Yum Peaceful Cooking: Turkey-Quinoa Meatballs with Baby Bok Choy

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Turkey-Quinoa Meatballs with Baby Bok Choy

My quest to cook healthy dishes, more often, begins here. Lovely, delicious meatballs with a nice little sauce that's surprisingly not overwhelming but adds a tiny bit of heat. The meatballs are delicate in nature (the difference between ground beef and ground turkey) and full of flavor.

The baby bok choy definitely took the back seat in this dish. Although this was my first time cooking the baby version of bok choy and it was fun, in a culinary sense. I mean....how can something this beautiful inside not be fun to have in the kitchen?

I found this recipe in The Best of Cooking Light Everyday Favorites cookbook. And I did modify it a bit. Nothing major. Simple stuff like...using chicken broth instead of water, panko instead of breadcrumbs...quinoa instead of rice...coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. That sort of thing. The original recipe states that each serving (consisting of 3 meatballs, 2 bok choy halves, and 3 TB of sauce) is 251 calories. With the few changes I made, the calorie content didn't change. Chicken broth (according to the box) has 0 calories (am I the only one who's surprised by that?). Quinoa has the same amount of calories as the rice and coconut oil has as many calories as vegetable oil.

Want to dig a little deeper into the nutritional value of the changes I made? Who knows....maybe my version is a tiny bit healthier.

Quinoa has fewer carbs than rice, and more fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. The differences in those areas between quinoa and brown rice are not nearly as vast as it is with white rice. For more info on quinoa and detailed information about quinoa vs rice, this is a great site: Cookingquinoa.net/quinoa-vs-rice

As for coconut oil vs vegetable oil...I've done some minimal research and found contradicting information, debates, and claims that aren't proven yet. But...by simply looking at the labels, coconut oil is significantly lower in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. And it smells better. And...it has several uses other than cooking (kinda like how apple cider vinegar is multi-functional).

Tip: Fresh ginger. I store mine in the freezer. When a recipe calls for fresh ginger, I get out my microplane and zest away....frozen! It's quick and easy...and the ginger falls like snow. It defrosts almost instantly so there won't be a delay in using it for your recipes.

Turkey-Quinoa Meatballs with Baby Bok Choy
Printable Version

2/3 cup fat free chicken broth
1/3 cup rinsed, uncooked quinoa
1 1/4 lbs ground turkey
1/4 cup panko breakcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped green onions
3/4 tsp salt (or to taste, I used less)
1/4 tsp pepper (or to taste, I used more)
2 large egg whites
1 garlic clove, minced
Cooking Spray
Bok Choy:
6 baby bok choy
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 TB shredded fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 3/4 cup fat free chicken broth
3 TB low sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 1/2 TB dry sherry
2 tsp cornstarch

In a small saucepan, combine the chicken broth and rinsed quinoa. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 25 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed.

Combine the cooked quinoa with the ground turkey, breadcrumbs, green onions, salt, pepper, egg whites, and garlic.

Shape into meatballs (should make 18 balls).

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray and cook the meatballs until brown on all sides (this should take about 5 minutes).

(clearing throat).....by the time I'm done, mine can no longer truly be called...meat"balls".

I always end up with 3 dimensional triangles.

Moving on....

Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking for another 10 minutes or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, cut each baby bok choy lenghwise and rinse under cold water. Place in a steamer basket.

Heat oil in a dutch oven or other heavy pot, over medium heat. Add the onion, ginger and garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Place the steamer basket in the pot.

Combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar and red pepper. Pour over the bok choy.

Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium and steam for 20 minutes or until tender. (I think I over steamed mine...oops).

Remove the steaming basket with the bok choy, set aside and keep warm. Keep the liquid in there.

In a teeny tiny bowl, combine the sherry and cornstarch. Add it to the liquid in the pot, bring to a boil. Cook for a minute or until slightly thick.

Pour sauce over meatballs and serve with bok choy


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Looks fabulous!!! Love the pictures!!

  3. Oh that looks yummy! I was never brave enough to try bok choy, but I think now I just might :)

  4. Both the meatballs and the bok choy look incredibly delicious. Amazing caramelization on the turkey/quinoa meatballs. Yum!

    Jenn/Rook No. 17


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