Chicken Zucchini Bites

Every time my husband searches for a recipe online he gets frustrated by blog posts that lead off with a three thousand word story that usually has nothing (or little) to do with the actual recipe being posted. He then is forced to scroll and scroll and scroll – through text and pictures – to the very bottom of the blog post where the actual recipe resides.

In deference to my husband, please see up front the super simple recipe for these super simple (and delicious!) chicken zucchini bites. You’re welcome.

(For those of you still looking for a story, keep reading!)

chicken zucchini bites | bearfamilystrong.com

Chicken Zucchini Bites

makes 12-15 bites

WHAT YOU NEED:

1 lb ground chicken

2 medium zucchini, grated

1/2 onion, grated

1 tbsp cumin (optional)

1-2 tsp garlic salt (to taste – I used Trader Joe’s garlic salt grinder)

black pepper, to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

Preheat oven to 375. Grate your zucchini and onion – I used a food processor and did both together. Once the vegetables are grated, wring out the excess moisture. I did this by dumping the veggies into a clean dishtowel and then squeezing all the extra water out. Trust me – this step is important if you want your zucchini bites to hold together!* In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Form 12-15 balls and place on a baking sheet – don’t beat yourself up too much if they look more like odd lumps, this is because of the stickiness of the dough. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes, flipping them halfway through.

*NOTE: You don’t necessarily have to wring out the excess water from your zucchini/onion mixture, but if you don’t the meat “dough” will be super sticky and it will be much harder to form meatballs. When I first started playing around with these I did NOT wring them out and had to use muffin tins for the meatballs because I couldn’t get the mixture off my hands. That said, they still tasted delicious!

chicken zucchini bites | bearfamilystrong.com

There’s not much of a story to these cute little chicken zucchini bites really. Each week I like to have a few easy to grab, pre-cooked proteins on hand for work lunches or snacks, and some sort of meatball or patty usually makes an appearance. I had seem some version of chicken-zucchini meatballs on Pinterest and as it just so happened, I had ground chicken and zucchini in my fridge this week. Thus, these babies were born.

Because zucchini holds a lot of water (even after wringing most of it out), these meatballs stay moist, even after a couple of days in the fridge. They were delicious straight out of the oven (served with a side salad and topped with guacamole, as it happened), but they tasted just as good – if not better – served cold. Many times I find my turkey or beef meatballs can dry out pretty quickly but these retained the moisture from the zucchini, keeping them juicy and delicious. I packed two of them as a snack for my husband the other day and he liked them so much he turned around and finished off the rest with lunch.

Enjoy!

chicken zucchini bites | bearfamilystrong.com

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Turkey Vegetable Meatballs

Every single time I juice I watch my husband scrape out the juicer and toss money straight into the garbage. Seriously, that’s how I view it when all that leftover juice pulp goes into the trash can. Don’t get me wrong, juice is awesome and full of nutrients and yay! But all I can think is “Wow. That was $20 of fresh produce and we just tossed 3/4 of it.”

So I finally got smart. Last time I juiced I added the vegetables first (spinach, kale, parsley, celery and carrot, to be exact) and cleaned out the pulp before adding the fruit, saving it to use in the meatballs I’m sharing with you today. (Although I realized too late that I didn’t take any nice pictures of the finished product – my husband and I ate them too fast!)

turkey vegetable meatballs | eatwriterunrepeat.com

I wasn’t sure if this would even work or not but the end result was even better than I could have hoped for. The extra veggies give the meatballs a pop of flavor, not to mention the pulp kept them from drying out. Delicious! They may in fact be the best meatballs I’ve made, except maybe for these italian parmesan lovelies.

The best part about these meatballs is that once you have your juice pulp, this is essentially a three ingredient recipe. All I did was combine the veggie pulp, the ground turkey, and a healthy dose of Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute and voila. Easy as…well, meatballs.

turkey vegetable meatballs ingredients | eatwriterunrepeat.com

turkey vegetable meatballs uncooked | eatwriterunrepeat.com

I love it when a great plan comes together. Not only do I have a great new meatball recipe to share, I’m also saving money by making the most of the vegetables I’m juicing! Double win over here, y’all!

Turkey Vegetable Meatballs

yields 15-18 meatballs

Ingredients

1 lb ground turkey

1/2 onion, diced

3/4 cup – 1 cup juice vegetable pulp (I used spinach, kale, parsley, carrot and celery)

Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute, approximately 3 tablespoons

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Form into uniformly shaped meatballs and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. These tasted phenomenal by themselves or drizzled with some ketchup, but they are also delicious served with marinara sauce over some spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles!

Side Note: I made these a second time and used beef instead of turkey – they tasted just as good!

beef vegetable meatballs | eatwriterunrepeat.com

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs (Whole30 Approved)

I seem to have hit a blogging slump.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs - Whole30 Approved

I’ve sat down to write countless times in the past week, but all I do is stare at the blank sheet of paper, waiting for words that just won’t appear. Last night I finally gave up and instead of blogging I sat in front of the TV with The Husband and watched Battlestar Galactica while eating mango salsa with a spoon.

Well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. We ate the mango salsa served with swordfish for dinner, but it was so good that I sat in front of the TV watching Battlestar Galactica and fantasized about eating the leftover mango salsa with a spoon…straight from the tupperware.

This is my life, people.

I’m not entirely sure why I’ve been in such a writing slump lately, although I’d like to blame it on being sick and out of work for a week – it’s been draining trying to catch up on what I missed. I just feel exhausted, both mentally and physically. It could also be because there is a lot going on in my life right now – adjusting to married life, finding a new place to live (more on that later), trying to coordinate schedules so we can try to visit Baby Bear next month…

…OK, maybe now I understand the slump.

Anyway, enough about that. Let’s move on and discuss these Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, mmkay?

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs - Whole30 Approved

These babies came about as a result of the pound of ground chicken in the fridge that was about an hour from spoiling, and my deep love for Franks.

Again, I know. Deal with it.

So I pulled together a mixture of what we had in the fridge and combined it into meatballs while The Husband melted some ghee in a pan to add with the Franks.

buffalo chicken meatballs - whole30 approved

Beautiful, huh? We fried the meatballs first to brown them before tossing them into a baking dish and covering them with sauce. You could easily make these on the stovetop but because the meatball mixture was kind of wet, I was worried they’d fall apart in the pan.

Twenty minutes later we had beautiful brown meatballs with a kick of heat! We served ours with a side of roasted vegetables and a baked sweet potato, and of course plenty of leftover sauce! And a side note? The longer these sit, the more of the Frank’s flavor they retain – my lunch the next day was awesome.

Yum.

BUFFALO CHICKEN MEATBALLS (Whole30 approved)

makes approximately 16 medium sized meatballs

prep time: 10 minutes

cook time: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb ground chicken

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup diced onion

1 egg

1/4 cup pecan meal

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 tsp smoked paprika

salt and pepper to taste

Franks Hot Sauce

2 tbsp ghee

olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine first 8 ingredients and mix well. Using your hands, form meat mixture into uniform sized balls. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and brown the meatballs on all sides – you may have to work in batches depending on the size of your skillet. Line the meatballs in a baking dish. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp ghee in a saucepan and add the Frank’s – as much as you want, but at least one cup (you want enough to cover the meatballs evenly in the baking dish). Combine until heated through and pour the sauce over the meatballs. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs - Whole30 Approved

As usual, I’m linking up with Vegetarian Mamma for Gluten Free Fridays! Stop on over to check out other gluten free recipes!