Tuesday, January 20, 2015

CIC-Lemongrass and Quinoa

I have been accepted into a new cooking club.  This one is called Crazy Ingredient Challenge.  This challenge is kind of liked Chopped.  Now you know, if you are a regular reader, that I am a huge Chopped fan so this is right up my alley.

This month's challenge is hosted by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade.  Being new to this club means I am also new to many of the member's blogs.  I had never been to Spatula's on Parade before this challenge so I spent a little bit of time nosing around.

What I found is Dawn and I have a lot in common.  We are both empty nesters, we both were encouraged by fb friends to start a blog and/or write a cookbook, we both have grand-daughters who we refer to as Little Miss, she has 3 kitties and I have 3 dogs and we both have son's in the military.
Dawn has a great recipe page all divided into categories. I look forward to digging further into those posts in the next few weeks.

In this club we, the bloggers, vote for which 2 ingredients we are going to get stuck with to use each month. This month's ingredients are Lemongrass and Quinoa.   While searching for a recipe that inspired me, I came across another blogger, Stephanie, of I am a Food Blog.  Over 250 delicious looking recipes including this one for Lemongrass Pork Meatball Quinoa Bowl.  Talk about a perfect fit.  It was like Stephanie made this just for this challenge.

Mix together your ingredients and shape them into 2" meatballs.
Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
Start the Quinoa according to package directions.
It should take approximately the same amount of time as the meatballs to cook.

While the meatballs and quinoa are cooking put together your fish vinaigrette.

And prep your vegetables.

I placed 1/2 c. of quinoa in each bowl.
Topped it with the vegetables.
Nestled the meatballs in and garnished with the cilantro, mint and a slice of lime.
Serve with the fish sauce to be ladled on to each bowl according to taste.

Lemongrass Pork Meatball Quinoa Bowl
very slightly adapted from I am a Food Blog


1 lb. ground pork
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
1 egg
2 T. finely minced lemongrass (I used 2 T. Gourmet Garden)
2 garlic cloves, minced (I used 2 t. Gourmet Garden)
1/4 of an onion, finely diced
1/2 T. fish sauce
1 T. sugar
4 scallions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375*.  Mix together all ingredients.  Shape into 2" balls and place on a baking sheet that has been lined with aluminum foil.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Turn on broiler and allow to broil for a few minutes to brown a bit.

Fish Sauce Vinaigrette

1 t. Gourmet Garden garlic paste
1/8 t. Gourmet Garden chili paste
2 1/2 T. sugar
juice from 1/2 lime
3/4 c. water
2 T. fish sauce

Combine all ingredients in a jar fitted with a lid.  Shake vigorously until sugar dissolves and all ingredients are blended.

Quinoa Bun Bowl

2 c. cooked quinoa
2 c. shredded romaine lettuce
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1/2 small English cucumber, thinly sliced
2 slices lime, halved for garnish
cilantro leaves for garnish
mint leaves for garnish

Place 1/2 c. quinoa in a shallow bowl, top with the lettuce, sprinkle with the carrots, add cucumber slices.  Nestle 4-5 meatballs into the bowl.  Garnish with the lime, mint and cilantro.  Serve with the Fish Sauce Vinaigrette adding to taste.  Print Recipe


  1. This sounds delicious. I have only recently even heard of quinoa. Is it like rice? Dr. Oz has been talking about it. And what the heck is fish sauce. You are really opening up my 'foodie' eyes to new things.

  2. Quinoa is a grain. It has kind of s nuttiness to it, I thought. Fish sauce is an Asian ingredient. You find it by the soy sauce. This was my first time making quinoa. We liked it. It reminded me a bit of couscous but heartier

    1. I like couscous so I must give quinoa a try. And I will look for fish sauce!

  3. I love everything about this. Welcome!

    1. Thank you Lauren. My daughter is having the leftovers for lunch right now.

  4. Delicous! I have to make this one.

  5. I made meatballs too! This looks wonderful and the dressing sounds so tasty!

  6. I just love quinoa and thinking of new ways to use it. I have not tried lemongrass, but I bet it adds great flavor to dishes!

    1. This was a very good dish Laura. Let me know what you think if you decide to try it.

  7. Me too Laura Dembrowski. You may like a recipe I made over the summer with quinoa. It was a cold salad with asparagus and shrimp and dill dressing of sorts. I will look up the recipe and forward it to you, or at least tell you where to find it. It was on a recipe site. was really yummy. Made it for Wendy and Frank . We had it with my chicken Parmesan recipe. And Wendy, this looks delish. I will have to try sometime. I always love your dishes. I could make a cookbook just out of what you have put on this blog. :)

    1. Thanks Karen and Laura the recipe she is going to share with you is tremendous.

  8. This quinoa bowl sounds delicious!

  9. Hubby and I love bowls, but our son likes his food separate. This could easily be made to accommodate all of us. Yummy combination.

  10. This sounds awesome.. You did a great job for your first challenge..


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