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Quinoa Pizza Balls

It was my first visit to this holistic practitioner, and I knew from the outset it was the place for me. Shutting out the mid-day hubbub of Toronto’s Yonge Street behind me, I swung open the heavy oak door; inside, there was a comfortable hush in the air, like padding through a field of snow.  The receptionist smiled and led me to the plush waiting room where I was offered a cup of freshly brewed ginger tea (Why yes, I’d love some, thanks.). With its deep, cushy sofas, fireplace and infusion of natural light, the room felt like the kind in which I’d be comfortable meditating, or napping, or sinking into a juicy novel.

When it was my turn, I followed the assistant upstairs to the examination room, where she offered me a parrafin wax treatment: one at a time, my hands were immersed into a basin of liquid, lavender-scented wax, caressing my fingers in soothing warmth before the assistant blanketed them in thick terrycloth mitts. Throughout the actual appointment, the doctor explained each procedure and the rationale behind it; at each step of the way, she asked if it was all right to proceed (it was). After about an hour in the chair, I was sad to learn I’d miss the usual final step in the procedure–a complimentary reflexology treatment–as the reflexologist was on vacation that week (Darn! Well, next time.).

I left the office feeling relaxed and pampered, yet impressed by the knowledge, compassion and professional care of the staff. You know, it almost makes me want to head back to the dentist again as soon as I—

What?!  Did I just say, “THE DENTIST”?

That’s right, folks.  That was a dental appointment. Yep, I’m pretty sure I can get behind this whole “holistic dentistry” thing.

After all of your advice,  commiseration and feedback during my Ordeal Number One (the Ordeal of the Root Canal) over the past couple of weeks, I decided to pursue the holistic route. For that, I thank you. And thanks, too, for all the links and information you imparted that led me to this new dentist. At this point, since my pain has subsided substantially and the root is apparently still alive, her best advice is to wait and see, and re-visit in a month or so–so that’s what I’m going to do.

I’m sorry to say that our little Chaser did not have an equally positive experience during her recent appointment at the Vee Eee Tee last week (note to non-dog owners: certain words, like W-A-L-K, or T-R-E-A-T, or the aforementioned V-E-T, must always be spelled out to avoid evoking a canine reaction that can instantly escalate from “happy and alert” to “your sofa has just been ripped into forty-seven pieces.”).

Although our Vee Eee Tee is, herself, extremely warm, knowledgeable and accomplished in her field, none of that means anything to our wee one, who has suffered dread fear ever since her first N-A-I-L trim.  At her annual appointment last week, I fairly had to drag her into the examining room, after which she cowered under the table until the Vee Eee Tee and her assistant coaxed encouraged bribed hauled her out for her shots. It pained me to cradle Chaser’s little head, pupils large as stormclouds, as the Vee Eee Tee administered the rabies vaccine (at which, ironically, Chaser didn’t even flinch; she didn’t feel a thing).

Oddly enough, as I remarked to the Vee Eee Tee, her office is the only place where our Girls literally swap personalities for a time: Elsie, normally as laid back as a hung over surfer snoozing on the beach, transforms into a prancing, whining, leaping spitfire even as we approach the building; while Chaser, normally the epitome of “In Your Face,” trembles uncontrollably, her ears plastered against her head, tail curled so far under her belly that it almost peeks out from her collar, in an effort to evade the N-A-I-L trimmer.

[“Mum, you exaggerate.  I wasn’t cowering under that examining table. . . I was, er, um. . .trying to hide this geeky pink bandage.  Yeah, that’s right. . . I mean, you should have known that all the cool kids at the doggie daycare wear yellow, Mum. ]

Once we finally returned home from the ordeal, I found myself craving comfort food (preferably something easy to cook and not too hard on the teeth).  For the HH, pizza is the quintessential convenience food; but for me, pizza means a homemade crust that is almost never quick to make. Then I remembered a recipe I’d seen almost a year ago on Oh She Glows, for these Quinoa Pizza Balls (unfortunately, I could no longer find the recipe on Angela’s site). Not only quick and easy, they’re also bite-sized so you don’t have to worry about eating half a pizza at one sitting (totally hypothetical example, you understand).

I was enjoying a plate of pizza balls and salad within about half an hour, and let me tell you, they were good. Crispy exterior with a soft, moist center, and a definite flavor of a traditional Margherita pizza (minus the mozzarella, of course), they were just what I needed that afternoon, as The Girls and I recovered from Ordeal Number Two (the Ordeal of the Vee Eee Tee).

