Zucchini Noodles with Peanut Sauce and Leek-y Meatballs

I’m going to be honest.  I’m a terrible meatball maker.  I’m also a terrible meatball namer.  They taste great, but generally look horrible and leek-y? I couldn’t come up with something better?

I don’t know how people get their meatballs to be round and beautiful.  Mine end up a little bit like patties, but they taste awesome.

Because they taste awesome, I really can’t complain.  So let me tell you about these (slightly ugly but delicious) meatballs.

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What I love about these meatballs is that the vegetables are still a little bit crunchy, so they have a great texture.  But what I REALLY love is the peanut sauce that went with it.  I intended to make Italian flavored meatballs with added leeks, but then I tried them and they reminded me of potsticker filling, so I decided to go for an Asian twist.  And thus peanut sauce was necessary.  Peanut Sauce is the perfect addition.  I’m totally into it.    

 

The other magical part of this meal is that it’s almost paleo and 100% healthy.  The paleo part doesn’t really matter to me, but the healthy part does.  I’m always looking for great-tasting healthy recipes, that’s why I’m such a big fan of this.  That said, if the paleo part matters to you, use almond butter or sunflower butter in place of peanut butter and it’s 100% paleo! ZucchiniPeanutNoodles4

Zucchini Noodles with Peanut Sauce and Leek-y Meatballs

6 zucchinis, spiralized or julienned
1 lb lean ground turkey
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 leek (white part only), finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp olive oil

For Peanut Sauce:

1/4 cup coconut aminos (or low sodium soy sauce, if paleo doesn’t matter to you)
1-4 tbsp water*
1/4 cup natural peanut butter (or sunflower seed butter or almond butter if you want to make it paleo)
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 small knob of fresh ginger (about 1 inch, about 1 tbsp)
1 tsp sriracha, or more to taste (optional)

 

Make meat balls.  Combine turkey, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, leeks, egg, salt and pepper using your hands.  Roll into 25-30 small balls (a little larger than a walnut).  Heat olive oil in a pan.  Cook meat balls about 10 minutes, turning occasionally until cooked through.  Alternatively, you can bake them at 450F on a parchment paper lined sheet for about 25-30 minutes.  (Note: I made these another time but I caramelized the onions and leeks first and it was awesome.  Just saying… in case you want to try that)

 

Next make peanut sauce.  Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Blend until well combined. *I’ve made the sauce with 4 tbsp of water, it’s a bit runny, which I like, but if you want it thicker, use less.  You might need to adjust the coconut aminos to make sure it’s not too salty.

 

Toss zucchini noodles with sauce (reserve some extra peanut sauce for drizzling), plate noodles, top with meat balls and drizzle with extra peanut sauce.   Garnish with cilantro and chopped peanuts if you’d like.  If not, just serve and devour.   I’m having a really hard time deciding the serving size for this recipe because I eat massive amounts of vegetables.  This recipe will serve about 4 people, but I got 3 meals out of it with left over meatballs (because I tend to eat more vegetables than meat).

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I’ve made this twice now and loved it both times.  It’s pretty quick and easy, but seriously tasty.  I recommend it, if you’re looking for a tasty meal to add to your healthy dinner rotation.

 

Do you have any awesome meatball-making tips?

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Arugula Salad with Lentils and Spiced Butternut Squash

Hi everyone!  I hope you all had a very happy Christmas, ate lots delicious food and spent time with family.

With my family, our holidays revolve around food and this Christmas was no different. We ate tons of tamales

and the only times we weren’t eating were the short walks we took to hang out with the neighbor’s llamas, ponies and donkeys.

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No, I’m not back in Peru.  People in LA County have pet llamas.   But other than llama sighting.  We mostly ate.

I don’t know about you, but after Christmas eating, I need vegetables.  Well really, I just think I need to eat normal, so that’s what I’m trying to do, but adding a few extra vegetables in there for good measure.

This morning, I finally tried Kodiak Cakes.  If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Like Foodologie on Facebook, you’ll remember that I won a few boxes of Kodiak Cakes through their 12 days of giveaways.  I decided to make some this morning

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Along with their red raspberry syrup.  Overall, they’re super tasty! What I especially love is that they use all natural ingredients (and not to mention easy! You just add water!).

Then for lunch, I had this amazing salad.

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It might not look that magical, but I promise it is.  It’s light but hearty enough to be a meal on its own. The mint makes it taste fresh and clean.  I’ve been making this salad for years so to be perfectly honestly, I can’t remember where I discovered it.  Someone deserves credit, I just can’t remember who.

Arugula Salad with Lentils and Spiced Butternut Squash

adapted from somewhere I can’t remember…

1/2 butternut squash, diced
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 to 1 cup lentils, dry
6 cups arugula1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
4 oz (or more) goat cheese

Pre-heat oven to 375F.  Toss diced butternut squash with paprika, cumin, 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet at bake for 15 minutes. Toss and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until crispy and cooked through. Please note: this cooking time may vary depending how how big you diced the butternut squash and how intense your oven is, so check it every so often and toss to make sure it doesn’t burn.

While the butternut squash roasts, cook the lentils.  Cover in water and boil about 20 minutes (or until tender).  Once cooked through, rinse and set aside.

Once the lentils and squash are ready, assemble the salad.  In a large bowl, toss together arugula, mint, 2 tbsp olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Scoop some of the salad on a plate, top with goat cheese, lentils and butternut squash. Serve and enjoy!

