Ginger, chili sauce and coconut milk unite to create moist and flavorful Thai-inspired meatballs. Ground chicken is the perfect canvas, and is also a great and budget friendly source of lean protein. Try making a double batch to have on hand for the week, or store in the freezer a busier week.
Makes 12-16 meatballs (serves 4)
3 cups cooked quinoa
¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
12 oz ground chicken
1 large sweet Italian chicken sausage (uncooked)
¼ cup green onion, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
2 TBSP light coconut milk
2 TBSP fresh ginger puree (from jar)
1 TBSP chili sauce
1 TBSP minced garlic
2 tsp honey
½ yellow onion, diced
1 TBSP canola oil
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp fresh cracked pepper
4 small tomatoes-on-vine, chopped
1 TBSP fresh ginger puree (from jar)
½ TBSP minced garlic
½ cup light coconut milk
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, finely diced
1. Prepare the quinoa and cilantro and set aside for serving.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together all of the meatball ingredients, excluding the ground chicken and sausage.
3. Add the ground chicken to the bowl. Remove the sausage from the casing into the bowl. Using clean hands, gently fold the ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Let rest while starting the sauce.
4. In a wok, or large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes.
5. Add the tomatoes, ginger, garlic and coconut milk. Keep heat on medium-high and let bubble for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, while preparing the meatballs.
6. Roll the meatballs about an inch around and set on a plate.
7. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. In two batches, sear the meatballs for 2 minutes per side until browned. Set on a clean plate to let rest.
8. Add the peppers and zucchini to the wok. Then add the meatballs, with any juices from the plate, gently submerging them in the juices and veggies.
9. Turn heat to medium and let bubble for 15-20 minutes, giving the meatballs a gentle turn one time.
10. Let meatballs and sauce rest for 5 minutes before serving over quinoa (3-4 meatballs over ¾ cup quinoa for one serving). Sprinkle cilantro over the top.
Jessica Cerra is the owner of Fit Food by Jess, a private chef and catering company in Encinitas, Calif., and the co-founder of Harmony Bar. A former professional XTERRA triathlete, Cerra now races for Twenty16 Women’s Professional Cycling Team.