When Tony and I first met he ate completely different than he does now. He was into red meat, burgers, fried food, Papa John’s pizza, tater tots and anything that was cheap and easy.
He’s learned a lot through cooking with me and being exposed to a variety of healthy foods that he never really included in his diet before, such as: avocados, grain free tortillas, more whole grains, almond milk, grain free granola, salmon, pears, tahini, almond butter, dark chocolate, cabbage, broccoli, squash, mangos, etc. I’m incredibly proud of how far he’s come when it come to his every day food choices.
The best part about inspiring someone to change their eating habits is that they generally FEEL better and are happier too.
That’s exactly what I try to do here at Ambitious Kitchen: inspire you to live a healthy life that feels right for YOU.
Since we met, Tony now eats veggies at every meal, lean meats (we rarely buy red meat), less dairy (he tries to pretend he’s not lactose intolerant ha!) and more healthy fats like nuts and avocados. It took him awhile to realize that eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor or taste.
Of course, that doesn’t mean we don’t eat burgers or enjoy chocolate chip cookies every so often.
When it comes to achieving a healthy lifestyle, we try and have a mindset that’s both approachable and attainable. We eat to feel good and nourish our bodies, but also eat for pleasure and experiences, knowing that food can bring people together and memories are often made around the table with people you love.
Because my husband is a big meat eater, I’m always experimenting with how to jazz up lean proteins like chicken, turkey or fish. That’s exactly where the inspiration for these ginger chicken meatballs came in.
Frankly, I’m not sure what I love more about this meal: The fact that there’s delicious meatballs are infused with herbs and spices OR that there’s a creamy thai-inspired peanut sauce to coat them in. Above all, they are simply INCREDIBLE and I know you’re going to adore this recipe.
A few tips before you get cooking:
- Use a good peanut butter with lots of flavor and salt, it reallys helps the flavor. I highly recommend Smucker’s creamy natural.
- Serve them with any of the following to soak up all the extra sauce: brown rice, forbidden rice (aka black rice), quinoa, sweet potato noodles or zucchini noodles! Cauliflower rice would be delicious too.
- You can use either ground chicken or ground turkey. Do not use extra lean or the meatballs will be dry. I recommend using right around 93% lean for best results.
- Feel free to switch up the veggies based on what you have in your fridge. Spinach would be a delicious add-in.
More healthy meatball recipes:
See how to make the ginger chicken meatballs:
One Pan Ginger Chicken Meatballs with Peanut Sauce
- For the meatballs:
- 1 pound 93% lean ground chicken (or lean ground turkey)
- 1 egg
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs (or if GF sub 2 tablespoons coconut flour)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
- ¼ cup finely diced cilantro
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (can also use avocado oil, coconut oil or olive oil)
- 2 large carrots, thinly sliced
- For the peanut sauce:
- 1 (15 ounce) can light coconut milk
- 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter (just peanuts + salt)
- 2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
- 1 tablespoon chili paste or sriracha
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned
- 2/3 cup frozen peas (or edamame)
- To garnish:
- Chopped honey roasted peanuts
- Diced scallions
- Fresh cilantro
- Hot sauce, if desired
In a large bowl, add the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, green onion, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, ginger, cayenne, salt and pepper. Use clean hands to mix and form into 16 golf ball sized meatballs.
Place a large deep skillet over medium-high heat and add in sesame oil. Add the meatballs and brown on all sides, about 5-6 minutes total. You may need to do this in batches, depending on how many meatballs you can fit in your skillet without overcrowding them. When meatballs are done browning, transfer to a plate and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add in the coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce and chili paste to the same skillet. Whisk together until well combined. Add in carrots, then add the meatballs back in and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove lid and gently stir in the peas and red bell pepper. Simmer for 5 more minutes uncovered. Serve with brown rice, quinoa or with spiralized zucchini or sweet potato. There will be lots of sauce, which makes it delicious! Garnish with chopped honey-roasted peanuts, scallions, cilantro. Serves 4.
Recipe by: Monique Volz of Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eat