Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Buffalo Turkey Meatballs & Cucumber Tzatziki Salad

Life has been a whirlwind lately!  I have spent a lot less time cooking... and a lot more time preparing for baby "Sprout" who will be arriving in about two weeks!  Between trying to fit in the last bit of travel with "just the two of us" and preparing the house for baby's arrival, it seems like there is less and less time for spending time experimenting in the kitchen.  However, that doesn't mean that we have been relying on takeout or fast food... not in this dietitian's house!  The limited time just means that I use the following strategies to ensure that my household is eating nutritious foods while budgeting our time.
  1. Cook once for multiple meals.  Instead of spending time chopping veggies and dirtying dishes every night, make enough food to last a couple nights.
  2. Re-purpose leftovers.  Use leftover meats, beans and veggies to throw into entree salads, soups, frittatas, stir fries or tacos.  
  3. Double the recipe and freeze for later.  This can be especially useful when preparing for a big life event... perhaps the birth of a new baby, a planned surgery or care-giving for a family member. In the past few weeks I have been prepping extra and freezing different meals including various soups and stews, veggie-packed casseroles, different types of lean meatballs, whole grain pumpkin waffles and fruit and nut energy bars.  
  4. Set it and forget it!  Break out that slow cooker, prep your ingredients in the AM or the night before, then come home after a long day at work and enjoy your meal all ready to go!
  5. Simplify, simplify, simplify.  Interested in trying a new recipe that calls for all kinds of exotic ingredients?  Great, I strongly encourage this experimentation... just don't do it on a Monday after a long day of work!  Keep your weeknight meals simple, using a minimal number of ingredients :)
So that brings us back to our buffalo meatballs and tzatziki salad... a great Monday night mood booster that satisfies both #1 and #5 above, and you could absolutely double and freeze the recipe for meatballs to satisfy #3 as well.  This is a husband-approved healthy meal, and we are taking advantage of a shortcut by using bottled buffalo sauce.  Take note... any pre-made sauces, including buffalo sauces, are salty which is why we are adding minimal salt to the meatballs themselves, and why we balance the meatballs out with plenty of low sodium, potassium-rich veggies!  Balance, balance, balance...

So without further ado, let's get to the recipes!

Buffalo Turkey Meatballs
1.5lbs extra lean ground turkey
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup plain rolled oats (use gluten-free if necessary)
1/2 cup finely diced onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1tsp oregano
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup buffalo sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or lightly coat with non-stick spray.  
  2. Combine turkey, blue cheese, oats, onion, garlic, oregano, pepper and salt and mix until well combined.  Roll into 24 evenly sized meatballs and place on prepared baking sheet.  Cook in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  3. Bring buffalo sauce to simmer in a saucepan.  Once meatballs are cooked, add to pan and turn to low until ready to serve.
Makes 24 meatballs, 6 servings of 4 meatballs each.
Nutrition per serving: 218 calories, 6gm fat, 3gm saturated fat, 317mg sodium, 13gm carbohydrates, 2gm fiber, 31gm protein

Cucumber Tzatziki Salad
2 cucumbers, spiralized or cut into thin half-moon slices
1.5 cups plain Greek yogurt, lowfat
1 clove garlic, minced
1Tb fresh dill (or 1tsp dried)
1Tb olive oil
Juice from one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1Tb chopped fresh parsley

Whisk together yogurt, garlic, dill, olive oil and lemon juice.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Toss with prepared cucumber.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley.  Best if sits for at least 30 minutes before serving.  

Makes 4 servings, about 3/4 cup each
Nutrition information per serving: 102 calories, 4gm fat, 1gm saturated fat, 73mg sodium, 10gm carbohydrates, 1gm fiber, 7gm protein

1 comment: