Meatless Monday

Quinoa + Zucchini “Meatball” Monday

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This recipe is for all lovers of food – vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Let me start off by saying that I have never been a huge fan of spaghetti and meatballs or even marinara sauce for that matter (my apologies to all the die-hard Italians out there). This recipe intrigued me nevertheless. Truthfully, I think I would eat just about anything that involves zucchini, but I digress…

These “meatballs” are very easy to make, and I am amazed at how flavorful they are. Quinoa, zucchini, onion, garlic, tomato paste, whole wheat bread crumbs, parsley, and eggs. That’s it! Simple, right? I put mine over some whole wheat angel hair pasta with store-bought organic vodka sauce. I’m still too lazy to make my own pasta sauce – maybe one day! Anyways, check these bad boys out…

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Like I said, extremely flavorful and completely delicious! Great recipe to show non-vegetarians that vegetarian meals can still be tasty and filling. Honestly, I enjoyed these more than any meatballs I’ve ever tasted. Now, go make them!

Quinoa Zucchini “Meatballs”
*I halved this recipe and still got 10 meatballs out of it.
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 tsp olive oil
1 small chopped onion
3 minced garlic cloves
1 cup finely diced zucchini
1 tsp oregano
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 egg
1 egg white
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 5-6 minutes until fragrant and softened.
3. Add the zucchini, oregano, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes until zucchini softens. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
4. Add zucchini mixture to a bowl with the quinoa and stir to combine.
5. Add the eggs, whole wheat bread crumbs, and more salt/pepper if needed.
6. Roll into 16 meatballs, about 1 rounded tablespoon each, and place on the baking sheet.
7. Bake for 12 minutes on the first side. Flip over and bake for 10 more minutes.

Source: Slender Kitchen

Enjoy!

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Meatless Monday

Let me preface this “Meatless Monday” post by saying that I spent yesterday, “Sunday Funday,” venturing around the city, running various errands – one of which included a trip to Reading Terminal Market.

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Now, if you’ve never been to Reading Terminal Market, shame on you. Go. Right now. If you have been there, I’m going to assume you share my obsession. It’s a Philly Phoodie’s paradise. (See what I did there?)

Reading Terminal has only the freshest, brightest, most colorful produce; exotic, authentic foods from cultures all over the world; and every baked good known to man. It’s almost impossible to avoid getting lost amongst the never-ending aisles of food stands, only to realize two hours have passed since you got there.

Well, yesterday I was on a mission. I grabbed some cauliflower, spaghetti squash, and a beautiful grapefruit that I just couldn’t resist. I then allowed myself one token purchase from Wan’s Seafood stand – sea scallops. And then I ran out of there as fast I could before letting the bakery by the exit lure me in. Grabbed some free smells though.

Tonight, I used my token seafood purchase to make Seared Scallops over Wilted Spinach and Parmesan Risotto. I found this recipe on Pinterest, and you can find the full post and recipe (complete with calorie counts and Weight Watcher points) on Gina’s Skinny Recipes. That’s right – this is a “skinny” recipe, and it’s delicious. One thing I did differently was use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock. (Gotta keep it pescetarian-friendly). Check it out.

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Here’s my rendition of the recipe:

Parmesan Risotto
Servings: 3, Time: 30 minutes
1 cup arborio rice
1 tsp butter
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
salt and pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp chopped parsley

1. Heat vegetable broth in a small pot.
2. In a medium size heavy sauce pan, add butter on medium-low heat.
3. Add shallots, sauté about 1 minute.
4. Add rice mixing well until well coated and transluscent, about 2 minutes.
5. Add wine, salt and pepper and mix well until it is absorbed into the rice.
6. Ladle 1 cup stock into rice and mix until all stock is absorbed, add another ladle, and continue adding and stirring until all broth is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes.
7. Add parmesan cheese and parsley, mix well and serve.

Seared Scallops over Wilted Spinach
Servings: 1, Time: 10 minutes
5 sea scallops
salt and fresh pepper
2 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
10 oz baby spinach, washed

1. Wash scallops and pat dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Heat a medium size pan on a high flame. When pan is hot, melt 1 tsp butter the scallops in the pan. Sear without touching them for a few minutes until the bottom forms a nice caramel colored crust. Turn over and cook about another minute or 2, until the center is slightly translucent and the bottom is seared. Be careful not to overcook. Continue this process until all of your scallops are cooked.
3. Add olive oil to a separate pan on medium heat.
4. Add spinach, salt and pepper, and toss until spinach wilts.
5. Serve spinach over risotto topped with scallops.

I made the full risotto recipe, so I’ll be having leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Really can’t complain about that!

Enjoy! And happy “Meatless Monday”!!