Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

I love it when a recipe turns out exactly how I pictured in my minds’ eye. I was craving buffalo chicken dip and wanted to give my Ranch powder a whirl – and I’m glad I did. This dish held up really well as leftovers.

gluten-free, paleo (if you use paleo ranch seasoning), low carb

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

1 lb. ground chicken

3 Tbsp. ranch seasoning powder

1 rib minced celery

An equal amount grated carrot

1 Tbsp. garlic powder

1 Tbsp. onion powder

4 Tbsp. buffalo hot sauce

2 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1 Tbsp. water

2 tsp. butter, softened

Generous pinch salt and generous dusting pepper

Prepare a baking sheet and preheat your oven to 200C/375F.

Mix all ingredients by hand, form into golf ball sized meatballs, and place on the baking sheet.

Bake 15 minutes.

I served these with Ranch sweet potato fries (pictured).

To make, peel 2 small sweet potatoes and cut into fry-shaped sticks. Toss with a little oil or ghee, salt & pepper and 2 Tbsp. ranch powder. Arrange in a single layer on a prepared baking sheet and bake 20 minutes.

Flip, scootch over to the side, add the meatballs and bake another 15 minutes with the meatballs.

Serves 3 – 4 for dinner/lunch

Pomegranate Beef Meatballs

Another Middle Eastern-inspired meatball recipe, this time with beef. Do you see a trend here? I’ve got a lamb version coming soon (hopefully – if my idea works out).

gluten-free, paleo

Pomegranate Beef Meatballs

1 lb. ground beef

1/3 c. slivered almonds

3 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses

3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

2 Tbsp. pomegranate arils

3 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped

1/2 small onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. turmeric

2 Tbsp. fish sauce or Worcestershire (check labels if paleo or gf)

Salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to 200C/375F and prepare a baking sheet.

Combine all ingredients with your hands, mixing well.

Form into meatballs – mine were roughly golf ball shaped.

Bake about 15 minutes.

Great alongside last week’s recipe for Pomegranate & Fig Salad.

Makes enough to serve 4

Pomegranate & Fig Salad

I made this as an accompaniment to some killer meatballs (recipe coming next week), but this dish as it is would be great as a holiday side or studded with any protein of choice for a rounded out meal.

Note: I completely forgot to do so when making this recipe, but chucking a couple big hands of baby spinach was a fantastic way to dress up the leftovers and add a nutrient punch.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Pomegranate & Fig Salad

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into inch-ish chunks

6 figs, sliced (I had dried on hand but fresh would be even better)

1/4 c. pecans, chopped

1/3 c. pomegranate arils

Tahini & pomegranate molasses to drizzle

Salt & pepper

Your favorite seasoning – I used a spicy creole mix

Oil

Preheat your oven to 200C/375F. Prepare a baking sheet.

Chop the sweet potato into inch-ish chunks, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper & seasoning, spread out onto a baking sheet and bake until your desired level of doneness is achieved. I let mine go until the pieces were almost crispy.

Toss with the rest of the ingredients and drizzle with the sauces.

As noted in the head notes, a good couple hands of baby spinach and your protein of choice would round this out to a great meal.

Serves 2- 3

Middle Eastern Spiced Meatballs

This is a good one – baked meatballs are quick to make and last in the fridge for days – a great meal prep component or emergency snack to keep on hand.

gluten-free, paleo, low carb

Middle Eastern Spiced Meatballs

1 lb. ground chicken

3 Tbsp. zaatar

1/4 c. slivered pistachios

2 tsp. sumac or lemon powder

1 small onion, grated

4 cloves garlic, grated

2 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1 Tbsp. water

Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 200C/375F. Prepare a baking sheet.

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix with your hands to combine.

Form into meatballs and bake 15 minutes.

Makes enough for 4 servings

Bonus Recipe: A quick side salad to go with

2 cucumbers, cut into small moons

15 cherry tomatoes, halved

2 Tbsp. green onions, minced

2 cloves garlic, grated

1/4 c. parsley, chopped

Hand full of olives, sliced thin

Hand full of your favorite salty cheese (I used an aged provolone tasting vegan cheese)

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 tsp. your favorite mustard (I used Dijon)

1 Tbsp. zaatar

Salt & pepper

Whisk together all ingredients from the olive oil down. Pour over the rest.

