This recipe was created for a cherry contest for Whole Foods. These “meatballs” are super simple and fun to make with kids, and are a healthier alternative to more traditional ones.
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup fresh cherries (about 10 cherries), pitted
1 cup fresh spinach
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon plain breadcrumbs
Zest of 1 lemon, divided
Juice of 1/2 lemon
6 ounces plain Greek-style yogurt
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa and water to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes. Grains will be translucent and germ ring will be visible when done. Set aside to cool.
3. In a small food processor, pulse cherries until finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Clean out food processor and add spinach. Pulse until finely chopped. Transfer spinach to a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper.
4. Add cooled quinoa to bowl of spinach and toss to combine. Drain off any accumulated liquid from bowl of cherries and add cherries to bowl of spinach and gently toss to combine. Add egg, breadcrumbs and zest from 1/2 lemon to bowl and toss to combine. Using a teaspoon, carefully form mixture into bite-sized meatballs. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until just lightly golden brown.
5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine zest from 1/2 lemon along with lemon juice and yogurt and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Allow meatballs to cool slightly and serve along with yogurt sauce for dipping.
Makes approximately 20 meatballs.
kids can have fun rolling out the “meatballs”…
…and eating them too!