chicken meatballs with tomatoes and carrot noodles

chicken meatballs, greens, blue napkin
chicken meatballs, avocado and carrots
chicken meatballs, greens, avocado

Though frustrating with its baffling weather patterns and changing moods, March is a beloved month. It's frequently been a month of change for me. Perhaps it has to do with the time change or the patches of green becoming more visible by the day that create a shift. Either way, March is a month of hope and renewal. 

While winter is still lingering about and a surprise snow storm could be just around the corner, I'm in the mindset of wanting to be outside. I'm anxious to get my hands dirty and prepare the vegetable garden, plant carrots and tomatoes and as many others as I can squeeze in the beds. After a long, dark winter, I'm ready for more sun, lighter clothing and lighter food. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm all about the soups and stews and do make them all year long, but spring and summer beckon for lighter food and lots and lots of vegetables. 

A dish I made quite a bit last summer is this chicken meatballs with tomatoes and carrots. Since my tomatoes ripened quicker than I could pick them, we had a surplus that needed to be used. And what better way to use tomatoes than in a fresh sauce with plenty of olive oil, fresh garlic and oregano, right??

I opted for chicken meatballs instead of beef as they simply work better with this tomato sauce. My recommendation is to work the chicken meatballs gently since they're a bit more delicate than their beef cousins. While chicken itself can be quite bland, cumin, coriander and ginger infuse these chicken meatballs with loads of flavor. A favorite in my house that doesn't disappoint. 

chicken meatballs, greens, fork, blue napkins

chicken meatballs with tomatoes and carrot noodles 

  • Prep time: 10-15 minutes

  • Total cooking time: 50 minutes

  • Serves 4

Ingredients

For chicken meatballs:

  • 1 lb organic ground chicken

  • 3 tbsp almond flour or freshly ground almonds

  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin

  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger

  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp finely chopped cilantro

  • 2-3 tbsp avocado or olive oil

For carrot noodles:

  • 2-3 large carrots spiralized

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • sprinkle of salt

For tomato sauce

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 1 cup bone broth (or chicken broth)

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 1 shallot (you can use 1/4 of an onion if no shallot on hand)

  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish

  • optional: 2 tsp maple syrup

  • optional: 1/2 an avocado sliced to top sauce and chicken meatballs

Equipment

  • large frying pan

  • medium frying pan

  • spiralizer or peeler

Directions:

Combine all ingredients for chicken meatballs, form 1" balls and set aside. Preheat large, heavy pan on medium heat. Add avocado or olive oil and chicken meatballs and cook on each side for about 3-4 minutes until brown. Set aside. 

Spiralize your carrot noodles and set aside. If you don't have one available, you can use a peeler to create long thin strips of carrot and they work just as well. (I often do this) 

In the same frying pan used for chicken meatballs, add 1 tbsp olive, garlic and shallot and sauté on medium heat stirring continuously for 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes and oregano and cook for 2 minutes. Add broth and deglaze pan, scraping any brown bits off the bottom. Lower heat, add salt, pepper and optional, maple syrup and simmer for 5 minutes. Return meatballs to pan and cook an additional 10 minutes stirring occasionally. 

Lastly, preheat medium pan, add add olive oil and carrots  and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft.

To plate, add carrot spirals, top with meatballs and sauce and sprinkle with additional cilantro. If you wish, add a few bits of avocado, which adds a layer of creaminess. 


If you’re looking for a delicious, simple dinner that’s hearty, healthy and satisfying, try these chicken meatballs with tomatoes and carrot noodles. It’s whole 30, paleo and gluten free and makes for a perfect weeknight meal. #glutenfree #whole30 #calmeats #paleo #paleodinner #chickenmeatballs #chicken #carrotnoodles #tomatoes #dairyfree #grainfree #healthyfood #healthyrecipes #easyrecipes #weeknightrecipes

tuna salad with apple, dill and lemon vinaigrette

tuna salad over greens with radishes and dill
tuna salad over greens with radishes
tuna  (6 of 22).jpg

It was an overcast October morning. A cold breeze was met by a sweaty palm as I paused to open the car door. I caught a glimpse of myself in the window, attempting without success to swallow the knot that had set up camp in my throat for the last 2 or so weeks. 

I looked like character from Clueless. According to my new step-sister, that was the appropriate outfit I needed to borrow for the very first day of my new American school. Looking back it was a bold move on her part. Everyone around me rocked tie-die, colorful t-shirts, jeans and sneakers, yet here I was, staring blankly at my chunky Mary Jane's fresh out of a Delia's catalog. I felt ridiculous with about 30 or so English words at my disposal and an anxiety that would take years to be tamed...still working on it. 

The details are blurry but what I recall is the opposite of what I anticipated. I'm sure there were plenty of comments exchanged, but the lack of language provided a shield of naïveté against them. Most kids attempted the friendly thing...I did too but there wasn't much to give as I just didn't have the words available. Smiling was all I had to work with. 

Lunch was intimidating, the food was intimidating as I wasn't familiar with the whole standing in line with trays process. A couple of girls who saw the look of confusion, helped me out through some clever sign language and I ended up with something manageable though completely new. A tuna hoagie, chocolate milk and a large chocolate chip cookie. And that was how I tried my very first bite of tuna salad. There was no question - the stuff was delicious. 

As the months wore on, I acclimated - made friends, wore plenty of tie die, grew to like my new small town and continued eating copious amounts of tuna salad. 

To this day, a can of tuna is a great lunch option, particularly when you're hungry and haven't planned well. I often make a big batch of tuna salad at the beginning of the week and have it on hand for lunches. Everyone likes it and minimal effort is required. 

While making tuna salad is pretty basic, we often forget about the simplest things available to us in those hangry moments where we just want to stuff our faces with anything (not that I do that). All you need is roughly 10 minutes to whip up this tuna salad with apple and dill. I personally think tuna salad works well with avocado, tomatoes, any sort of greens, radishes, walnuts and pumpkin seeds but you can get creative and pair it with whatever you fancy. 

radish slices and dill
tuna  (20 of 22).jpg
  • Prep time: 10 minutes

  • Serves 2-4

Ingredients:  

 Tuna salad

  • 2 cans drained tuna (I like this one)

  • 1 tbsp mayo (I use this one)

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard (I use this one)

  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 1/2 medium crunchy apple finely minced

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 1 tsp fresh dill (or 1/2 tsp dried)

Lemon vinaigrette

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 tsp lemon juice

  • 1/4 tsp fresh dill or 1/8 tsp dried

  • drop of honey (skip if whole 30)

  • salt and pepper to taste

Serve with suggestions: 

  • greens

  • avocado

  • radishes

  • walnuts

  • pumpkin seeds

  • tomatoes

Equipment:

  • medium mixing bowl

  • small mixing bowl

  • whisk

Directions: 

In medium bowl combine all ingredients under tuna salad and mix well with a fork, breaking up the tuna fish and combining all ingredients until fully incorporated. 

In smaller bowl mix all ingredients under lemon vinaigrette and whisk until thick. 

To assemble, layer a handful of greens on plate, add tuna salad and if you wish, any other toppings. Drizzle with dressing. 

Here is an easy way to turn a can of tuna into a delicious lunch. Canned tuna is tossed with mayo, dijon mustard, lemon, apple and dill to create a nutritious and delicious lunch. The whole thing is drizzled with a lemon vinaigrette. #tuna #lunch #paleo #whole30 #glutenfreelunch #glutenfree #grainfree #paleolunch #cannedtunaideas #cannedtunalunch #quicklunchideas #quicklunch #calmeats