Sticky Meatballs w/ Cauliflower Quinoa Pilaf (GF w/ Veg Variation)

Valentines Main: Sticky Glazed Meatballs with Cauliflower Quinoa Pilaf (GF with Vegetarian Variation)

We’re onto part two of the Valentine’s meal! Yesterday there were these Lettuce Boats with Sweet Potato, Grapefruit and Paprika Mayo now we’ve got some stellar sticky meatballs with a quinoa pilaf. This is ridonc good. Like so good that I froze the extra veggie ‘meatballs’ and ate them for a week for lunch.

(Also a quick note that I was invited to speak to the lovely Celine of Pure Green Mag on their podcast – if you want you can take a listen here!)

You can either make the meatballs with ground beef (or I think probably ground lamb would work well, but I hate the flavour of lamb sooo that didn’t happen) or a gluten-free veggie version using cannellini beans. I personally prefer the latter 😉 In fact the photographs on this post are of the veggie ones, if you can believe it!

Valentines Main: Sticky Glazed Meatballs with Cauliflower Quinoa Pilaf (GF with Vegetarian Variation)

Both versions are baked and then glazed with a sticky, sweet pomegranate molasses glaze – if you can’t get hold of the pomegranate molasses just get pomegranate juice and reduce that down by half (e.g. 4 tbsp reduced to 2 tbsp) or use store-bought balsamic glaze in place of the molasses.

I’ve served them here with a pilaf consisting of a mixture of quinoa and ‘riced’ cauliflower (wow omg so much health) but you can go ahead and use all quinoa, all cauliflower or another grain like farro or just the usual rice.

Valentines Main: Sticky Glazed Meatballs with Cauliflower Quinoa Pilaf (GF with Vegetarian Variation)

Notes:

– Instructions for prepping ahead of time are in the recipes.
– If you can safely consume wheat:
– you can use breadcrumbs in place of the buckwheat flour in either of the recipes for meatballs.
– you can replace the quinoa in the pilaf with couscous.
– No pomegranate molasses? Use pomegranate juice instead and reduce by half OR use store-bought balsamic glaze

Sticky Glazed Meatballs

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Ingredients

  • 500 g lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup buckwheat flour , (or oat flour if you can tolerate it)
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • large handful of fresh coriander , (cilantro), finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion , , finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , , peeled and minced
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 x recipe for pomegranate glaze , (see below)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 F), line a baking tray with foil. In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients (except for the pomegranate glaze) with your hands. Form into about 15 golf-sized balls and arrange on the foil lined tray. Place into the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and brush with some of the pomegranate glaze using a pastry brush. Bake again for 5-10 minutes. Set aside until you've made the pilaf (or in the fridge overnight if you're making this a day ahead).
  • Once the pilaf has been made, preheat your oven's grill/broiler at the highest setting and place the rack in the top third of the oven. Brush the meatballs with more glaze and place under the grill/broiler. Let them cook so that the glaze gets slightly bubbly (this only takes a few minutes) then remove from the oven, brush with the glaze (the last time!) and serve with the pilaf.
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it went! Mention @izyhossack or tag #topwithcinnamon!

Vegetarian Sticky 'Meatballs'

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Ingredients

  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 red bell pepper
  • large handful of fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • 1 (450 g) can cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour (or oat flour if you can tolerate it)
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 x recipe for pomegranate glaze (see below)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F), line a baking tray with foil and grease with vegetable oil.

  • In a food processor or blender: place the onion, garlic, bell pepper and coriander into the food processor or blender. Blitz until as fine as possible. Add the beans, egg, flour, spices, salt and lemon juice and pulse until mostly smooth with some chunks.

  • By hand: In a large bowl, mash the beans using a vegetable masher. Finely chop the onion and red pepper, mince the garlic. Add these to the large bowl along with the flour, spices, salt and lemon juice then stir together.

  • Divide the mixture into 15 or 16 balls - I like using a mechanical ice cream scoop for this or just two tablespoons - onto the lined tray, bake for 15 minutes. Remove and brush with some of the pomegranate glaze using a pastry brush. Bake again for 5 minutes. Set aside until you've made the pilaf (or in the fridge overnight if you're making this a day ahead).

  • Once the pilaf has been made, preheat your oven's grill/broiler at the highest setting and place the rack in the top third of the oven. Brush the meatballs with more glaze and place under the grill/broiler. Let them cook so that the glaze gets slightly bubbly (this only takes a few minutes) then remove from the oven, brush with the glaze (the last time!) and serve with the pilaf.
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it went! Mention @izyhossack or tag #topwithcinnamon!

