Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Beef and Quinoa Meatballs in Lemongrass Curry

Time for January's Crazy Ingredient Challenge!

The theme for this month was lemongrass and quinoa. When I first heard the ingredients I did not think it would be too tricky, but when I sat down to create my recipe it was very tricky! I recently received a few products from Gourmet Garden for an upcoming blog challenge and one of them was lemongrass. The product is almost like a paste and is sold by the bagged salad and herbs at the grocery store.  I was really happy that I had something to use because I have had a hard time finding lemongrass when looking for other recipes! 

I decided that I was not going to use the quinoa as a side dish, but was going to make it the binder for a meatball in a curry sauce. I opted to go for Thai flavors such as basil, chili, ginger and a little lime (and of course lemongrass) in a coconut sauce.  I have made variations of this style curry before, but never with meatballs and I was excited to taste the fruits of my labor.  I also added a generous amount of cauliflower and broccoli. I love the way they soak up curry sauce and they are always a favorite of mine when in a Thai curry entrée. 

How did my quinoa beef meatballs turn out? Kellen and I thought they were delicious! Ron was not a big fan, but he is not a quinoa lover like the rest of us that drink the kool-aid on this grain. I liked that the quinoa made the meatballs sturdy and they could take a stir or two in my skillet and not fall apart.  However, Ron (along with the rest of us) really enjoyed the curry sauce.  The curry sauce is excellent and full of flavor. It is not very spicy and if you like more heat you can add a little chopped chili or a bit more paste to your recipe. I was feeding a little mouth that is just getting use to a little heat and did not want to overwhelm him. Kellen surprisingly loves spicy food, but only can take a little at a time. He wanted to try a bit of sriracha this past weekend and was allowed licked a tiny bit off a fork. His cheeks got a little red, but it didn’t stop him from wanting more…..my little fire eater. I have to limit him because his mouth likes it, but his little hinder- not so much……. 

Tonight, I heading to the gym and then home a dinner.  We are juicing the last of my blood oranges for a new (to me) chicken thigh and roasted potato recipe. I will get the post up quick so if you have a few blood oranges you take advantage! 

If you are interested in joining our challenge, stop over to Dawn of Spatulas on Parade to say hello and to get more information.  I am excited to see what next month will bring! 


for meatballs:
1 1/2 lb ground beef (I use 85% lean)
Two eggs
1 Tbl  chopped fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup cooked quinoa
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp fresh lime zest zest

for curry sauce:
1/2 medium white onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbl olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbl lemongrass paste (I use Gourmet Garden)
1 tsp grated ginger
1 Tbl finely chopped fresh basil
2 1/2 - 3 Tbl Thai red curry paste (depends on your taste)
2 cans coconut milk
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 cups chopped broccoli
1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, grease lightly and set aside.  Gently mix all meatball ingredients together until fully combined. Roll meatballs using your hands to uniform shape and size. This recipe makes 24-30 meatballs.  Place meatballs on the baking sheet and cook 35-40 minutes.

In a large rimmed skillet, sauté onion in olive oil over medium heat till tender. Add garlic, lemongrass paste,  ginger, basil and Thai red curry paste. Stir to evenly coat the onions.

 Whisk in the coconut milk followed by the chicken stock. Add the cauliflower and broccoli and simmer for about five minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the meatballs to the sauce and stir. Cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Serve over hot rice.


  1. Great minds Ashley. I made meatballs as well but, alas, I used the quinoa as a side.

  2. What a great idea to put quinoa in the meatballs.

  3. Hubby loves curry and I'll for sure have to make this one. Pinned! Love your use of the ingredients this month.

  4. Love this, Ashley! I am big fan of curries. I almost got the Gourmet Garden paste too but ended up finding the stalks at an Asian market.

  5. I can't eat curry but I have a friend who eats it at least twice a week, I'll send her your link. Great use of the ingredients.

  6. Love the idea of the quinoa as I binder. And my little picky eater actually loves curry, so this would be a win win in our house.

  7. This sounds excellent... I am going to have to try it.