Breadcrumb Alternatives For Your Meatballs

It's genius by accident day! This, as any cook will tell you, is a very happy occasion. It means we took two unlikely candidates, smashed them together, fried them up and it didn't suck even a little. Oh look, knife-shaped confetti! How ironic!

Anyway, I was futzing with some ground turkey sausage and herbs with meatballs on the mind and decided, firmly, that I didn't want to use breadcrumbs because that's boring. I looked around for alternatives. Crushed up Cheez-Its? It totally worked for that mac and cheese recipe everyone's so crazy about. Nah, that crosses the gross border. How about crushed up cornflakes? Ground saltine crackers? I began doubting my abilities to even put two ingredients together at an adult level, and then I saw the container of leftover quinoa and vegetable salad in the fridge.

I divided the sausage into two bowls and dumped the quinoa salad into one. Then I made couscous, let it chill and firm up a little in the fridge and added it to the second bowl. The ratio was about 2 cups of each to a pound of sausage.

Both the gluten-free quinoa meatballs and couscous-stuffed meatballs turned out basically as juicy and fluffy as their breadcrumb-laden counterparts. But I realized — especially with the quinoa meatballs due to the protein content — that if you're trying to cut down on meat (or bread for that matter) these meatballs are a great trick. You can gradually increase the ratio of quinoa or couscous, or even buckwheat groats if we're really going the alternative grain route, and barely notice the difference.

Ideally my next hack will be slightly more useful than "meatball." I can't figure out how to make the wheels on my bedframe stop rolling around every time I get into bed, for instance, and I officially can't take it anymore. There's a lever somewhere, right? Should I just get a real bed?

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