“Mum, the pizza balls were okay and everything, but I think I would have preferred that reflexology treament.”

This recipe is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

Never miss a recipe–or a comment from The Girls! Click here to subscribe to Diet, Dessert and Dogs via email. (“We love subscribers, Mum. . . almost as much as we love treats!”)

Last Year at this Time: Chocolate Bean Butter (gluten free; ACD Stage 3 and beyond)

Two Years Ago: Zucchini Pie with Potato Crust (gluten free; ACD stage 2 and beyond)

Three Years Ago: Green and Gold Warm Summer Salad (gluten free; ACD all stages)

Four Years Ago: Muhammara (can be gluten free; ACD maintenance)

© Ricki Heller, Diet, Dessert and Dogs

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56 comments to Quinoa Pizza Balls

  • So glad you both survived your ordeals! These pizza balls look awesome!!!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Chava, SO nice to see your name pop up here!! Well, I survived, anyway–I think Chaser is still moping. 😉 And glad the QPB’s look good to you, too! 😀

    [Reply]

  • Hi Ricki!

    Found your blog via Dreena – that is a *fantastic* idea and I can’t wait to give it a go. Hope you get some help and relief from your dinner problems! Glad to have found your blog 🙂

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks so much, and welcome! Looks like the problems have resolved, for now at least. 😉 Hope you enjoy the pizza balls!

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  • These look awesome!
    I will be trying these for sure x

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks so much! Super easy and super flavorful. 🙂

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  • how delicious! these would be perfect for a party! super cute;)

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    I was thinking the same thing, Caralyn! I’m going to serve them as an appetizer at my next buffet. 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Michelle

    Where can I find such a dentist in my area, or how can I find one? I live in Colorado..Thanks! I really need one!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Hi Michelle,
    I’m in Toronto, so I am really not sure about where to go in the US. However, I imagine a Google search on “holistic dentist” or “alternative dentist” would bring up lots of options for you (that’s how I found mine). 🙂

    [Reply]

  • I think I could definitely get behind holistic dentistry. And I *know* I could get behind these pizza balls!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Ha ha! Yes, I was behind these pizza balls quite a bit last week. . . ! 😉

    [Reply]

  • Marty

    Ricki, dentist visit tomorrow with implant issues, wish holistic approach would’ve been helpful, not this time around. And the dogs, so glad the visit was not as traumatic, it sounds.

    Ricki, love the idea of quinoa pizza balls, a treat with fresh basil and herbs from our farmers market tomorrow.

    I still want to get two (special right?) of your e-books, by the end of the month? The breakfast and which other would be good for a gluten-free vegan of the others? Thank you,

    Marty

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Hi Marty,
    Sorry about the implants–but sometimes these things just can’t be helped. I still don’t know what the ultimate outcome will be re: my tooth.

    And thanks so much for your interest in the ebooks! They are all gluten free and vegan, so you could theoretically just get the one with recipes that appeal most to you. In terms of type of recipes, the books were created with successive stages of the ACD in mind. So Anti-Candida Feast contains mostly Stage One recipes (but not all); Desserts without Compromise has more for Stage Two; and the breakfast book has all three stages. That might be one way to decide!

    [Reply]

  • Oh, Ricki, visiting your blog is always a wonderful treat in every sense of the word! Thanks for sharing your experiences with such lovely imagery and for giving us the healthy version of comfort food that we are craving. Quinoa Pizza Balls are brilliant and look so divine!

    Shirley

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Aw, Shirley, thank you! I thought they were brilliant, too. . . wish I could say I created that recipe, but mine is just an adaptation! I do think it was a moment of brilliance for Anna. 🙂

    [Reply]

  • These look amazing!I have some leftover veggie stock and tomato paste sitting in my fridge and this will be the perfect use for it!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Sounds great, Jesse! I love recipes that allow me to use up leftovers. 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Nadine

    Completely cute article. 1st time on your site. Love your dog commentary. I really did Laugh Out Loud! Thanx and I love the idea of these little pizza balls.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks so much, Nadine! Laughing at any time is always a good thing. 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Marty

    Ricki: Thank you, now just deciding!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    My pleasure! 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Yum, these look amazing Ricki! Poor Chaser. Glad your visit went well though!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Yeah, at least one of us had a good appointment! 😉 And thanks. 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Oooh these look tasty and hearty Ricki! I’d love dipping them into tomato sauce!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    I bet they’d be great that way! I was thinking cheeze sauce–for a real “pizza” experience! 😉

    [Reply]

  • I can’t believe your dentist – and I thought I was doing well to have someone who was just a nice guy and didn’t charge like a wounded bull! Now I will be aiming higher!

