Beef, Oregano & Tomato Meatballs with Quinoa

I’m not sure if anyone remembers – but in December I boldly stated that every month, I intended to try at least 4 recipes from the Bon Appetite magazine and blog about them? Well I managed that one time and failed miserably the following months. Now there are a variety of reasons for this. One, after I made that bold statement, I didn’t receive a BA magazine for a while, and Two, recently the BA magazines I have received have not inspired me in the slightest – and I feel as though I’m slowly losing interest in them.

However, thanks to my wonderful Australian relatives who signed me up for a year subscription of Donna Hay’s magazine as an engagement present along with these wonderful ceramic Australian bowls they sent all the way to Mexico (Bison Australia), I have only just discovered this well known Australian food talent.

 I instantly fell in love with her clean and simple magazine, where the food styling is stunning but the recipes straight forward and approachable. Although this time around I have not made any silly little competition with myself that I have to make at least 4 recipes from each magazine I receive – but I can pictures myself using magazine often for inspiration and great recipes. Maybe it’s because Australian food really resonates with me, it’s from all over the world – but has this rather laid-back and unpretentious vibe. Good food is good food and there is nothing more to it!

So last week – I saw a number of great recipes using quinoa, and as C had recently come back from a trip from Peru lugging bags of the seed back for me, the recipes couldn’t have come at a better time – so be prepared to see a few quinoa recipes in the next few weeks!

The first dish I decided to make was Beef, Oregano and tomato meatballs with quinoa – and it really was such a simple yet satisfying dish. My only slight complaint was that the tomato puree was slightly acidic, and as this is the base of the dish, it needed some work. However, having said that tomato puree is something that will vary from country to country and brand to brand – so if you find one that you really like this will not be a problem for you.

Beef, Oregano & Tomato Meatballs with Quinoa – serves 4

  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 450g beef mice
  • 2 tblsp chopped oregano leaves (I used dried oregano)
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, peeled and chopped
  • 680ml tomato puree
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tblsp chopped basil (I used parsley)

Place the quinoa in a saucepan with 3 cups of water. Place the saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 15 mins or until all the water is absorbed. Set aside.

Place the mince, oregano, salt, pepper, parmesan, egg and half the garlic in a bowl and mis to combine. Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls and refrigerate for 20 mins.

Heat half of the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook for 6-8 mins or until cooked through (this really depends on how big you made your meatballs – mine were quite big, so this took about 15 mins). Set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in the frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and remaining garlic and cook for 6 minutes or until softened. Add the tomato puree, sugar and basil and cook for 4 minutes or until thickened slightly. Return meatballs to the sauce and mix to coat.

Top the quinoa with the meatballs and sprinkle with extra parmesan and basil to serve.

If you don’t have or don’t like quinoa this dish would go really well with pasta too!

From this...
From this…
…to this!

Now, here is a little tip for you that are living in Mexico. As you know – wine can be pretty expensive here compared to the quality that you get. But if you are looking for a good “quaffing” wine as my dad would say (in other words a good inexpensive table wine) we have discovered Beso de Vino for 100MEX pesos (US$7.50) and it has become a staple in our household and everyone seems to really enjoy it!

2 thoughts on “Beef, Oregano & Tomato Meatballs with Quinoa

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