Turkey Quinoa Meatballs with Roasted Tomatoes & Zucchini Noodles

Food feels like a hobby to me.  I love food, I love thinking about it, admiring it, making it, and especially eating it 🙂  I’m fairly simple when it comes to what I eat, I like healthy, fresh and flavourful, and when I’m cooking, I usually like simple ingredients and simple recipes (if I use a recipe, that is:).

Recipes…. For me, a recipe resembles more of a loose guide.  I’m not sure why, but I’ve never really been into following recipes too closely.  It feels like a hassle sometimes, like I should be more organized and prepared when I cook! Since I use the freestyle method (lol) almost all the time, I find that I can’t tell anyone exactly what I’ve made when I’m asked.  So, in the spirit of being more helpful, this time I switched things up a bit and I measured everything!

I have a few staple food items that I make on the regular, and turkey meatballs are one of them. Why do I make them regularly? Well it’s simple, everyone in our house loves them so I never feel like I’m force feeding anyone. That feels good 🙂 I make different variations of this recipe but for the most part it’s the same mix of ingredients.

Usually I will serve them in a tomato sauce, along with rice, sometimes pasta or just veggies.  This time I wanted to serve with roasted tomatoes and zucchini noodles which was quite a light dish. To make the meatballs a little more substantial and hardy, I added quinoa. This is a nice way to bind the meat mixture a little better, add in some complex carbs, and get my kids eating some quinoa without noticing 🙂

  • The turkey quinoa meatballs took me about 15 minutes to make up the meatballs, and then another 30-35 minutes to bake.
  • The roasted tomatoes took me about 5 minutes to slice and put on the baking sheet, and then about 45-60 to bake (depending on the thickness of the tomato slices). NOTE: I start baking the tomatoes first. While the tomatoes are roasting I then start making the meatballs.
  • The zucchini noodles took about 5 minutes to spiralize, and then about 5-10 minutes to cook.

Turkey Quinoa Meatballs:

  • 3 lbs     Ground Turkey Thighs
  • ½ c       Sweet Onion, diced finely
  • ¾ c       Quinoa (cooked & cooled)
  • ¼ c       Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 tbsp  Flavor God Everything Spice
  • 1           Egg

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Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together. Roll into balls about the size of a golf ball (mine were slightly larger this time), place in 9x13inch baking dish or baking sheet (I lined with parchment paper).
  3. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, if you are unsure if they are cooked all the way through, cut into a larger meatball in the middle of the pan to make sure the center is not pink. You may need to cook another 5 minutes or so.

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image1Roasted Tomatoes:

  • 5-7 medium size vine tomatoes (or as many as you can fit on a large baking sheet)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Himalayan Salt

 

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Directions:

  1. Slice tomatoes to ¼ inch think or slightly thinner.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and brush the empty baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Place sliced tomatoes on baking sheet, squeeze as many sliced tomatoes onto pan as possible (they shrink down when they bake).  Brush with olive oil again and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Place in the oven and bake for 45 mins, or until the tomatoes look a little wrinkled and slightly dry.

Zucchini Noodles

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  • 3 medium size zucchinis
  • Spiralize the zucchini and toss into a frying pan over medium heat with a small amount of olive oil, sprinkle with salt.
  • Once the noodles are heated (about 5-10 minutes), remove from heat and serve.
  • **Do not overcook them or they get soggy and lose their structure.**

And this is how is looks. Voila!

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*In case you’re interested, I have 2 spiralizers – both work great but the larger one works faster and seems quite a bit sharper. The larger one also had 3 different blades that can be switched out for different shapes and sizes of noodles.

Let me know what you think!