A hot topic of conversation with clients in my office generally revolves around diet and how to eat while still losing weight. Especially during someone’s first few sessions with me, they are always asking questions like, “what are some healthy dinner ideas?” or “what’s something that I can make that’s low carb but doesn’t taste like cardboard?”. I like to teach my clients how to eat healthfully, in moderation, in an effort to fuel the body and the mind, and in lots of cases I teach my clients the tools for how to eat well and happily WHILE losing weight. But, I get it, some of these “diets” that clients really want to stick to can be dreadful. I mean how many times can you bake a chicken breast or eat a lean burger without the bun? Eating healthy shouldn’t mean eating without flavor or eating without feeling satiated and/or fulfilled.
A few years ago, I was inspired by a client of mine that was really stuck in a rut. They were a big fan of eating low in carbs, especially for dinner, but they were running out of ideas. I told them to give me a few days and I would come up with something that they would love (tasty, low in carbs and full of flavor). I thought about it, I shopped, I cooked and my Asian-Inspired Meatballs were born. Not only was my client thrilled with the results but so was my family; the best taste-testers in the world!
If you are looking for a low-carb meal that’s quick and easy to make, that’s crammed with HUGE flavor in one small little ball, then my new and improved Asian Inspired Meatballs are for you! This Fall, I’ve taken the recipe I had created for my client a few years back and made them better than ever with a bigger and bolder taste. The results, if I say so myself, are out of this world.
As you already know, I love ground breast of chicken and ground breast of turkey (free range or organic when possible), as both of these meat options really hold onto flavors so well! They are both high in protein and low in saturated fat (which is a no-no for your arteries) and they are super cheap and easy to find at the store. Either meat works perfectly in my Asian-Inspired Meatballs.
Unique to this recipe, which I promise I haven’t seen anywhere else, is that I keep the garlic, ginger and scallions in mini chunks inside the meatball so that you can really see the pieces inside that come together to make this delectable meatball. The flavors that I’ve paired together marry so well that you taste a burst of flavor as soon as you take a bite. Just when you think it can’t get any better or any more flavorful, the sauce that I’ve made to accompany them is truly the icing on the cake (or the meatball, ha!). I’m a big fan of dipping sauces but if you’re not, I promise these are just as good without it.
I originally created this recipe as a main course for dinner but I have to tell you, I now use them for so much more. I love them on my salads at lunch and sometimes, I even add them to soups to up the protein and flavor in a simple broth. Somedays, I snack on these bite size yummies throughout the day because they are just the perfect amount of lean protein I need to get me through until dinner.
Here’s something else I’ve been thinking about….have you ever entered the grocery store to purchase the ingredients to make something for dinner and thought to yourself, I’m really just craving Chinese food? You start dreaming about all those delicious flavors that come from Asian-Inspired meals and then just the ease of picking up the phone and placing an order for delivery. Sounds super compelling, right? I’m sure we’ve all done that a time or two. So, we succumb to our cravings, order the Chinese food, only to be left still feeling hungry (and now bloated) after devouring it all? This has so been me before! Well, I have an idea, next time this is you, make my Asian-Inspired Meatballs instead. My family and I have started to do this and I promise you, you won’t be missing out on any of those beloved flavors. My Asian-Inspired Meatballs will curb all your cravings but with none of the carbs, guilt and bloat!
My last piece of advice would be to at least double the recipe because, I promise you, these will go fast. Happy Cooking. xx Janine
Janine’s Asian-Inspired Meatballs
Ingredients: Makes 18 Asian-Inspired Meatballs
1 pound ground breast of chicken or turkey (free range or organic)
1 organic egg
2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2-3 scallions – minced
1 clove fresh garlic – minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger – minced
1 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon Chinese five spice (optional but I love it)
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons Coconut Aminos
1/8 teaspoon pepper flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon coconut Aminos
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 clove garlic – minced
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha (optional)
Instructions: Heat oven to 400 degrees
In a large bowl, add the ground meat, egg, sesame oil, scallions, garlic, ginger, honey, Chinese five spice, corn starch, coconut aminos, and peeper flakes.
Mix all ingredients well, let it set in the fridge for 20 minutes if you have time. The mixture is slightly wet so try to make balls as best as you can, they may spread a little while baking in the oven but they will still taste the same.
Line a large baking tray with parchment paper. With wet hands, form small balls (look at the pictures) and place on the lined baking tray. You should get 18 balls.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the balls start to turn light brown. Take out of the oven, flip them over and bake for another 10-15 min.
Remove and let the balls cool down.
For the dipping sauce – combine all the ingredients, coconut aminos, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, minced garlic and Sriracha, whisk well.