Feel free to made adjustments. I love mint so I’m a fan of tons of mint.  Don’t love mint? Omit it.  Out of goat cheese or hate its guts? Replace it with manchego! If you don’t like manchego, then we just can’t be friends.  But if you want to make it vegan and omit the cheese, I’m a-okay with that.

I have a feeling this is going to be salad week for me.  Be on the look out for some healthy eats and New Years resolutions in the days to come!

How was your Christmas?  What was the best thing you ate?

Black Bean Enchiladas

So on this thing that I’m calling Operation Make-Dinner (my desperate way to make myself eat healthy meals instead of snacking for dinner), I’m realizing that one person doesn’t require that much food.

I can cook two large (and my large I mean 4-6 servings) per week and that will last for lunch and dinner throughout the week.  Luckily, I don’t get tired of eating the same thing over and over again.

Earlier this week, I made Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash.  I had it for dinner once, then lunch two consecutive days after.

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So on the days when I had Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash for lunch, I had Black Bean Enchiladas for dinner.

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These aren’t super fancy enchiladas like the kind you have in restaurants, these are much simpler and healthier.  I didn’t fry the tortillas, they’re not filled with fatty meats and cheese.  It’s mostly beans and vegetables, sauce and a sprinkle of cheese.

For a week night meal, that’s what it should be: mostly vegetables.  I used shredded carrots and bell peppers because that’s what I had on-hand (the carrots were left over from the Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash).

To make life easier (and for portion control), I baked them in small glass containers (instead of a large 9×13 pan)

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Black Bean Enchiladas

1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 cup shredded carrots
1 bell pepper (I used a bunch of mini bell peppers)
2 cups black beans (I cooked them Guatemala style last week, but you can use canned too)
1-2 tsp cumin powder (depending on how you like it)
1/4 cilantro, finely chopped (plus extra for garnish, optional)
juice of 1 lime
12-15 tortillas
1-2 large (28oz) cans of enchilada sauce (or make your own)*

Heat oil in a large skillet.  Add onions, pepper and carrots and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.  Stir in black beans and cumin, cook an additional 3 minutes.  Stir in cilantro and squeeze in lime juice, stir until well-combined.   This filling is awesome on it’s own, I had leftovers and am planning to eat it just with some rice…

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But back to the recipe…

Pre-heat oven to 375F.  Next start to assemble enchiladas, pour some of the enchilada sauce in to the bottom of whatever baking dish you use (I used 3 small ones, only made 9 enchiladas and had left over filling as another meal with rice).  Heat tortillas in the microwave to soften (if they break when you try to roll them, just microwave for a few seconds), place some of the filling down the middle, roll tortilla and place seamside-down in the baking dish.  Repeat until you’ve filled your dish or you run out of tortillas and filling.  Pour remaining enchilada sauce over tortillas and sprinkle with cheese.  Bake 20-30 minutes or until the sauce bubbles.  Remove from oven, allow to cool a few minutes then serve with sour cream, cilantro and avocado.

*Note: I like a lot of sauce, I used one big (28 oz can) for 9 enchiladas, so if you’re making more you might want to get 2 cans.  If you like it less saucy, then one can would be enough.

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These were a great dinner two nights in a row.  I still have leftovers for tonight, which is great!

This weekend, I’m not making dinners, because Saturday I’m having a chicken and waffle party and I’m wayyy too excited.  Can’t wait to tell you about it!

What are your plans for the weekend?

June Goals: Meal Plan and Make Dinner

Hi All.  Remember wayyy back when, when I did the Paleo Challenge?  Oh yeah, who could forget… the two weeks I turned into a crazy bitch.

Well, I remember at the end of that whole debacle, one of the lessons I learned was that I need to make dinner more often.  I have a really hard time with that.  Usually, I kind of just snack on things: a tortilla with beans, random pieces of cheese, handfuls of chocolate chips, a yogurt, pretzels, any other random thing I can find.  I rarely ever have a meal.

Tonight, I knew I was going to make

Strawberry Shortcake in a Jar (don’t worry recipe blog post about this is coming soon!) to photograph for a blog post.  Before I came home, I stopped by Subway to get a sandwich to avoid eating cake for dinner, because I know myself.  I would seriously just eat cake for dinner and call it a night.  But that’s not good for you.

So as I was eating my Subway sandwich

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I began to think…  I make myself get out of bed at 5:20am to get to the gym by 6am, even though I want to stay in bed more than anything.  Somehow I manage to get my butt up and move it.  I really can make myself have a real, healthy dinner at least 3 nights a week.  That shouldn’t be that hard, right?  I think it just comes down to habit.

Most days, I come home from work and just don’t really feel like making dinner for myself.  If Jesse is having dinner with me (usually once a week), then I have no problem making a meal.  But just for me.  No fun.

But that needs to change.

So I decided to make it a person and blog goal in June is to make healthy dinners a few times a week and blog about it.  I’m not talking about the usual desserts and ridiculous treats I think are fun to blog about… like pie

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I’m talking about quick and easy things that I should actually be eating… sort of like I did during the Paleo Challenge… like my epic paleo dinner of chicken and mushrooms over cauliflower puree

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and my quick and easy paleo dinner.

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It just takes a little bit of planning.  This won’t be paleo all over again, but I will try to keep it healthy.

Now I should say, I don’t see anything wrong with having a Subway sandwich for dinner.  It’s probably healthier than most things I would have been eating, but $5 for dinner is a little too much to spend every night in my opinion.

So here it goes… what should I make tomorrow night?

Does anyone else struggle with this?  Have any quick and easy recipes to share with me?