It’s Meat FREE Monday!
A good way to start the new year is to introduce a Meat Free Monday into my meal plan, and that is what I want to start doing. So expect meat free recipes from time to time and I hope you will give it a try too. Holiday season is over, just like that! Are you sad that it’s over? Or are you relieved that’s its history? I’m kind of feeling in between. I’m a little bit sad, I love holidays and all the festivity and good vibes that it brings (and the cookies!). On the other hand, I’m kind of relieved because I seriously need a break from eating, (nobody forced me to) but it’s just so difficult to say no to those delicious and beautiful treats on the table. I often give myself free pass during the holidays, it’s the season to enjoy so I don’t even bother to hold myself from trying different treats. It’s the season of eating, bring it on! But of course all good things never last forever, so now we are back to reality.
What’s the reality then? Reality means I’m back to my normal eating habits, although my normal eating habits still includes plenty of sweets on the side. I’ve had so much fun during the holidays and it’s time for me to get back having my regular meals, honestly, I missed them. I decided to make my Monday meatless blog series where I can share with you guys the meatless dishes I enjoyed eating. I’m not saying I’m going to be vegetarian, no,no,no! I’m just going to add more veggie in my meals. I still love meat, chicken to be specific and I’m not yet ready to give up on that.
To start with, I’m sharing with you this Cauliflower and Quinoa Meatballs in Coconut Sauce. Are you finding it weird? Trust me, it’s not. It’s delicious, it’s light, it has a lot of texture and it’s bursting with flavor. The coconut sauce always and forever never failed to make dishes absolutely delicious! I love using coconut milk for my curry just like in my Shrimp In Coconut Milk and Red Chicken Curry in Coconut Sauce those recipes are real keeper. It’s another meatless dish that will totally change the way you look at meatless dishes.
This meatballs are also good for freezing. I made a big batch of this and had the meatballs half-cooked. I kept it in the freezer and I could never be more happier to think they I have something ready that I can grab in the freezer for busy days.
The texture of the meatballs are very tender and yet it still hold its shaped when cooked in the coconut milk. It’s very light too and it absorbs a great deal of flavor from the coconut and other spices. I added quite a lot of peppers but if you don’t like it spicy, feel free to reduce or remove it. Let me show you how I made it so that you can enjoy a Meat Free Monday! Let’s get started!
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, cold (about 1/3 cup uncooked)
- 1 1/4 cup cauliflower rice (You can use pre-packaged rice cauliflower)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 small white onion – chopped
- 2 cloves garlic – minced
- 2 tbsp fresh jalapeno – chopped
- 2 tbsp cup fresh chopped cilantro or parsley
- 1/2 – 3/4 tsp salt (adjust as needed)
- 3/4 tsp chili flakes (adjust as needed)
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
- half small onion – cut lengthwise
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small red bell pepper – cut lengthwise
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 – 3/4 tsp salt (add gradually and adjust as needed)
- 1/2 tsp lime or lemon juice
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 3 tbsp chopped cilantro
- Cook quinoa as per package instruction. Set aside to cool.
- Cut cauliflower into small pieces and transfer in a food processor along with the cooked quinoa. Process for 5 minutes until fine in texture and it starts to come together when you clump it in your hand. Transfer into a bowl and let cool.
- In a heated pan, add olive oil, garlic, onion and jalapeno. Saute for 2 minutes or until fragrant and onion is translucent.
- Add in the cauliflower mixture, then add chopped cilantro, salt, peppers, panko breadcrumbs, flour, parmesan cheese and egg. Mix until fully combined.
- Divide into 9 pieces (or more if you want smaller meatballs) and shape each piece into golf ball size. Set aside in the fridge for 1 hour.
- In a heated pan, add 3 tbsp olive oil and fry meatballs. Turn 2-3 times to cook top, bottom and side. It will not be exactly round, but that’s fine. Set aside. Add more oil as needed.
- Prepare the Sauce: Pre-heat pan and pour 2 tbsp olive oil, onion and bell peppers. Saute until onion become translucent. Add coconut milk and simmer in medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir from time to time to avoid sticking from the pan. Add turmeric powder, salt, sugar, chili flakes, and mix. When cooking with coconut milk, always check the consistency and stir as it could get thick fast.
- Add cooked meatballs and lower the heat. Cover and simmer until sauce is reduced to your liking. Add chopped cilantro, mix and cook for another 1 minute. Squeeze some lemon or lime juice on top. Adjust seasonings as desired.
Makes 9 pieces
One great meatless Monday recipe for you to try. If you like this recipe, kindly click on the “Like” button below. If you haven’t subscribe to my website, subscribe now so as not to miss more exciting recipe. Thanks!
Recipe inspired by: myihavethatrecipe.com (with my own modifications)