June 26, 2010

Quinoa Pasta with Chicken Meatballs, Pesto, and Roasted Vegetables

The past week has been a blur...Toby did a detox diet to try and let his colon rest in order to see if he will feel better, but eating broth for a week is just not doable unless you are lying in bed all week (something he can't do because he has school and work). So we started adding in foods slowly to see if his body could digest it, and it has worked pretty well. We have been eating mostly meats , veggies, fruits, and cultured goats milk yogurt.

I have felt better than I have felt in a long time (I guess that is what happens when you stop eating refined foods and sugar). I didn't think I ate that much junk before, but after this week I realized how many little things I would snack on that held no value for my body. Also, Me and Toby started training for another triathlon today (we went on an early morning bike) and decided that in order to have the energy we need, we will have to find some "good" carbs to eat ( I mean we will be burning it off right?). Erring on the  "easy to digest" side,  Ezekiel Bread (made with sprouted grains) makes a whole realm of sprouted breads and tortillas that are easy to digest, so we bought some of that for breakfast (we spread some raw honey, natural peanut butter, and bananas, and there were no complaints), and decided that quinoa was a good grain to try next. Sprouts (a branch of farmer's market grocery stores) carries a brand of noodles made entirely of quinoa and corn flours, and is gluten free. Surprisingly enough they taste exactly like regular noodles, and are extremely delicious.

 I was not planning on making anything special for dinner last night, but I was making chicken meatballs for Emory, and me and Toby were starving from not having carbs for a week, that I decided it was time to try him on some quinoa noodles. I had some homemade basil and spinach pesto in the freezer, and chopped up some veggies, roasted them, and just tossed it all together. Let's just say Toby and I fully welcomed this "healthy" pasta into our evening. It was incredible. Still healthy, but packed full of flavor!

Quinoa Pasta with Chicken Meatballs, Pesto, and Roasted Vegetables
I used homemade pesto that I had in the freezer, but feel free to use store-bought, or you can make your own. If you can't find quinoa noodles, or don't want to try them, you can use your favorite brand of noodles in it's place. 
Serves 4-6

Because you use the oven for both the meatballs and the veggies, and they are baked at different temperatures, you can cook the meatballs, set aside, cook the veggies, and then pop the meatballs back in oven for 3-5 minutes to re-heat. Or if you would rather, you can cook both together in the oven, but make sure to switch them every once in a while from top to bottom, and you will have to adjust the baking time depending. 

For the Meatballs:
1 lb ground chicken (or Turkey or Beef)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (or crushed crackers)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh Rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh Thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Olive oil spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, mix egg and spices. Mix in the chicken with a fork or your hand, until all mixed. Add in the breadcrumbs and mix until incorporated. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (optional), and spoon teaspoon size balls of meatballs onto baking sheet. Spray meatballs with olive oil spray, and bake for 35-45 minutes, until browned and fully cooked. 

For the veggies:
 2 Organic Zucchini's (or non-organic)
1 bunch of asparagus, rough ends removed
1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes (I used grape, and then threw in a few tomatoes from my garden)
Extra Virgin Olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dice the zucchini into 1/4-1/2 inch size pieces, and cut asparagus to the same size. Cut the tomatoes in half and place them all on a baking sheet. Drizzle with EVOO, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 35-40 minutes until they are just barely soft and browned. 

For the finished product:
1 lb Quinoa spaghetti (or any other pasta)
1/4-1/2 cup pesto (homemade or store-bought)
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Roasted Veggies (recipe above)
Chicken Meatballs (recipe above)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta, and reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Place pasta back in pot, and add the pesto, reserved pasta water, roasted veggies, meatballs, and parmesan cheese. Lightly toss to combine, and add salt and pepper to taste. 

1 comment:

  1. as always, Missy, this sounds delicious! i just need to get the time to actually make all these wonderful things you are making! =)