Salad serves 2-3

Halal? Legal? Everything But The Bagel Seasoning Avo Brekkie

Everything But The Bagel Seasoning is on it’s way out of the zeitgeist, but I’m behind the times. EBB seasoning has been causing a stir as of late where I live, with warnings going out left and right to not try and smuggle illegal items into the country while coming back from your Summer vacations.

Whaa?

Where I live, poppy seeds are illegal. I thought this had something to do with them not being halal, but according to Islamweb.net, they are fine to consume as food. The Global Arabic Encyclopedia says that the seeds have no narcotic properties, and are fine for both human and livestock consumption. [Source]

No idea why they’re illegal where I live, but they most certainly are.

In a 2019 bulletin, they were still on the banned import list.

“All Types of Papaver or Opium poppy seeds with or without mixing with other substances and all foodstuff include Papaver or Opium poppy seeds as ingredient.” The reason given was “Precautionary measure due to possibility of non-food prohibited use.” [Source]

Which is a total bummer, since I’ve been dying to get my hands on an EBB seasoned avocado toast (I know, stick me in Uggs and gimme a PSL at Target).

I was not about to risk going to jail for a seasoning, so I indulged during my trip to the US and then made plans to make my own when I got home.

I’m glad I did. Yum. I remember liking EBB seasoning on bagels, but it’s a nice way to dress up an otherwise pretty plain breakfast (unless you top it with Tajin, that is – my other go-to).

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

Legal Everything But The Bagel Seasoning Avo Brekkie

seasoning:

2 Tbsp. granulated onion (chunky dried onion)

2 Tbsp. granulated garlic (chunky dried garlic)

1 Tbsp. black sesame or nigella seeds

1 Tbsp. white sesame seeds

1 Tbsp. chia seeds

2 tsp. flaky salt

the rest:

2 tsp. oil

1/2 shallot, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/3-1/2 c. frozen spinach

Dusting nutmeg

Dusting smoked paprika

Salt & pepper

1 small avocado

2 slices toast

Heat the oil in a pan over medium. Sauté the shallot and garlic until soft. Add the spinach, and let go a minute or two to start thawing.

Add a couple dashes of water to steam the rest of the spinach thaw.

When thaw, add the spices and stir. Let cook a minute more to combine. Hit with salt & pepper.

To serve, mash the avocado lightly and spread in a thick layer on the toast. Add the spinach and sprinkle the whole thing liberally with the EBB Seasoning. Add a little more flake salt to the top. Enjoy.

Breakfast serves 1; the seasoning makes extra

Roasted Veggie Coconut Curry

This is a good one and fine for a nice light Summer dinner. I think I also finally licked the issue with having my coconut curries turn out too bland – I think I *finally* added enough spice!

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Roasted Veggie Coconut Curry

2-3 c. pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and chopped

1 c. broccolini, chopped

2 green chilis, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 shallot, chopped

15 oz. can coconut milk

2 empty cans’ worth your favorite stock

4 Tbsp. curry blend

1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes

Protein of choice

Rice noodles

2 Tbsp. lime juice

1 scallion, sliced

1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

Bake the pumpkin at 400F in a little oil, seasoned with salt & pepper, 20-30 minutes or until soft.

Add the rest of the ingredients to a slow cooker or Instant Pot, minus the protein, noodles, lime juice, scallion or cilantro. Set on “Soup” or “Stew” and let cook. If you are using chicken, add the protein at this step. If you’re using something like seafood or tofu, cook separately and add at the end with the noodles.

Prepare your noodles separately.

When the curry is done cooking, tase for salt & pepper and top with the lime juice, scallion and cilantro.

Serves 4

Miso Butter Bowl

Miso. Butter. Is. Amazing. I don’t know why the combo never occurred to me, but when I scrolled past the mere mention somewhere out there on the Internets, I was intrigued.

