This thick and creamy meatballs without the meat is gluten free (in case you care) and vegan. It has a nice thick creamy sauce from coconut milk, soft and moist meatless meatballs from Quinoa and Cauliflower, a nice kick of heat from fresh chili, and an explosion of flavor from different herbs and spices. This is just what I need to give me a break from all the delicious sweets that I had been enjoying this past few days. I cannot be happier to see this Quinoa and Cauliflower Meatless Meatballs in Coconut Sauce.
A good way to start the New Year is to reinforce once again Meat Free Monday into my meal plan. Holiday season is over, just like that! Are you sad that it’s over? Or are you relieved that it is over? I’m kind of feeling in between. I’m a little bit sad because I love the Holiday season and all the festivity and good vibes that it brings (and the cookies!). On the other hand, I’m kind of relieved as well because I seriously need a break from eating sweets, (nobody forced me to) but it’s just so difficult to say no to those delicious and beautiful treats on the table. I often gave myself free pass during the Holidays which is kind of dangerous. I always reason out that it is the season to enjoy so I don’t even bother to hold myself from trying different treats. 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 but it also means more vegetables and fruits on my plate more than the cookies and cakes.
To start with, I’m sharing with you this Quinoa and Cauliflower Meatless Meatballs in Coconut Sauce. Are you finding it weird? Trust me, it’s not. It is delicious, it is lighter than real meatballs, it has a lot of texture and it is bursting with flavor, plus nice thick coconut sauce. 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. This is another meatless dish that will totally change the way you look at meatless dishes.
Freezer Friendly for Busy Days
This meat free 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 shape 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 or you can make your own if you have food processor)
- 3 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1/2 small White/Yellow Onion – chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic – minced
- 2 tablespoon fresh Jalapeno – chopped
- 2 tablespoon fresh chopped Cilantro or Parsley
- 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon Salt (adjust as needed)
- 3/4 teaspoon Red Chili Flakes (adjust as needed)
- 1/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- 1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Egg
- 2 tablespoon Parmesan Cheese ( For Vegan cooking, skip this or replace with Vegan 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 teaspoon Lime or Lemon Juice
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Chili Flakes
- 3 tablespoon chopped Cilantro
- Cook Quinoa: Cook quinoa as per package instruction. Set aside to cool.
- Make the Riced Cauliflower: 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.
- Alternatively, You can buy ready to use riced Cauliflower in supermarkets
- Cook the Spices/Vegetables: In a heated pan, add olive oil, garlic, onion and jalapeno. Saute for 2 minutes or until fragrant and onion is translucent. Transfer in a bowl and let cool slightly.
- Cook the Cauliflower: Add in the cauliflower mixture, then add chopped cilantro, salt, peppers, panko breadcrumbs, flour, parmesan cheese and egg. Mix until fully combined.
- Chill: Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes inside the refrigerator or you can leave it overnight. This is very important because the texture of this meatballs are softer than normal meatfree meatballs. Chilling will help the ingredients stick together better.
- Portion and Shape: 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 or you can leave it overnight in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Pan Fry: In a heated pan, add 3 tbsp olive oil and fry the 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. If you do not mind deep frying, you can do that method as well. You will need more oil, use enough oil to submerge the meatballs. Transfer cooked meatballs in a plate with paper towel to absorb the oil.
- 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.
- Meatless Meatballs + Sauce: 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 lime juice on top, recommended. 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)
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