I have been trying to set aside time on Sundays to meal prep for the rest of the week. I find that if I don’t cook before the week starts, I get sidetracked and end up getting take-out or something unhealthy because I usually work out after work and by the time I shower, it’s late and I’m hungry and don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking. I wanted to make something healthy this week and thought about making meatballs. I found a recipe online from Martha Stewart’s website featuring Jessica Alba’s turkey meatball recipe. It looked really good and I was sold on the short list of ingredients.
I gathered my shopping list and went to Whole Foods. Unfortunately, Whole Foods didn’t have any ground turkey so I opted for ground chicken instead. No harm, no fowl (hehe, get it?), it still came out great!
I like cooking, but I think the worst part is prepping the ingredients. Chopping, dicing, and mincing is all very tedious and not that fun if there is a long list of ingredients to prep. Luckily, I only had to finely chop 1/4 cup each of the onions, carrots, and zucchini so it wasn’t too bad.
At first, I was going to use a wooden spoon to mix all the ingredients together, but I soon realized that the only effective way to get all the ingredients evenly blended is to use my hands. So use your hands and really get in there to mix it all up! But make sure to wash immediately after with soap and hot water to prevent spreading salmonella.
After the ingredients are mixed, with wet hands, grab some chicken and roll into 1-inch wide balls. I had to cook these in several batches because my pan wasn’t big enough so it took me longer than expected to get these meatballs all cooked up. Also, wait until the pan and oil get hot before placing the first batch in the pan, otherwise it will take longer to cook.
Brown the meatballs on all sides and then add 1/4 cup of broth and cook until the broth has been absorbed. My pan is stainless steel so I set the heat a little lower than medium to prevent the meat from sticking to the pan. I stopped using non-stick pans a while ago due to carcinogens in the non-stick coating material. Stainless steel also lasts a lot longer, possibly forever, if it is well taken care of.
The meatballs will shrink a little when it is cooked and it also won’t maintain its round shape when cooked in a pan because you are constantly turning them around. I used a spatula to turn the meatballs around to get all the sides browned. Even though they don’t look perfect, they are homemade and taste delicious! I yielded 31 meatballs, which will last me all week. Yay!
For the rest of my meal prep, I seasoned a vegetable medley (from Whole Foods frozen section) with garlic and the Bragg’s Organic Sprinkle seasoning and also whatever zucchini I had left and threw it in the pan after the meatballs were done. The vegetables absorbed the remaining flavors from the pan. Yum. Meal prep is done!
- 2 pounds ground chicken (or turkey)
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup finely chopped carrots
- ¼ cup finely chopped zucchini
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning (or your favorite seasoning; I used Bragg's Organic Sprinkle 24 Herbs & Spices Seasoning)
- ¾ tablespoon sea salt
- 2-4 tablespoons Coconut oil (depending on how many batches you end up making)
- ¾ cup vegetable or chicken broth
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together ground chicken, eggs, panko, carrots, zucchini, onion, seasoning, and sea salt. Remember, use your hands to mix the ingredients well.
- In a large saute pan, heat 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil.
- With wet hands, shape meat into 1-inch wide meatballs.
- When the pan and oil are hot, add the meatballs to the pan.
- Brown the meatballs on all sides. This can take between 7-15 minutes depending on how hot your pan is.
- Add broth and cook until the liquid has been absorbed. This can also take between 7-15 minutes. (Since I made this in several batches, I added about ¼ cup broth for each batch)