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

Advertisements

Grain Free Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Happy Day after Halloween! Did you get a lot of candy? I was hoping we’d give away a lot more, but trick or treating was a little slow in our neighborhood due to drizzle…so guess who gets the leftovers??

Anyway.

This is what happens when you go through a fall recipe phase where everything you make is either orange or brown or some combination of the two.

grain free chocolate chip zucchini bread | eatwriterunrepeat.com

You make something green!

Ok so technically this is another brown recipe with a little green added in, but it totally counts. Um, except let’s ignore the chocolate chips, shall we?

Suffice to say that my body has been craving nutrients in the form of green vegetables lately. Which may explain why Kevin and I went to Costco the other night and spent WAY too much money on bulk produce. (WAY too much. Like, I’m still reeling.) The upside is we’ve been juicing a lot lately, not to mention I’ve been packing lots of salads for lunch, so hopefully those nutrients I’ve been craving will kick in soon!

grain free chocolate chip zucchini bread | eatwriterunrepeat.com

And although zucchini isn’t in season and I feel like I’m cheating on fall by sharing a spring-like recipe, this needed to happen. Seriously.

I guess you could make the argument that if I really needed the green vegetables I could have just made zucchini as a side dish to a real dinner instead of adding it to a sweet bread and throwing in chocolate chips…to which I’d say you’d be totally right.

But this probably definitely tastes better.

grain free chocolate chip zucchini bread | eatwriterunrepeat.com

I mean, Kevin came home and ate three pieces in three seconds, so it has to be good, right?

Or it could have been that he was really hungry, which could also very well (and probably was) the case.

GRAIN FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP ZUCCHINI BREAD

yields: one loaf

prep time: ten minutes

cook time:60 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 cups almond flour

2 eggs

2 cups grated zucchini

1/2 cup applesauce

1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)

2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS

It’s a good idea to remove the excess water from your zucchini before you use it in this recipe. To do, place the shredded zucchini in the center of a clean dishtowel and wrap the ends around before wringing out the towel. This removes the extra moisture and will result in your bread not being super soggy. (It will still be more moist than regular bread, but not mushy.)

Preheat your oven to 350. In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients (except your chocolate chips. Then, add the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour mixture into an ungreased bread pan and bake for about 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

grain free chocolate chip zucchini bread | eatwriterunrepeat.com

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have ten pounds of leftover Halloween candy to eat.

Curried Chicken Zucchini Boats

Going to California and frequenting all the farmer’s markets boasting a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables always reminds me how wide a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables we don’t have on the East Coast. Don’t get me wrong, we have plenty, but for whatever reason I feel there is a more abundant spread on the West Coast. Or maybe it’s just that they have an abundance of my favorites, like avocados and strawberries. Or the most delicious pluots I’ve ever tasted in my life.

Not to mention that my favorite fruits and veggies always seem a lot cheaper in California. Which sounds weird until you remember I live in Northern Virginia where everything costs an arm and a leg more than if I were back at my parents house in rural Pennsylvania. Maybe it’s because the stuff is local to California?

Anyway. One thing the East Coast DOES have plenty of is summer squash. Green, yellow, doesn’t matter. We have boatloads. Which is highly fortuitous for me because I love it. And it doesn’t hurt that you can do so much with it! I’ve roasted it, baked it, breaded it, grilled it…ok, now I’m starting to sound like Bubba from Forrest Gump. I’ll shut up now.

zucchini 1

Really, it was only a matter of time before I figured out you could make boats with it.

I first saw a recipe for zucchini boats on a Whole30 website – something with dijon mustard and turkey, I remember that much. They were pretty good and it wasn’t long before I started to experiment with flavors. I sort of came up with these curried chicken zucchini boats by accident. Not that curry and chicken is anything out of the ordinary. And really I say accident, but all I did was take cumin and curry powder and throw it in the bowl with the rest of the ingredients.

So, maybe it wasn’t so much an accident as me going with tried-and-true. Either way.

zucchini 4

I actually kept these pretty simple and stuck with just the basics  – ground chicken, onion, garlic, curry powder and cumin…I even added some fresh diced tomato to the mix. This is a prime example where simplicity equals delicious…which, let’s be honest, happens a lot in my kitchen. Have I mentioned I can be kind of lazy?

I had originally intended to share some other zucchini boat ideas with you all, but as I wrote this post my brain was frying on the flight to San Francisco. Seriously. Why is it that airplanes are always either sweltering hot or ice cold? Why can’t it just be pleasant?

…and more importantly, why do I always get stuck sitting next to a passenger with horrible gas?

zucchini 3

WHAT YOU NEED: (makes 4-6 servings)

1 pound ground chicken

4 medium zucchini

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, diced

2 roma tomatoes, diced

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp cumin

salt and pepper to taste

WHAT TO DO:

Preheat oven to 350.

Slice zucchini in half longways. Using a spoon, hollow out the zucchini, reserving inside for later. In a skillet over medium heat, saute garlic and onions until translucent. Add the ground chicken and brown. Once chicken is cooked, add tomatoes and zucchini, stir to combine and heat through. Add spices and combine well. Cook for approximately 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, coat your zucchini boats and the bottom of a glass baking dish with olive oil. Once mixture is cooked, fill zucchini boats with equal portions of the mixture and bake at 350 for approximately 40 minutes, until zucchini boats are soft and easily pierce with fork. If desired, top boats with mozzarella cheese and cook for the last ten minutes until cheese is brown and bubbly.

zucchini 5

I’m sharing this recipe over on vegetarianmamma.com as part of Gluten Free Friday! Hop on over to find more gluten free recipes and share the love!