I’m glad I followed that particular tangent, because I would happily slather this stuff on pretty much anything (including toast).

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan if you swap for vegan butter

Pictured here with sweet potato fries, which is also a good call

Miso Butter Bowl

miso butter:

3 Tbsp. your favorite butter, softened

2 Tbsp. white miso

A big hand full of minced scallion whites

Mush the above into a compound butter.

bowl:

1 zucchini, chopped

1/2 c. frozen corn kernels

1/2 onion, sliced thin

2 cloves garlic, chopped

Your favorite seasoning (I used Tony’s Cajun)

toppers:

Roast chickpeas (to make: drain and rinse a can of chickpeas, spread out in a single layer on a prepared sheet and bake at 400F for 20-30 mins or until your desired level of crisp and brownness has been reached. Toss with a Tablespoon of oil and a liberal amount of your favorite seasoning – I used more of that Tony’s)

The greens from your scallions

Sesame seeds

This would also be great with a good cashew cheese, but I did not have any on hand

To assemble, sauté the zucchini, corn, onion and garlic in a teaspoon of oil until your desired level of brownness has been reached. Season with salt, pepper and your seasoning. Add the miso butter and let go another minute or two.

Add the veggies into a bowl, and top with your extras.

Serves 2-3

Miso Vinaigrette Salad

I’ve been having a mini love-affair with miso this week – stay tuned for more umami bomb recipes coming in the next few weeks – and this delicious little dinner salad does that love justice.

I can see using the leftovers of this dressing mixed with quinoa, or in a pumpkin-heavy dish. Also as a drizzle for chicken.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

Miso Vinaigrette Salad

Dressing:

1 heaping Tbsp. white miso

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

2 Tbsp. neutral oil

2 Tbsp. sushi vinegar

2 Tbsp. lime juice

2 tsp. honey

Pinch cayenne

Salt & pepper

Salad:

1 large zucchini, chopped

1 large bok choy, washed and sliced thin

1 package baby spinach

2 tsp. sesame oil

Soy sauce

1 scallion, thinly sliced

Sesame seeds

Big hand pepitas (toasted cashews would also be great)

Protein of choice: I used simply sautéed tofu

Optional topper: crispy chickpeas

Chop the zucchini and bok choy (whites) and set to sautee over medium-high with the sesame oil.

Let cook until crisp-tender.

Add a generous sprinkle of soy sauce.

Add the spinach and bok choy greens and toss until the spinach is barely wilted. Set aside. Drain if wet.

To make the dressing, whisk or shake all ingredients together.

To assemble the salad, add the toppers and toss with a couple Tablespoons dressing.

Salad serves 1-2 with extra dressing

Multipurpose Grain Bowl

This week, I was really attracted to the Buddha bowl pics scattered throughout my Pinterest feed and didn’t want to make 9,000 ingredients – so I worked to combine a list (albeit a large list) of simple ingredients in a variety of ways to make the best of a simple mixture of quinoa + rice.

My week 100% could have been more cost-effective, but it gave me a good dose of the ingredients combining kind of Chopped Kitchen kind of life I’ve been missing.

Quinoa & Rice Base

3/4 c. quinoa (rinse if you’re not lazy like me)

3/4 c. sushi rice (rinse if you aren’t lazy like me)

2 Tbsp. mushroom-based umami powder

1 Tbsp. vinegar (I usually use rice vinegar but only had black vinegar on hand)

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

Big sprinkle salt

3c. water

Combine all and set your rice cooker to cook. Alternately, sushi rice & quinoa both take about 25 minutes to cook on the stove.

Now for the mix-ins to transform this simple added-protein base into a few different dishes.

Day 1: Sesame Crusted Salmon Bowl

Sesame crusted salmon (take 1 salmon steak, skin and de-bone. Pat dry. Brush with a little soy sauce and sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds. Press the sesame seeds into the fish to adhere. Shallow fry over medium-high in a pan until cooked to your desired doneness. Drain on paper towels until ready to use.)

