I was trying to think of a creative recipe title, but really this bowl is just a take on the banh mi sandwich. A layer of quinoa, meatballs seasoned with lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and chili powder, spiralized zucchinis & carrots, topped with pine nuts for a good amount of crunch. Just to clarify: I’ve never eaten a banh mi sandwich, but I’ve drooled over enough delicious food photos.
This is almost the same thing, except we’re ditching the bread for quinoa. Sometimes when I eat a sandwich (as delicious as they are) they just don’t fill me up. I always feel like I need a side with them…maybe a salad, potato chips, or soup. Enter banh mi made into bowls: no need for an extra side. Plus, there’s double the vegetables. Which means healthy and filling.
I’ve always been intrigued by zucchini noodles. Years ago, spaghetti squash noodles were all the rage, now zucchini noodles have taken their place. Normally, I cook zucchini noodles and I’m left with a mushy mess. And there’s a good chance I probably forgot to squeeze the excess water out first. Sad times. But, I’ve found a better way to eat my zucchini noodles! I chose to not cook them at all. Raw zucchini sounds strange, but they are tender and perfectly crisp after spiralizing. No more mushy noodles! Yay.
The meatballs sound like they have lots of different flavors. But they all combine to taste great. The lemongrass and ginger add a pop of freshness, while the chili powder adds a bit of spice. Don’t bother buying fresh lemongrass. It’s usually expensive and then you’ll have leftover lemongrass to find a use for. I just bought the pre-pureed lemongrass and it’s lasted an embarrassingly long time in my fridge. And the only thing I’ve used it for is making these meatballs. If anyone has other lemongrass recipes, send them my way!
Lemongrass Meatballs & Spiraled Vegetable Noodles Bowl
|Yield: serves 4 people|
A layer of quinoa, meatballs seasoned with lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and chili powder, spiralized zucchinis & carrots, topped with pine nuts for a good amount of crunch.
- 3 carrots, spiralized or thinly sliced
- 3-4 zucchini, spiralized
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 tablespoons lemongrass paste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- about 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions, divided
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- about half a large cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 lime
- Make the meatballs: In a medium bowl, place ground beef, lemongrass paste, garlic, arrowroot, salt, chili powder, ginger, 1/4 cup green onions. Mix until everything is combined. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll meatballs into about 1 inch balls. Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet, bake 13-18 minutes until cooked through and no pink remains.
- Assemble the bowls: Dividing among 4 bowls, place a scoop of quinoa, some zucchini noodles, carrots, meatballs, sesame seeds, pine nuts, cucumber slices, and the remaining 1/4 cup green onions. Squeeze lime juice over each plate.
images and text © North Coast Eats
adapted from Pinch of Yum