Meatless May! Italian Quinoa Meatballs

Welcome to my "Meatless May" series! This month I am going to be sharing vegetarian and vegan meal ideas. I may have mentioned before that my parents are vegans, they weren't always but they have found that they enjoy this lifestyle and are much healthier. When I have visited them and have followed their diet I have also found that I feel healthier. Now, I'm not going vegan, or even vegetarian, but I think going meatless once (or a few times) a week is a wonderful idea. I hope you enjoy what I share this month and have fun getting a little creative in the kitchen!

Italian Quinoa Meatballs
1 C. quinoa
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 C. vegetable broth
1 can cannelini beans (just about any bean will do), drained & rinsed
1 small can tomato paste

1. In small pot heat oil on medium heat, add quinoa and seasonings, saute 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Turn heat to high and add broth. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer 15-20 minutes until quinoa is cooked. Let cool, uncovered, until workable.
2. Add beans and tomato paste to the quinoa and mash until beans are broken up. Don't mash the mixture completely, you want to maintain some texture.
3. Preheat oven to 350 F, line baking sheet with foil, and coat with non-stick spray.
4. Form quinoa mixture into "meatballs" and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, turning over after 10-15 minutes, until browned. Serve as desired!
-Makes about 20 "meatballs".


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