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Easy Southwest Zoodle Bowls with Turkey Meatballs

RecipesRobyn DownsComment

Light, bright, and full of vibrant flavors, Easy Southwest Zoodle Bowls with Turkey Meatballs is a simple weeknight recipe everyone will love.

Light, bright, and full of vibrant flavors, Easy Southwest Zoodle Bowls with Turkey Meatballs is a simple weeknight recipe everyone will love.

Most of my recipe development process happens in real time, on busy weeknights after long workdays.

I like to develop and test recipes in real life because I know you're right there with me, with hungry mouths to feed and little time to spend in the kitchen.

This recipe came about recently on such an occasion--home late from work without much of a plan for dinner. I grabbed some fresh produce from the fridge and frozen ground turkey from the freezer and my thoughts immediately went to meatballs. 

I love meatballs for weeknight dinners because they cook away in the oven, allowing time to prepare the rest of the meal.

Plus they are filling and everyone in the family seems to like them.

Light, bright, and full of vibrant flavors, Easy Southwest Zoodle Bowls with Turkey Meatballs is a simple weeknight recipe everyone will love.

These zoodle bowls are a twist on Easy Southwest Quinoa Bowls, and they use the same tangy, vibrant sauce because it is just so darn good. 

The sauce comes together quickly, and is used to season both the turkey for the meatballs, and as a topping for the bowls. 

I just love a good sauce that can pull double duty.

While the meatballs cook, simply chop the veggies and spiralize the zucchini. Then give the zoodles a quick toss in a hot pan, top with the remaining raw veggies, warm meatballs, and then add a generous drizzle of sauce. 

Yum.

I hope you'll give this one a try soon. Make a double batch of the meatballs while you're at it, so you can streamline dinner for a future weeknight.

Now, let's make some Easy Southwest Zoodle Bowls with Turkey Meatballs!

Light, bright, and full of vibrant flavors, Easy Southwest Zoodle Bowls with Turkey Meatballs is a simple weeknight recipe everyone will love.

RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS


1 | Not feeling the meatballs? Top these zoodle bowls with any protein you like. Think grilled chicken or fish, or swap in some seasoned black beans for a vegetarian option.

2 | Make a double batch of the meatballs to freeze for dinner another night.

3 | Swap out the zoodles for brown rice or quinoa.


THIS RECIPE IS . . .


Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo and Whole30 Friendly


Light, bright, and full of vibrant flavors, Easy Southwest Zoodle Bowls with Turkey Meatballs is a simple weeknight recipe everyone will love.

Easy Southwest Zoodle Bowls with Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients

For the Sauce

¼ cup lime juice (from about 2-3 limes)

½ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon honey (omit for Whole30)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon mild chili powder

For the Meatballs and Bowls

1 pound ground dark-meat turkey

1 pound ground light-meat turkey

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 green onions, finely chopped (white and green parts)

1 teaspoon olive oil

3 medium zucchinis, spiralized

1 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage

1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Make the sauce by whisking together the lime juice, olive oil, honey, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, and chili powder until well combined.

3. Add the scallion and turkey (white- and dark-meat) to a large bowl. Pour over ⅓ cup of the sauce, mixing gently until just combined. 

4. Gently roll 1 heaping teaspoon of the turkey mixture into a ball. Place it on a baking sheet, then repeat with the remaining turkey mixture.

5. Bake the meatballs for 12-18 minutes, or until slightly golden and cooked through.

6. Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the zooldes and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and warmed through (but not mushy), about 2-3 minutes.

7. Divide the zoodles between 4 bowls, adding cabbage and red peppers to each. Top each bowl with 3-5 meatballs, drizzle 2 tablespoons sauce, and serve.

Serves 4, with the possibility of leftover meatballs. 

One-Bowl Double Chocolate Banana Breakfast Muffins

RecipesRobyn Downs10 Comments

An easy, decadent treat, One-Bowl Double Chocolate Banana Breakfast Muffins are just the thing for mornings on-the-go. Gluten-free, dairy-free, naturally sweetened and totally delicious!

