Zoodles with [V] Cilantro Pesto + Turkey Meatballs

January 19, 2018

If you haven't gotten on the zoodle train... its time. Its a super healthy replacement for noodles, and its fun to do! [Sean even agrees] This is a super quick and easy recipe for a healthy weeknight meal. If you don't have a zoodler - ahem - spiralizer... here are some links for them. I have had the kind on the left, its cheaper, but it tires your hand out, so I recommend the one on the right.

I've been trying to do more dairy-free meals, condiments and toppings this year. Going completely dairy-free is too hard for me, because #cheese. But when I can, I sub vegan or dairy free ingredients. In cases like pesto, it's actually really easy and IMO, better tasting!! Pesto is really easy to make and homemade is like 1000x better than store bought. You can make it out of pretty much any herb you like... doesn't have to be basil like the traditional recipe. Another trick (especially good for kiddos) add the same amount of spinach as whatever herb you're using. You literally cannot taste it and its such an easy way to sneak in some extra greens.

 

Nutritional yeast + seeds/nuts are the key to making this vegan pesto taste like normal pesto. Nutritional yeast has a cheesy flavor and is packed with vitamins, protein, fiber and is good for immunity and gut health. The nuts and seeds create a creamy texture that I love for pesto!

 

Zoodles + Cilantro Pesto + Turkey Meatballs

 

Serves 4 | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 45 minutes

 

Pesto

1 head cilantro

2 cups spinach

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup water

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon red chili flakes

3 T Nutritional Yeast

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup cashews

Juice of 1 lime

salt & pepper

 

 

1. Wash the cilantro, then chop the stems off. You can leave some of them in, but pretty much just cut off the bottom of the bunch, the parts that are just stems.

 

2. Add the cilantro to a food processor or blender with the spinach, olive oil, water, garlic, red chili flakes, nutritional yeast, pumpkin seeds, cashews, juice of 1 lime, salt and pepper.

 

3. Blend it up until it is well combined, and that's it!

 

4. You can use this on sooo many things: fish, chicken, noodles, as a dipping sauce, etc! Enjoy!

 

 

 

Meatballs

1 lb turkey

3/4 cup breadcrumbs (or rolled oats if your're GF)

1 egg

1/2 t garlic powder

1/4 t each of Salt and Pepper

 

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a cookie sheet with tin foil (unless you like doing dishes). Then spray it with cooking oil or drizzle some on and spread it around with your hands. This prevents the balls from sticking.

 

3. In a bowl, combine the turkey, breadcrumbs, 1 egg, 2 T of the pesto, 1/2 t garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. If you are gluten free, or just don't have breadcrumbs, you can run rolled oats through a food processor till you get crumb like texture (only a few pulses necessary). Then mix it together until its well incorporated. You can use your hands, but that grosses me out like WOAH so I use a spoon.

 

 4. Roll them into about 1-1.5 inch balls. Spray your hands with oil before rolling, which will prevent the meat from getting all caked on your hands. Place them on the cookie sheet. They can be close together, just make sure they aren't touching. Then bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.

 

Zoodles

1 pkg cherry tomatoes (like 2 cups)

7 Medium to large zucchinis

 

 

1. For this recipe, slice some cherry tomatoes in half or thirds for topping while the meatballs were cooking. Then I made the zoodles! I just ran the zucchini through your spiralizer of choice. I used the smaller setting on mine.

 

2. When the meatballs were about 5 minutes away from being done, I cooked the zucchini. It goes really quick. In a large skillet, heat 1 t of olive oil, then add the zucchini noodles, and about 3/4 of the pesto, and a splash of water to make it easier to mix. I saved a little bit of pesto to drizzle over the top. Mix it all together. 

 

3. I served this over a bed of kale or spinach (MORE GREENS!), Then top with the meatballs and cherry tomatoes! Enjoy!

 

 

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© 2018 by Hayley D'Auria