When I was in Boston a couple of years ago, we stayed at the Hotel Colonnade which has a fantastic brasserie. This bar/brasserie has a terrific collection of wine and single malt, both of which are my drinks of choice and so LOL and I ate there more than once during our stay at the hotel. But being a fancy, French place, their vegetarian options were quite limited. But they served one outstanding vegetarian dish which kind of stuck with me although the restaurant appears to have removed the dish from their menu. It was farro type of balls in a tomato sauce served with a side salad. I liked it so much that I ate that every time we dined there. I have been trying to recreate that type of dish using different types of ingredients. I also bake instead of frying the balls, which was the restaurant recipe. One variation was, yes, you are right, using quinoa. So here is the recipe. It is an easy, breezy, yummy recipe.
- Quinoa: 1 cup
- Flax seeds: 1 tbsp
- Red pepper: diced, 1/4 cup
- Shallots or onions: diced, 1/4 cup
- Your favorite fresh herb: 1/4 cup
- Baking powder: 1/2 tbsp
- Chia seeds soaked in water for a few minutes as egg substitute or Eggs, 1
- Olive oil: 2 tbsp
- Feel free to use ready made pasta sauce (2 cups) or make your own with your favorite recipe. I love a sauce made with fresh tomatoes with salt, pepper, sugar and basil
- Preheat the oven to 425 F.
- Cook the quinoa to package directions.
- Soak the chia seeds in water if you want to use as egg substitute and let sit for fifteen minutes while the quinoa is cooking.
- Add all the ingredients and mix them.
- Make them into balls and flatten them slightly on two sides.
- Place on them on a greased cookie sheet. I always use a non-stick foil to cover the sheet.
- Bake them in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Flip them over after 15 minutes.
- I recommend the tooth pick test for this as well. If you stick a tooth pick in the center, it should come out dry.
- In the meanwhile, prepare the sauce or warm up store bought sauce on stove top.
- Drop the baked balls gently and let them simmer for about ten minutes.
- Serve hot with a salad and you will have a terrific meal.
- Add your favorite grated cheese to the mixture. I think a softer cheese like goat cheese or feta cheese will be a perfect addition.
- Or sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top while serving.
- Add any favorite vegetable instead of red pepper.
- Add cumin powder and cilantro if you want a Mexican flavor!