Update & Monday Yummies: Zoodles and Chicken Meatballs

Hi everyone and happy Monday!  Really excited to be sharing a recipe later on in my post today. Everything has been moving in a positive direction since I last posted and I am feeling extremely grateful.  I went for my first post-op appointment and first voice therapy session since surgery and was able to start talking again!  For 3-5 days following my appointment, I had to keep my speaking to 5 minutes per hour max.  Starting today, I’m able to talk 10 minutes per hour max.  It’s been an adjustment…when I spoke for the very first time, nothing came out.  I was told this was normal because if you think about it, if you don’t use a muscle for a prolonged period, then you go right back into an activity, it’s very weak.  For about 10 minutes, I had no voice.  But as the appointment went on, my voice became stronger and I was so happy to no longer hear the scratchy, gravely tone that had become the norm for me the last year and a half.  They did a scope through my nose and throat and took video of the cords as I made certain sounds and they put it side by side with an old video before the surgery.  The difference was incredible without the cysts and now that it’s had time to heal, the redness is going away and it looks so smooth and clean.  The pathology results showed that they were “Bilateral Squamous Inclusion Cysts” and they were benign.  I’ve been doing a few different exercises I learned about before surgery like lip trills and straw phonation.  My next steps are to go back to voice therapy and another post-op appointment in a few weeks.

Before going into my recipe, here are my questions for readers:

  1. What is your favorite Spiralizer recipe or zucchini recipe?
  2. What’s your current summer read or have you read any books that you’d recommend for summer reading?  Last week, I went into a bookstore for the first time in so long.  Of course, I had to buy an adorable Pete the Cat book for my classroom, but I also decided to buy a few books to read over the summer.  I chose Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace  by Anne Lamott and Windfallen by Jojo Moynes (I love Me Before You!)

Today, I am back with another healthy recipe to share!  I’ve been trying to eat healthier to get my thyroid levels balanced and to make up for all the summer foods I’ve been enjoying (ice cream, going out to eat, spiked seltzers, etc)  What inspired me to make this dish was one of my favorite dishes at my local restaurant Brixx and Barley in Long Beach: Zoodles and Chicken Meatballs.  I found the recipe for the meatballs on Pinterest from a blogger “Turnip the Oven”.  The zoodles are simple to make and a great alternative to pasta.  For the sauce, I used my favorite, my mom’s family recipe.

This is what I gathered to make Zoodles & Chicken Meatballs :

  • 5 zucchini (for approx 2 servings)
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 tbsps fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

 

Here is the process and the photos.  Big thanks to my Mom who I made this with! 🙂

 

  1. First, I preheated the oven to 400 degrees and prepared a baking sheet with foil for the meatballs.
  2. Next, I cooked the Quinoa and cooled it.  Meanwhile, I zested the lemon and chopped up the parsley and garlic.
  3. After, I put the ground chicken, quinoa, egg, Parmesan, lemon zest, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper into the bowl and mixed by hand.
  4. The next step was to roll the mix into meatballs.  We were able to get about 14 medium/large meatballs.  The consistency was mushy and noticeably looser than a regular meatball.
  5. After placing the balls on the sheet, we combined the olive oil and tomato paste and brushed each meatball.
  6. Next, the meatballs went into the oven for 20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, after washing the zucchini, we put them into the Spiralizer.
  8. After seasoning the zoodles with salt and pepper, they went into a large, heated pan that was previously drizzled with olive oil.  The zoodles only needed 5 minutes to cook to a good consistency.
  9. Finally, I plated the Zoodles with the meatballs and tomato sauce.

This was delicious!  My favorite part about the meatballs was their lemony, garlic flavor and how well it paired with the zucchini.  This was very filling and still had the nostalgic spaghetti and meatballs vibe.  I can’t wait to make this again.  Again, if you have a Spiralizer or Zucchini recipe you’d like to share, please feel free to comment below!

As always, I’ll end with some quotes:

Thanks for reading!

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7 thoughts on “Update & Monday Yummies: Zoodles and Chicken Meatballs

  1. This was so much fun, I love cooking with you! So proud you are taking a healthy approach with your recovery.
    I love zucchini anything! Zucchini boats are fun, I’ve made them in my Culinary classes. It’s not always easy to get students to try veggies, so I think Zoodles is a great idea!!
    Let me know how you like those books. I don’t have a summer-read right now, probably a good idea to find one. In the meantime, I’ll stick with reading your fabulous blogs!!!
    Love you!!

    Like

  2. I love zoodles!!! When Brian and I make spaghetti, I most often zoodle, and he’s so good, he often zoodles my zucchini’s for me ❤ ! I follow this woman's blog http://inspiralized.com/spiralizer-recipes/ , and love love love this woman's recipes as well http://nomnompaleo.com/post/141120826788/spicy-thai-chicken-zoodle-salad
    And an article about how not to get watery noodles http://meljoulwan.com/2014/05/27/basic-zucchini-noodles/.

    So glad you are feeling better! ❤

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    1. Hi Marissa! Thanks for the awesome links…I am definitely going to check them out! They really are so yummy. Miss you guys! Thanks for the well wishes xoxo

      Like

  3. Hi Jeanne. Your approach to all you have been through inspires me. I love how you write, how you ask your readers questions, your quotes and how you cook with your mom-love her too! My favorite way of making zucchini noodles is to sauté them with garlic and broccoli. It is delicious topped with grated cheese or non dairy cheese. A favorite book (but not novel) that I am reading this summer is “The Universe Has Your Back” by Gabrielle Bernstein. It is a personal growth,spiritual book.
    Please keep up the blog. I love to read it. I will keep you in my prayers for a speedy full recovery. Be well and enjoy summer.

    Like

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