat a skillet with olive oil and heat on medium-low. Add onion and garlic; sauté until translucent (2-4 minutes). Let cool; combine onion and garlic with the meat. (Note: We also threw some kale in the mix, as we put kale in everything: burgers, scrambled eggs, Lucky Charms, etc.) Form into 2-inch balls. 
  2. In a large pot, combine the sauce and meatballs. Cover and heat on medium. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through. (Note: We used a slow cooker for a couple of hours on low. Perfect!) 
The little quinoa squiggles/rings mostly dissolve during cooking.

Verdict: These were delicious, inexpensive, and easy to make. And now I can eat meatballs without having them sit like golf balls in my intestines for the greater part of a week. Nice!

January 5, 2013

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