An easy, decadent treat, One-Bowl Double Chocolate Banana Breakfast Muffins are just the thing for mornings on-the-go. Gluten-free, dairy-free, naturally sweetened and totally delicious!

We've have so many missed school days this year.

There was the holiday break, of course, and then a handful of days missed due to the inevitable post-holiday cough/cold/fever.

Then there were the ten days missed due to snow and ice. Add a few inservice days and teacher conference days, and we've spent more days at home then at school.

I can't say these past few weeks, therefore, have been my most productive.

They have, however, been filled with coloring, couch forts, plenty of 3-Ingredient Hot Cocoa, snowmen, ice caves, stacks of library books, Dinosaur Train, art projects, and plenty of kitchen time.

I mean, who needs school when the world if full of so many beautiful things to do?

An easy, decadent treat, One-Bowl Double Chocolate Banana Breakfast Muffins are just the thing for mornings on-the-go. Gluten-free, dairy-free, naturally sweetened and totally delicious!

Elle has been with me in the kitchen since she was in my belly, and is always listening and observing when it comes to the blog. She has opinions about the brand colors. And which photos she thinks will "get the most hearts" on Instagram. And about which recipes I should be working on next.

If I left the decisions completely up to her, the blog would consist entirely of pasta and chocolate.

Would anyone really complain? 

Given her thoughts and opinions, I have been inviting her to help in the recipe development process, and once in a while she comes up with a really good idea.

On a recent no-school day I asked her what we should make, and she responded without hesitation: "Double Chocolate Banana Breakfast Muffins."

Okay then.

The girl knows what's up.

We ran a few trials, and finally settled on this version, which is ever-so-slightly sweet and packed with good-for-you ingredients.

I knew we had a winner when I turned around to find the bowl licked clean. 

We love these for breakfast, and they also make a great afternoon snack or post-dinner bite.

Make a double batch if you like, since they freeze beautifully. Just be sure to bring them all the way to room temperature, or warm them slightly before enjoying.

Here's to days at home in the kitchen and licking the batter from the bowl. Now, let's make some One-Bowl Double Chocolate Banana Breakfast Muffins!

An easy, decadent treat, One-Bowl Double Chocolate Banana Breakfast Muffins are just the thing for mornings on-the-go. Gluten-free, dairy-free, naturally sweetened and totally delicious!
An easy, decadent treat, One-Bowl Double Chocolate Banana Breakfast Muffins are just the thing for mornings on-the-go. Gluten-free, dairy-free, naturally sweetened and totally delicious!
An easy, decadent treat, One-Bowl Double Chocolate Banana Breakfast Muffins are just the thing for mornings on-the-go. Gluten-free, dairy-free, naturally sweetened and totally delicious!

RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS


1 | Skip the chocolate chips to keep this recipe completely refined sugar-free, or double them for an extra decadent treat.

2 | Store the muffins, tightly sealed, in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature or gently warm before enjoying.


THIS RECIPE IS . . .


Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Naturally Sweetened, and Vegetarian


An easy, decadent treat, One-Bowl Double Chocolate Banana Breakfast Muffins are just the thing for mornings on-the-go. Gluten-free, dairy-free, naturally sweetened and totally delicious!

One-Bowl Double Chocolate Banana Breakfast Muffins

Ingredients

2 large eggs

¼ cup melted coconut oil, plus more for greasing the pan

1 ⅓ cup mashed (very-ripe) banana

⅓ cup pure maple syrup

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 ¾ cups oat flour*

⅓ cup cocoa powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

⅓ cup dark chocolate chips, plus more for topping**

Instructions

1. Heat the oven to 350F.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut oil, banana, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.

3. Add the oat flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir gently until just incorporated. 

4. Add in the chocolate chips and stir to combine.

5. Fill each muffin tin section with roughly ¼ cup batter, then bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges begin to pull away from the sides and a toothpick comes out clean. 

6. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then cool the rest on a cooling rack.

Makes 12 muffins.

*Make your own oat flour for this recipe by placing 1 ¾ cups whole rolled oats in a blender and blending until a coarse flour forms. You can also purchase pre-made oat flour at many grocery stores and natural food markets or online. If you are gluten-free be sure to buy oats that are specifically labeled gluten-free.

**Most chocolate chips include dairy. Be sure to use dairy-free if that's important to you. I like Enjoy Life brand.

Slow Cooker Turmeric Lentil Chili

RecipesRobyn Downs7 Comments

Made with pantry staples, Slow Cooker Turmeric Lentil Chili is incredibly simple to prepare and is packed with good-for-you ingredients. A vegetarian crockpot meal perfect for any night of the week!

Made with pantry staples, Slow Cooker Turmeric Lentil Chili is incredibly simple to prepare and is packed with good-for-you ingredients. A vegetarian crockpot meal perfect for any night of the week!

Is there anything better than coming home to a steamy, nourishing, hearty bowl of chili on a cold winter day? If there is, I'm not sure what it is.

That's one of my very favorite things about the slow cooker--that taking just a few minutes to dump and stir together a handful of ingredients results in a dinner that's ready and waiting for you when you get home.

I have too many favorite slow cooker recipes to count, but one that was missing from the list was a really good vegetarian lentil chili.

If you've never tried lentil chili, it may not sound very exciting at first, but trust me, it's full of such big, hearty flavors you'll be coming back for seconds (or thirds) before you know it.

Made with pantry staples, Slow Cooker Turmeric Lentil Chili is incredibly simple to prepare and is packed with good-for-you ingredients. A vegetarian crockpot meal perfect for any night of the week!

This particular chili is a spin on an Indian-inspired Madras lentils. More specifically, it's based on a pre-made Madras lentil dish that comes in sealed pouches that I found at Costco several years ago.

Elle and I were doing a little sample testing (as people do at Costco,) when the sample lady offered us some Madras lentils. Elle, the ever-skeptical 3 year-old, eyed the new food wearily.

The woman offered her the sample, assuring her that the lentils were indeed delicious, and that her grandchildren loved them and called them "lentil chili."

Well, apparently that's all Elle needed to hear, and after trying the sample, begged me to buy the box. I obliged, and she's referred to the dish as "her favorite lentil chili" since that day. 

The the packaged variety contains cream, so I wanted to create a version that was both easy to make, and dairy-free so that our entire family would be able to enjoy it. 

Belive me, it took multiple times to nail down a recipe that was similar enough to the original to pass the "favorite lentil chili" test, but I finally prevailed and am thrilled to share this easy, filling meal with you.

It's packed with plant based protein from the beans and lentils, and gets an extra boost of goodness from turmeric. Leftovers freeze beautifully, too, if you're lucky enough to have any left. It's lovely over rice, or on its own.

I hope you'll make this delicious, vegetarian slow cooker recipe soon. Now, let's make some Slow Cooker Turmeric Lentil Chili.

Made with pantry staples, Slow Cooker Turmeric Lentil Chili is incredibly simple to prepare and is packed with good-for-you ingredients. A vegetarian crockpot meal perfect for any night of the week!

RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS


1 | My 5-year-old happens to love this chili, and its mild flavor makes it palatable to many little ones. If you have a resistant eater, invite him or her to assist in preparing the chili. Helping with the process may encourage him or her to give it a try! 

2 | This chili is good on its own, but feel free to doctor it up with cilantro, green onion, fresh avocado, or a healthy dash of hot sauce.


THIS RECIPE IS . . .


Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Vegetarian and Vegan


Made with pantry staples, Slow Cooker Turmeric Lentil Chili is incredibly simple to prepare and is packed with good-for-you ingredients. A vegetarian crockpot meal perfect for any night of the week!

