winter, cooking, food, nutrition, meatballs, healthy

Q + The Meatball Shop Present: Turkey Quinoa Meatballs

Meet the next healthy and delicious installment in our Q Ball series.

Late last year we introduced the inaugural meatball in our Q Ball Series, the nourishing brainchild of Q and New York City's The Meatball Shop, which was created in an effort to showcase the healthier side of a beloved comfort food. Next up: The Winter Ball, which is packed with lean ground turkey, wholesome quinoa, and a sweet and savory combination of ingredients. The garlic, cranberries and quinoa all contain antioxidants, the olive oil and almonds provide healthy fats, and fennel aids digestion, points out Maria Pagano, registered dietician and Equinox Tier 4 Coach. And that's just for starters. "Turkey is a great and super healthy protein option," says Michael Chernow, co-owner of TMS and a health and fitness enthusiast. "We also love quinoa in this recipe as a gluten free substitute for bread. #QBALLING for life." Hear, hear. 

The Q Ball will be available on a rotating basis at the New York City locations of The Meatball Shop. Follow @Meatballers and @Equinox, and use the hashtag #QBall, to find out where it will be available. Or, make it yourself:

Turkey Quinoa Meatballs

Ingredients:
2 pounds ground turkey
¼ c. onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ c. dried cranberries, chopped
¼ c. toasted almonds, chopped
¼ c. flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 c. cooked quinoa
1/8 tsp. black pepper, ground
1 tsp. fennel seed, ground
2 tsp. coarse salt
2 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 eggs

Directions: 
1. Make quinoa according to package instructions. Let cool. (This can be done a day ahead.)

2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle the olive oil into a 9x13-inch baking dish; using your hand, evenly coat entire surface. Set aside.

3. Place chopped cranberries in a small bowl and drizzle the water over. Let sit for at least 10 minutes to rehydrate.

4. In a large bowl, use your hands to mix all ingredients until fully incorporated. Roll mixture into firmly packed 1½-inch balls.

5. Place meatballs in prepared baking dish, taking care to line them up snugly so that they are touching one another in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. Transfer baking dish to oven. Bake until meatballs are firm and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball reads 165 degrees.

6. Place cooked meatballs in a serving bowl and drizzle with the sauce of your choice.