    Love the sound of the pizza balls – I have got faster with pizza but not this fast – and I love the trendy presentation – food on a stick seems very much plat du jour!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    It really didn’t feel like being at the dentist, seriously. Of course, I haven’t had a filling done there yet. 😉 And yes, I agree–food on a stick is “in” these days. I was so proud of myself that I finally had a chance to use those little forks!! 🙂

    [Reply]

  • You’ve managed to take everything about the amazingness of pizza and put it into a bite sized morsel of quinoa. Genius! I can’t wait to try it!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks, Alyssa! I loved them. Wish I could say I had the idea first! 😉

    [Reply]

  • Wow, I love this idea, I can’t wait to try these. I’ve been missing pizza a little bit and never thought of making balls, you’re a genius regardless even if it wasn’t your idea. I think I might try adding a little polenta to the mix.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Oooh, polenta is a great idea! I might even go for a polenta-instead-of-quinoa Pizza Balls recipe! 😀

    [Reply]

  • Catherien

    Review:
    I made these tonight with a few variations. I have not specific diets to keep (other than kosher) so I used couscous because I was out of quinoa. And i did add a little cube of raw cheese to the center. They were a bit gooey but tasty. One kid ate them, one kid didn’t but that is very normal! 🙂 Thanks for the creative recipe!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks so much! I’m intrigued by the cous cous (which I haven’t had in years). And also the gooey part! Mine were even a little dry, if anything! Was it the cheese that made it gooey?

    [Reply]

  • Pizza with quinoa? Is it possible?? These look delicious! I will be trying them out this Labor Day weekend for sure. Thanks for posting!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    I know–it sounds like a crazy combination, doesn’t it? But it works! 🙂 Hope you have a great long weekend.

    [Reply]

  • Silvia

    it is amazing recipe. Thank you!

    [Reply]

  • These pizza balls sound fantastic- I need to keep these in mind for the next time I am craving pizza. 🙂 I hope the holistic dentist works out for you and I hope your teeth feel better soon!

    [Reply]

  • Veggie Sara

    Those balls are looking fine! 😉 They do look really good and I’ld love to try them.

    [Reply]

  • This is such an amazing recipe! I shared it with my facebook followers via https://www.facebook.com/ACraftyGourmet
    I can’t wait to try it!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks so much! 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Dara

    I love these! I am always looking for creative quinoa ideas. Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Glad you like them! They were a great combination of easy and delicious. 🙂

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  • Ricki, I can see so many fabulous variations on this recipe, using different kinds of beans and seasonings… I’m sure I’ll be stealing this idea very soon 😉

    [Reply]

    Cara Reply:

    PS – I am surprised you didn’t make a raw “cheese” sauce to dip them in !

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Cara, didn’t have time the day I snapped the photo, but they will be dipped very soon! 🙂

    [Reply]

  • […] making an appearance on food blogs these days.  How about including falafel balls, pizza balls, truffle balls or energy balls in your […]

  • oh yum, these are definitely getting made!! how i wish i had gone to a wholistic dentist… glad you had a good appointment 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Wow! Very tasty! Great use of quinoa! Thanks for this awesome recipe!

    [Reply]

  • What a creative idea!

    I love that you use quinoa. We don’t much like the flavor on it’s own over here. I have successfully incorporated it with a pilaf recipe I came up with. This would be an awesome recipe to try.

    Do you think we could substitute the 2 cups of cooked beans for refried beans? If so, what would the amount be? I’m assuming when you mash the beans the amount is reduced down from 2 cups. I’m just looking for a quick shortcut. With 4 kids this would be a great after school snack before homework.
    Caryn

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Hi Caryn,

    Thanks so much! I’m not sure I understand your question, though: there are no refried beans in this recipe. You just mash the beans along with everything else–2 cups cooked beans. You can certainly use canned (I think that’s what I did). Hope that answers your question! 🙂

    [Reply]

  • I was out of kidney beans so I used chickpeas [ I think these are called gabanzo beans in the US ] and that worked out fine

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Sounds like a great variation–yum!! 🙂

    [Reply]

  • […] Quinoa Pizza Balls from Diet, Dessert, and Dogs Ever since I first saw these I thought the looked amazing!  […]

  • Glad to hear that the quinoa pizza balls were a hit! I knew I’d struck gold when I tasted them. They’re one of my favorite recipes! 😉

    [Reply]

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