Yesterday in my many trips to the shops, I got the ingredients to make Zucchini ‘meat’ balls, however, when I got home, I realised I didn’t have fresh (I had plenty of stale) breadcrumbs, but I didn’t want to go out again so I substituted quinoa for the breadcrumbs and wow, they were delicious.
I had a lot of left over ingredients that I wanted to use up today, so I headed back down to the shops, just to get more zucchini. I am a super honest person, so this was a suprising experience and maybe I should have not said anything, however, when I put the 2 zucchini on the scales, the staff member said that is 60 cents. I realised quite quickly that she was charging me for cucumber not zucchini, so I mentioned that and then paid the $2.60 for the zucchini instead. It was when I was walking away that I thought ‘that is weird the zucchini were 99 cents per kilo and I only bought 2 zucchinis’, but it was loose change so I wondered if I should or could be bothered going back and saying something. Anyway, I got to the bottom of the escalator, car in sight and not enjoying the thought of being ripped off, I thought, ‘I’m just going to go back and check that’, so I did and when the staff member was finished with the customer she was serving, she said, ‘oh yeah, I was going to come after you, that was incorrect’. I couldn’t help but think, hang on, I got all the way to the car, I’m talking a 5 minute walk and you were going to come after me, even though you have absolutely no idea where I would have gone to, hmmm me thinks that is not the truth, alas she fixed the price and I walked away having paid the correct price and pocketed the extra $1.85 I was charged. Whilst it didn’t weigh down my pocket, I was happy that it got resolved as no one likes thinking that they were taken for a ride, being ripped off, having to be too vigilant as a shopper etc etc. ANYWAY, sorry I divert, (I worked at Woolworths for 4 years when I was younger and I like to think I got my produce right) so I made these delicious little quinoa zucchini ricotta balls and they are great!
When I did them yesterday, I used alfoil and even with spray oil, they stuck to the foil, so on the recommendation of my friend (thank-you Olivia) when I did them again today, I used baking paper instead and they didn’t stick to the paper hardly at all.
Quinoa, ricotta and zucchini ball ingredients
1 tbs minced garlic
1/3 cup shredded parmesan
125g fresh ricotta cheese
1 free range egg
1 large zucchini grated
1 cup cooked quinoa
Quinoa, ricotta and zucchini ball method
- Turn the oven on to 180 degrees and let heat up
- Cook the quinoa first. I use vegetable stock instead of water for optimum flavour. It is double the liquid to the quinoa. So I used ½ cup quinoa and 1 cup of stock and I ended up with 1 cup of cooked quinoa.
- Grate or use the food processor to shred one large zucchini.
- Add the zucchini, ricotta, egg and parmesan cheese to a mixing bowl.
- Season this well with salt and pepper.
- When the quinoa is cooled, add it to the mix.
- Stir this thoroughly so the consistency is that of a well mixed batch of ingredients, you don’t want mouthfuls of just the quinoa.
- Once it is all nicely mixed together, place a sheet of baking paper on a tray.
- Roll the mixture into small balls and cook for 30 mins.
- You can turn them over ½ way through cooking if you like, this will allow both sides to have a nice and crisp golden crust to it.
- To serve, use a tomato passata sauce, with fresh zucchini noodles and grated parmesan and cracked pepper.
- When I made this dish yesterday, I didn’t have tomato passata, so I used condensed tomato soup, with tomato paste and red wine, then I added oregano, it was tasty!
Image two: Ready to eat – Quinoa zucchini ricotta balls with additional quinoa (instead of pasta and a favour filled tomato sauce.
Notes: I have tried this recipe twice, once I did cook the zucchini for about 5 minutes in the frypan and the second time I did not. I think it is best to not cook it, as it is it bakes in the oven for the time that the ball is cooking and if you are using cooked zucchini you will loose all of the texture of the vegetable and end up with balls that lack flavour, no one wants flavourless balls (ha, ha, arhem, excuse me).