Quinoa + sushi rice base (see recipe above)

Avocado, sliced or cubed

Lemon sesame pickled cucumbers , diced

Pickled ginger, minced

Nori

Roasted butternut squash (Mix 1 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. sesame oil, 1/2 tsp. date molasses & 1/2 tsp. white miso into a sauce – drizzle over a halved and seeded butternut squash and bake @ 400F for 25 mins or until soft and browned)

Sauce

1 Tbsp. peanut butter (tahini would also be great)

1 tsp. white miso

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. Bulldog sauce (or Worcestershire)

2 tsp. black vinegar (or sushi vinegar)

1 Tbsp. water

1 tsp. your favorite hot sauce (I used a habanero mix)

To make your bowl, assemble about half a cup of the quinoa mix and later the desired amount of the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle sauce over top and sprinkle with thinly sliced nori. Dust with more sesame if desired.

Day 2: Spicy Fiesta(ish) Bowl

1/2 c. frozen corn

1 bell pepper, chopped

1/4 red onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

Sauté the above in olive oil; season with salt, pepper & Tony’s Creole seasoning or your favorite spicy mix

Bowl Base

1/2 c. quinoa

1 hand full cilantro, chopped

1 Tbsp. water

1 Tbsp. lime juice

Add the water to the quinoa and zap to warm. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice.

Sauce

2 Tbsp. your favorite plain yogurt (mine is a plain coconut milk)

2 tsp. – 1 Tbsp. your favorite hot sauce (mine is a habanero garlic mix)

Stir to combine.

Toppers

Avocado

Butternut squash leftover from the first bowl

To make your bowl, assemble about half a cup of the quinoa mix and later the desired amount of the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle sauce over top and top with avocado & squash.

Day 3: Spiced Chickpea Veggie Bowl

1.5 c. chopped kale

1/2 small red onion, diced

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 lg. zucchini, diced

1 Tbsp. oil

Salt & pepper

Sauce

1/4 c. yogurt

1 Tbsp. almond butter

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. sumac

2 tsp. lemon juice

Leftover Bowl Components

Butternut squash

Quinoa rice mix

Topper

Avocado

Roasted chickpeas (I usually buy mine and have an Indian spiced variety that’s amazing)

To make your bowl, assemble about half a cup of the quinoa mix and later the desired amount of the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle sauce over top and add avocado & chickpeas.

Random Bowl Combinations

Quinoa mix, salmon, avocado, butternut squash, pickled cucumber, pickled ginger, Kewpie Mayo, garlic hot sauce, soy sauce

Green Sauce Salad

This green sauce makes a fantastic all-around dressing to keep on hand as a meat seasoning, salad dressing, dip, and little add-in to something like a nice grain bowl for a flavor punch.

A note on spice: I used 1 Tbsp. Fiery Fool hot sauce. This stuff is hot, and it made my sauce nice and spicy. I lean toward spice so I would totally suggest going in that direction. If you do not, a de-seeded jalapeño would be fine.

gluten-free, paleo, pescatarian

Great Green Sauce Salad

Sauce

10 cloves garlic

4 scallions (reserve 2 + 2 of the dark green parts for the salad body)

1/4 c. cilantro

1 Tbsp. your favorite pretty dang hot hot sauce (see head note)

1 Tbsp. vinegar (I used black vinegar)

1 Tbsp. fish sauce

1 Tbsp. sweetener (I used brown sugar)

1/3 c. olive oil

Salad

10 radishes, sliced into thin moons

3 – 4 small cucumbers, sliced into thin moons

2 scallions (whole), sliced thin + 2 green parts of scallions, also sliced thin

1/2 c. snap peas, sliced thin on the bias

1 jalapeño

5 – 10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Optional: Chicken that’s been marinated and sauteed in some sauce

Topper: Finishing salt & fresh cracked black pepper

To make the dressing, blitz all the sauce ingredients, incorporating the oil in a steady stream to make an emulsification. Set aside.

Assemble the salad by tossing all salad ingredients together. Add 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the sauce to dress and top with some finishing salt & freshly cracked black pepper before serving.

Serves 2 for dinner beefed up with a protein (I had mine with leftover chicken, but steak bites, salmon or tofu chunks would also be great)