Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs

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Earlier this week, I didn’t know what to make for dinner. I had ground turkey in the freezer and a spaghetti squash in the fridge. Then I remembered that my friend posted Jessica Alba’s Turkey Meatballs on Facebook. It looked good and seemed simple enough to make. So with just one alteration, we had Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs for dinner! Yay! (And this recipe made so much I had leftovers for lunch. Yummy!)

RECIPE

  • 2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped zucchini
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  1. In a large bowl, mix turkey, almond meal, carrots, zucchini, onion, eggs, Italian seasoning, and salt. Form into 1-inch balls.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs and cook, turning, until browned, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth; cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is almost completely absorbed.
  4. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of broth and increase heat to medium; cook, uncovered, until liquid is absorbed.
  5. Serve over spaghetti squash, zoodles (zucchini noodles), or a side of roasted veggies.

Zucchini Brownies

zucchinibrownies

What?! Zucchini Brownies? It doesn’t sound appetizing but I can tell you that it is very good. It’s moist, rich, super dark, not too sweet, and yes, guilt-free (gluten-free, no refined sugar, no butter or oil, nut-free, and wheat-free). My 9-year old daughter loves them. My 4-year old son won’t try anything with the word “zucchini” it in no matter how chocolatey it is. If you’re lucky, it’s a great way to get veggies in your child or husband’s diet. 🙂 Perfect for dessert or a snack.

The recipe is from cookingalamel.com but I made my own changes because I want it EXTRA DARK!

RECIPE

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup Peet’s unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup plain Fage Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t liquid stevia (or 1/2 cup more coconut sugar, added to the dry ingredients)
  • 2-3 zucchini squash, shredded
  • One (1) 3.5 oz. of 85% or higher dark chocolate bar, roughly chopped
  • Optional: 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or line an 8″x 8″ pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the almond meal, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and coconut sugar.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the yogurt, eggs, vanilla, and liquid stevia together, until smooth.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients until fully incorporated.
  5. Fold in the shredded zucchini, chocolate pieces, and nuts.
  6. Pour into a greased 8×8 baking dish.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before cutting.

Cheesy Quinoa Salad

cheesyquinoaA few months ago, I went to an upscale deli and had this beautiful quinoa salad that was so delicious and flavorful. I didn’t know how to reciprocate it since I didn’t know all the ingredients used. But I decided to get creative and try to achieve something close. I call it Cheesy Quinoa Salad because, well, there’s cheese in it. Maybe I should have come up with a different name but, hey, my kids will eat anything that starts with “cheesy.”

This makes for a great gluten-free, vegetarian side dish with dinner or you can eat it by itself for lunch. Filling and tasty!

RECIPE

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of grilled asparagus, zucchini, steamed spinach (or whatever cooked veggies you may have)
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (Not the dry pre-grated that comes in a can but the one that comes fresh in a resealable bag or plastic tub. But you can really use any kind of cheese you prefer: Mozzarella, Cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack, etc.)
  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Cook your quinoa following the directions on the package. I cooked mine in my rice cooker using 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water.
  2. While that is cooking, grill or steam your vegetables, then rough chop them in to big bite size pieces. I like to see and bite into my veggies.
  3. After the quinoa is cooked, mix in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, the juice from the lemon, and salt & pepper. (You can add red pepper flakes if you want more heat!)
  4. Let the quinoa cool for about an hour, then add the Parmesan cheese.
  5. Add the tomatoes and stir.
  6. Add more olive oil, lemon juice, and salt & pepper depending on your taste.
  7. Serve as a side dish at room temp or cold.

Oven Baked Prawns

butterprawnsI saw this recipe for Oven Baked Prawns on a Facebook post that went viral and HAD. TO. TRY. IT! Looked so simple to make and, of course, I had to add my own spin on it. This dish is great as an appetizer at parties when your guests don’t mind getting their hands dirty or as a dinner entree.

RECIPE

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 lemon sliced thinly
  • 1 lb. of prawns or shrimp (shelled or not shelled, whichever you prefer)
  • 1 tsp of dried Italian spices (basil, oregano, thyme, garlic, etc.)
  • salt & pepper
  • Optional: sliced zucchini or asparagus spears
  1. Preheat oven at 350˚F.
  2. Melt the butter in a microwave-safe glass pan (about 1-2 minutes in the microwave.)
  3. Layer the lemon slices over the butter.
  4. Place the prawns over the lemon slices.
  5. Sprinkle the Italian spices, salt & pepper over the prawns.
  6. Top with veggies.
  7. Cover with foil.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  9. Remove foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes. (You may have to move the veggies around to make sure all the prawns are cooked.)
  10. Dig in!

Easy Curry Shrimp

curryShrimpIt was one of those busy days when I went to the grocery store and the smell of Indian food was wafting in the air from the restaurant next door. Mmmmm! Smells good but I didn’t have time for carry out and the kids weren’t going to eat Indian food with me. So I went home to see if I could find anything in my fridge. I put together this a simple, yet flavorful low-carb, gluten-free dish Easy Curry Shrimp to satisfy my craving. Delicious! Perfect for lunch or dinner.

RECIPE

  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or water)
  • 1 tsp. chopped garlic
  • chopped onions
  • 1/2 pound of shrimp or prawns
  • sliced carrots and zucchini (or any vegetable you have on hand)
  • salt & pepper
  1. In a sauce pan, sauté curry powder in butter for a minute to get the best flavor.
  2. Add olive oil/water, then sauté garlic and onions for a couple minutes.
  3. Add shrimp, carrots and zucchini until shrimp is cooked.
  4. Season with salt & pepper.
  5. Serve over brown rice or quinoa.

Pasta Alternative: Zucchini Noodles

zucchini_noodlesI’ve been seeing this pasta alternative Zucchini Noodles on a couple of other food sites and had to try it. But first, I had to find the tool. It’s called a julienne peeler and I found mine at Bed Bath & Beyond. It looks like this:

mak-200515_2Like spaghetti squash, it doesn’t taste exactly like pasta, but it is a healthy side dish that’s a really good gluten-free, low-carb substitute. And once you season it and eat it with your protein, you’ll forget that it’s not real pasta. Well, maybe you will, but you’ll feel good after eating zucchini and your body will thank you.

How to Cook

  1. Wash your zucchini and shred noodles using your julienne peeler.
  2. Blanch in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Drain.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil or butter, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if you wish.

Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken

garlic_parm_chixMy kids LOVE Chicken Parmesan but I hate making it because it’s so time consuming and fatty when you have to fry it oil. Then I found this easy Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken on Allrecipes.com. I made some alterations to make it low-carb and gluten-free, and let me tell you, it turned out delicious! Simple to make, great flavor, and still has that great crunch! This has become a family favorite in our weekly dinner rotation. The kids, of course, have it with pasta and spaghetti sauce, but I really enjoy it by itself with some steamed spinach or grilled zucchini.

RECIPE

  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of almond meal
  • 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp of dried basil leaves
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  2. In a pie plate, mix the olive oil and garlic.
  3. In another pie plate, mix the almond meal, Parmesan cheese, basil, and pepper.
  4. Dip each chicken breast in the oil mixture, then in the almond meal mixture.
  5. Arrange the coated chicken breasts in the prepared baking dish, and top with any remaining bread crumb mixture.
  6. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.