This delicious super easy meal prep is what your lunch bag is dreaming of! The spicy buffalo kick wakes you up and the quinoa keeps you fuller for longer.Jump to Recipe
For this week I tried to continue my healthy trend, I’ve been feeling more motivated and less hungry during the day! So obviously, I want that feeling to continue! This week I made little meatballs with ground chicken and quinoa! Also, I would drink a bottle of buffalo sauce that’s how much I love it. I was so excited to get the meatballs cooking that I totally forgot to make the quinoa first! Which of course was the most important part. So I had to wait for the rice pot to cool because I had JUST used it for something else. And yes, we have a designated rice pot in our kitchen. It’s just…the easiest to clean and it’s the perfect size!
So I waited for the pot to cool, cleaned it, and THEN I set up the quinoa. Which cooks quickly – only 18 minutes. But, in the past, I’ve made the mistake of trying to fold HOT quinoa into ground beef (or chicken in this case) and it is NOT FUN for your hands. So moral of the story is make sure to get the quinoa cooking first!!!
Easy Meal Prep, Trust Me!
I know, it sounds like a lot of work. There are a lot of steps, AND you have to cook the meatballs in separate batches. I did about three batches, but trust me by the third one, you’ll be a pro. But really, this is a super easy recipe! The quinoa simmers without interference and sauteing some onions and garlic? If you’ve been here before, you’ve already learned this! I even used the same pot my quinoa cooked in! (Can you imagine, I ended up cleaning that pot THREE separate times to use it again).
I also really enjoy making meatballs, I don’t know it’s just fun! I remember making meatballs with my mom when I was a kid. Now I’m making them by myself! Though I don’t think she would have EVER made me a buffalo chicken one! But she did watch over me as I made these (and loved them too!) and she gave me another piece of knowledge to add to my collection. Form all your meatballs first! I don’t know how I had never thought of this before. I formed the meatballs and lined them up on my cutting board, ready for me the grab the next batch seamlessly!
Brussel Sprouts – The Perfect Addition To This Easy Meal Prep
I didn’t want to just eat meatballs at lunch, that would get boring REAL fast. And I’ve been known to ORDER FOOD to the office even though I brought food with me because I was bored of it. I know, I’m the worst. But I hope I’m not alone, I mean it’s so easy! You click a few buttons and suddenly there’s a sandwich on my desk.
Anywhere, what was I taking about? I got distracted thinking about that sandwich…RIGHT, brussel sprouts. I mean, what’s easier than roasting vegetables!! Come on, people, who would I be if I didn’t roast some vegetables. Stay tuned for next week…maybe I’ll get wild and roast more vegetables! You oil em and throw them in the oven?! The easiest. They cooked to perfection while I made my meatballs.
Benefits of Quinoa
Honestly I’m stilling learning about quinoa. I know it’s been popular for so many years now but I was never really drawn to it before. I’d never had a quinoa that excited me, and I have never imagined experimenting with it. But, I’ve seen a lot, and I mean A LOT, of recipes incorporating quinoa into meatballs and I figured why not? And now? I’m going to have to try harder to used quinoa. Especially after learning some of it’s benefits.
Quinoa is a great source of antioxidants, vitamins, and iron. Not only that but there is so much protein and fiber in quinoa as well, double the fiber of other grains. I added quinoa to this recipe because, as I’ve stated previously, I only have 30 minutes to eat my lunch as work. While we can eat at our desks as well, I am usually too busy to think about food again. Which then causes me to eat everything I can get my hands on the second I step through my front door because I’m HUNGRY.
Quinoa, being so high in protein and fiber, is said to keep you feeling fuller, longer. So hopefully, when I get home from work I am not feeling as ravenously hungry. If it works out, expect some more quinoa heavy meal prep recipes! In fact, looking into some of the benefits on quinoa, I made mental note to introduce quinoa into my dinners as well. Typically we use brown rice, but I think they will accept the change, given all the health benefits.
Red Quinoa vs. White Quinoa
So look, I’m not pretending I’m a professional chef. I’m learning right now as much as you are. If you’re reading this, make sure you subscribe so you can stay up to date with the lessons. I did not know there was a difference between red and white quinoa until I started writing out this recipe. So here’s what I found out.
White quinoa cooks quicker, and it has a more subtle flavor. The consistency ends up being fluffier, meanwhile red quinoa has a bit more of a crunch to it. We had red quinoa in my pantry and being on a tight budget means you use what you have before buying anything else. So I used the quinoa we had which resulted in a nuttier flavor. Whereas white quinoa is more delicate and airy. The next time I make this for lunch, and I WILL be making it again, I’ll try the white quinoa and I’ll let you know what I think.
And I learned something else while researching for this recipe as well! There’s black quinoa too! I don’t think I’ve ever seen black quinoa in my local grocery store. Which makes sense because it’s the least common which makes it difficult to find. Similar to red quinoa it has much more flavor than white quinoa. While red has a prominent nutty flavor, black quinoa has a more earthy taste. If I ever manage to get my hands on some, I’ll let you know which one is my favorite!
To see some of my other meal prep adventures – click here!
Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bites
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 large egg
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 Tbsp parsley
- 3 Tbsps olive oil divided
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup quinoa cooked
- 1/4 cup buffalo sauce
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook quinoa using package instructions.
- Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cook 7 – 10 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
- In large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, onion and garlic, ground chicken, egg, buffalo sauce, cheese, breadcrumb, parsley, salt, and pepper.
- Create meatballs, 1 – 2 inches each. `
- Brown meatballs on all sides, 7 – 10 minutes each side. I had to make 2 batches.
- Drizzle with buffalo sauce and sprinkle with parsley to garnish.