Slow Cooker Turmeric Lentil Chili

Ingredients

2 (15-oz) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

32-oz reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken stock

2 cups water

1 (6-oz) can tomato paste

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon mild chili powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 cup coconut milk (from a can)

Freshly ground pepper, chopped cilantro, chopped green onion, and sliced avocado for topping (optional)

Instructions

1. Add the kidney beans, lentils, onion, stock, water, tomato paste, salt, cumin, chili powder, and turmeric to a 6-quart slow cooker.

2. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours, or until the lentils are very tender.

3. Add the coconut milk, stirring to combine. If the mixture seems dry, add a splash more water or stock. Taste and add additional salt if desired.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Super-Food Brownie Batter Bowls (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

RecipesRobyn Downs6 Comments

An indulgent, make-ahead, chocolatey breakfast treat, Super-Food Brownie Batter Bowls are naturally sweetened, gluten-free, dairy-free, and totally decadent.

An indulgent, make-ahead, chocolatey breakfast treat, Super-Food Brownie Batter Bowls are naturally sweetened, gluten-free, dairy-free, and totally decadent.

In my never-ending quest for delicious, real food, make-ahead breakfasts, I thought it was time for something very easy, completely indulgent, and totally chocolatey.

On that note, allow me to introduce you to your new breakfast obsession: Super-Food Brownie Batter Bowls.

The brownie "batter" is really smooth chia seed pudding, which can be made quickly in the blender, and incorporates the protein and fiber of chia seeds, without the texture that usually accompanies the tiny seeds.

In addition to chia seeds, these speedy breakfast bowls get a generous dose of healthy fat from coconut milk, along with the rich flavor of cacao powder. If you can't find cacao powder, though, feel free to substitute cocoa powder.

Making a big batch of the batter ahead makes weekday mornings a breeze, and the batter can be packed into individual mason jars for a speedy breakfast to-go.

I love topping these lovelies with fresh strawberries and raspberries for color and flavor, but you can really add anything you like. I can imagine a giant swirl of peanut, almond, or sunflower seed butter would really take these over the top.

I hope you enjoy this naturally sweet, make-ahead breakfast. Now, let's make some Super-Food Brownie Batter Bowls!

An indulgent, make-ahead, chocolatey breakfast treat, Super-Food Brownie Batter Bowls are naturally sweetened, gluten-free, dairy-free, and totally decadent.
An indulgent, make-ahead, chocolatey breakfast treat, Super-Food Brownie Batter Bowls are naturally sweetened, gluten-free, dairy-free, and totally decadent.

RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS


1 | Top these brownie batter bowls with anything you like and have on hand. Nut or seed butters would be amazing (hello almond butter!) as would any fresh berry. 

2 | If you're making these bowls ahead, store individual portions in half-pint mason jars so you can grab-and-go on busy mornings.


THIS RECIPE IS . . .


Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Naturally-Sweetened, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, and Paleo Friendly.


An indulgent, make-ahead, chocolatey breakfast treat, Super-Food Brownie Batter Bowls are naturally sweetened, gluten-free, dairy-free, and totally decadent.

Super-Food Brownie Batter Bowls (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

Ingredients

½ cup full-fat coconut milk (from a can)

2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (e.g., almond milk, rice milk, Super-Fast Cashew Milk)

5-6 tablespoons chia seeds

4 tablespoons cacao powder*

1-3 teaspoons coconut sugar or pure maple syrup, to taste

Pinch of sea salt

Cacao nibs for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

1. Combine the coconut milk, non-dairy milk, chia seeds, cacao, coconut sugar or maple syrup and sea salt in a blender. Blend on high, until the chia seeds are completely incorporated and the mixture is very smooth.

2. Pour into a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. 

3. Portion the mixture into individual containers if desired, then store, covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days.

4. When ready to serve, top with berries, cacao powder, and/or cacao nibs and serve.

Makes 6 (½ cup) servings.

*If you can't find cacao powder, cocoa powder can be used in its place.