Age 27 + Chicken Meatballs


Last Wednesday, I celebrated my 27th birthday. I spent the majority of my day at work and feeling the love from all the wonderful people who had gone out of their way to wish me a happy birthday. Outside of work, JJ and I went on an early morning bike ride to breakfast and spent the evening at a great restaurant in Scottsdale. I love birthdays. I’ve never been one to get emotional or bent out of shape about growing older. Especially this year. There is too much to be thankful for and I’ve honestly never felt better. Staying on a consistent routine with exercise and changing my diet has been the best thing for me emotionally and physically. I could never say that I was once fat, but an unhealthy person would definitely be the correct term when defining my previous physique. I couldn’t be more happy to turn 27 and see what this year has in store for me and my family. Want to know how I began making a lifestyle change? Check out my first post on how I began eating clean.

Speaking of healthy….

On Thursday, I cooked dinner for my husband and mother in-law. I almost never eat or crave pasta anymore (it used to be my absolutely favorite. Along with loaves of bread if that fact slipped your mind)… but when I do eat pasta, I make quinoa pasta. “This South American grain is extremely high in protein and iron and boasts a low glycemic index, resulting in a slower rates of digestion. You’ll stay full longer and absorb more of the food’s nutrients (reference by: Full Kitchn).” Whole wheat/grain pasta is also another healthy alternative when craving your favorite comfort food.
The meal was a carb overload! I promised Kathy the next meal I cooked for her would not involve so many carbs. I paired the quinoa pasta with an organic herb sauce and prepared homemade chicken meatballs by Tosca Reno.

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground turkey or chicken
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs (Ezekiel bread breadcrumbs described below)
2 T. fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 T. fresh basil, finely chopped
2 T. fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, place egg and breadcrumbs or oat bran.  Add spices and mix well.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Using an ice cream scoop make meatballs and place on prepared cookie sheet.  Place in hot oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

*Next time, I plan to to allow time to soak the meatballs in sauce for at least 10-20 minutes before serving. I believe it will give them a juicier consistency.

I made homemade Ezekiel breadcrumbs for the cup needed in this recipe. It is incredibly simple!

Take two pieces of Ezekiel bread, put them in your oven to toast (can also use a toaster) and then once toasted, take them out and add the pieces to your food processor and grind until you get small crumbs. That’s it! Simple, right?

If you try this recipe, would love to hear what you think!! 🙂