The ol' lunch on the beach. You know, the kind of packed lunch that is packed with only excitement. Thoughts of the day spent lazily on the beach, thumbing through a stack of magazines, and maybe even getting into the water (strictly ankle deep, it's only the 2nd of July and I'm not insane). The day will only be improved by a lovingly packed lunch, perhaps some hoagies or a slew of snacks.
The sun strikes lunchtime and your stomach is in agreement. You fish through your chic straw tote that is essentially drowning in sand, or you reach for your hard-sided Playmate cooler that has more ice than anything else inside, or even better you head towards your very family wheeled cooler that took quite an emotional toll on you to get to the vary sandy spot you parked your family for the day. Either way, lunch usually falls short. It's too messy, requires plastic wear, gets infiltrated by sand, doesn't stay cold enough, and ironically, gets wet from the ice water that is leaking in from the over abundance of ice you packed to ensure the perfect coolness.
Enter, quinoa balls. I know, I know... keep reading.
These bad gals are super easy to make, easier to transport, and even easier to eat. Sold yet? You just need 20 minutes, clean hands, and Tupperware. They are super nutritious, filling, and require no refrigeration on the beach. Plus, the joy of eating with your hands is real. Right?
Here's to a successfully chill day at the beach!
Quinoa Beach Balls
From the Pantry
2 cups quinoa, cooked and somewhat cooled
1 15 ounce can of black beans, rinsed
1 15 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
From the Market
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 small carrot
zest of 1 lime
juice of 2 limes
Makes about 20 balls, about 5 servings
Combine black beans, chickpeas, cumin, oil, salt and pepper, cilantro, carrot, lime zest and juice in food processor or blender. Blend on high until it has a thick, creamy, hummus-like consistency. If it's a too chunky and not at all creamy, add a little water (up to a 1/4 cup).
In a separate bowl, mix quinoa and black bean mixture together until you have a somewhat sticky mound, resembles ground meat. Form the 1.5" diameter balls using a spoon or ice cream scoop and place onto a plate.
On medium-high heat, heat olive oil and place the balls in a shallow pan. Do not crowd the pan. Cook the balls on 4 sides for a few minutes each side. They should be slightly browned and crispy, but not falling apart.
Remove from heat and transfer balls to a paper towel to leave behind excess oil.
These are great to eat right away (I like mine with tzatziki) but if we're going to the beach, let them cool then place into tupperware of choice and refrigerate until takeoff.
Ok to save the balls for a few days in the fridge.