Pomegranate Glaze

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Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses (or balsamic glaze)
  • 1 tsp ketchup
  • 2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp grapefruit , pomegranate, lime or lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • large pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Stir all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it went! Mention @izyhossack or tag #topwithcinnamon!

Cauliflower Quinoa Pilaf

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower , cut into large chunks
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • handful of almonds or shelled pistachios , chopped
  • 3 tbsp dried cranberries , chopped
  • handful of fresh coriander , finely chopped
  • handful of mint leaves , finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • large pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Place the quinoa into a sieve and rinse well under cold running water. Place into a pan with the water, bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer. Cover and leave to cook for 7 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave for at least 5 minutes or until you need it.

  • As the quinoa cooks: Using the coarse side of a box grater, grate the cauliflower chunks into a rice like texture. Alternatively if you have a food processor you can place the cauliflower chunks into it and pulse until mealy. Set aside.

  • In a large bowl combine the cranberries, chopped coriander and mint, lemon juice and salt.

  • In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil. Add the mealy cauliflower to the frying pan and stir over a high heat until softened and it looks slightly browned. You don't want to crowd the pan so if there's too much cauliflower for the pan then you may need to cook it in two batches. Pour the cauliflower into the large bowl along with the cooked quinoa. Stir together well and cover with a tea towel and large plate to keep it warm for serving for about 10 minutes.
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it went! Mention @izyhossack or tag #topwithcinnamon!

Nutrition

Serving: 2servings
 

 

37 thoughts on “Sticky Meatballs w/ Cauliflower Quinoa Pilaf (GF w/ Veg Variation)”

  1. Sara @ Cake Over Steak

    SO much health! It was great hearing you on the Pure Green podcast today. You’ve accomplished so much – it’s really inspiring! Happy Valentine’s Day to you 🙂

  2. Pingback: Valentines Main: Sticky Glazed Meatballs with Cauliflower Quinoa Pilaf (GF with Vegetarian Variation) | Paella Catering

  3. Izy, I’m your great auntie Anna, your mother’s aunt, your grandfather’s sister. It was so interesting listening to the Podcast. It was wonderful hearing your voice. I have been following your blog since you started it or shortly after. Your uncle Robert introduced me to it. I don’t do Facebook, Twitter or any of the other electronic communication outlets but noticed the” Leave a Comment” by E-mail so decided to write this short note to tell you how much I love reading and seeing the photos in your blogs. Your book is amazing, so beautiful. You look so much like your Mon and you take after her and your grandmother and most likely you great grandmother too. All great cooks and bakers. I wish you all the best in all your endeavors. Love to your Mom. Auntie Ann

  4. Sarah from Soymilk + Honey

    Oh wow, this looks amazing. And I love the veggie option – such a great switch up from the usual meaty meatballs.

  5. ok, we will be eating this soon and already have some pom molasses….oh, ha ha, you ate so much kale your hair is green!

  6. Alycia @ Food Blogit

    I have an addiction to making meatballs! So many ways to mix them up. This is a great recipe! Thx for sharin!

  7. That looks terrific! I love the vegetarian meatballs, the use of buckwheat flour is so interesting. especially with pomegranate glaze, mmmm 🙂

  8. I’m diggin’ the blue hair, lady (and the cauliflower quinoa pilaf), but WHEEEEEREEEE ARE THE CHIPPED NAILS!!?!?!?!!! I kid. 😉 Kinda.

  9. Belinda@themoonblushbaker

    I know this a valentine’s day meal but that pilaf needs to be doubled! It would make a Stella breakfast fritter . Izy you hair has me missing my longer locks! Love your hair in loose curls too. 🙂

  10. Emily @ Life on Food

    This meal looks fantastic. I am all about meatballs and I love it when you can use them but steer away from the typical marinara sauce.

  11. Just finished listening to the podcast. You are such a great inspiration for the rest of us.
    I wish you continuing success in your future endeavours.
    I love this version of vegetarian meat balls. Beautiful photography as well.

  12. The cauliflower quinoa pilaf is such an original idea, and definitely something I want to try! Thank you!

    1. Thanks, Millie! I just made a batch yesterday to eat throughout the week (they’re super good with some leaves and yoghurt in a warm pita bread!)

  13. Thea @ Baking Magique

    I love sticky food! This looks delicious 🙂 How do you manage to get several zip list recipes into one post? I haven’t been able to do that in the latest versions of the plugin… 🙁

  14. Cara's Healthy Cravings

    I love using pomegranate molasses, it adds such an interesting depth of flavour. This meal looks beyond delicious. I am looking forward to taking a listen to the podcast, thanks!

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