Mushroom Quinoa Meatball Sandwiches

Vegetarian "meatballs" are usually a good way to incorporate numerous ingredients in a convenient single form. I've always loved sandwiches, but now that I'm a vegetarian it's a little more difficult to create a good vegetarian sandwich. We've been able to come up with a few solid recipes, but I usually prefer something more substantial than just some vegetables on a sandwich.

These same "meatballs" would be good with zoodles or served in slider buns instead of a bratwurst roll. 

-3/4 cup of quinoa, dry (I used white, but any color will work)
-1 1/2 cups water
-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-1 medium yellow onion, diced
-8 ounces button mushrooms, diced
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 teaspoons dried oregano
-1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
-3 tablespoons tomato paste
-salt and pepper, to taste
-bread of choice (I used bratwurst rolls)
-red sauce of choice (I used roasted garlic sauce from a local grocery store)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and cook the quinoa by boiling 1 1/2 cups of water with the 3/4 cup quinoa. Turn the mixture down to a simmer and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until quinoa is cooked and water is completely absorbed.

Heat the two tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet and add in the diced yellow onion. Saute for 5 minutes, then add in the diced mushrooms. Saute for another 5 minutes or until the onions and mushrooms are cooked. Next add the garlic and all spices, cook for an additional minute and remove from the heat.

Add the quinoa into the skillet with 3 tablespoons of tomato paste and stir to coat everything. Lastly add the fresh basil and any additional seasoning.

Form the mixture into about 15 "meatballs" of roughly the same size and then bake the quinoa "meatballs" for 20-25 minutes or until crispy on the outside.

In the last minutes of the "meatballs" cooking toast the bread you're choosing to use and heat up the tomato sauce.

Layer 3-4 "meatballs" on the bread and top with sauce and mozzarella cheese.


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