Turkey Enchilada Meatballs with Zoodles

I am so excited to be partnering with Jennie-O to bring you this post for a healthy new year.  Jennie-O creates quality, affordable products and I hope you will join me in supporting the brands that help Blonde Girl Cravings operate!

How’s the New Year’s diet treating you? It sure is hard to get back on the healthy eating bandwagon after a holiday season full of fattening foods and sugar, isn’t it?

Jennie-O turkey graciously provided me with two packages of their Lean Ground Turkey Breast meat and asked me to create a recipe for a healthy new year.  Because I know most of us love a big plate of cheesy Mexican food, something along those lines seemed fitting.

Tender turkey meatballs, smothered in homemade enchilada sauce, covered in cheese and served over zoodles? What’s not to love! I make my own enchilada sauce and encourage you to do the same because nothing else compares, but you can certainly use canned if you prefer.

If zoodles aren’t your style, or you don’t own a spiralizer (I use this) these would also be delicious served over quinoa or brown rice. They reheat well, so I enjoyed them for lunch the next day as well!

Check out Jennie-O’s website for a list of awesome lighter recipes for a healthy new year. And be sure to follow Jennie-O on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest!

Turkey Enchilada Meatballs with Zoodles

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Jennie-O Ground Turkey Breast
  • 1/4 cup grated yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups red enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Sliced green onions and cilantro for toppings (optional)
  • 2 large zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (separated)
    Enchilada Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 2 cups chicken broth or stock

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl mix together the onion, bread crumbs, egg, cilantro, milk and seasonings.
  • Add in the ground turkey and use your hands to combine everything together, making sure not to overwork the meat.
  • Use a cookie scoop or measuring spoon to form tablespoon sized meatballs and place them on a plate. (I prefer to chill the meatballs for 30 minutes, but this step is not necessary. I find it holds the meatballs together better.)
  • Heat a 12 inch cast iron skillet or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Coat the bottom of the skillet with 1 tablespoon oil or cooking spray.
  • Place the meatballs in a single layer in the skillet and cook for approximately 3 minutes on one side, then flip them over and cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Lower the heat to medium-low then pour the enchilada sauce all over the meatballs.
  • Sprinkle the cheese over the meatballs then place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and top with sliced green onions and cilantro if desired. Serve over zoodles.
  • Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir together over the heat for one minute. Stir in the remaining seasonings. Then gradually add in the broth, whisking constantly to remove lumps. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes until thick. I prefer my sauce thicker, so I cook a little longer.
  • For Zoodles:
  • Slice ends off zucchini. Use you spiralizer to cut into "noodles." Heat medium pan on high, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook noodles just until slightly softened.
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    Homemade Taco Seasoning

    I absolutely adore shopping in bulk. It amazes me how much cheaper things are, and my OCD loves having a pantry full of pretty matching jars and canisters 😉

    Another bonus of shopping in bulk is that it makes it even easier to make your own spice mixes. Yes, I am aware that they sell taco seasoning in bulk, but when you create your own spice mixes you know exactly what ingredients are included, and you can adjust them to your family’s taste.

    This seasoning makes a good amount of mix. I keep it in my cupboard and use it whenever a recipe calls for taco seasoning.

    Homemade Taco Seasoning

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup chili powder (I used mild, but can use medium or hot)
    • 3 tablespoons cumin powder
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons red pepper flakes (use more or less to taste)
    • 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves

    Instructions

  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl or ziplock bag, mixing thoroughly. . Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Use 2-3 tablespoons per pound of ground meat.
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    Black Bean Queso

    So I know its a new year and all, but I gotta say, I think New Years resolutions are a load of crap. I think they just set people up for failure. I believe in everything in moderation, and some days housework counts as exercise. Life is hard enough without restricting the good things!

    Some days, you need a salad. Others, you need cheesy dip and chips. Have your green smoothie today if you must, and save this recipe for Super Bowl. Trust me, you will be so glad you did.

    This dip comes together in a flash, and can be made as spicy as you like depending on the amount of cayenne and red pepper flakes you add. It re-heats beautifully, and makes enough to feed a crowd. More dip in my life- that is a resolution I can get behind!

    Recipe adapted from Peas and Crayons

    Black Bean Queso

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup tomatillo salsa verde
    • 1 15 oz can refried black beans
    • 8 oz cream cheese
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 8 oz pepper jack cheese, freshly grated
    • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes for topping (optional)
    • 1/4 tsp dried parsley for topping
    • tortilla chips

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Combine beans, salsa, softened cream cheese, salt, and cayenne pepper, in a seasoned cast iron skillet *and mix thoroughly.
  • Once the beans are hot and the cream cheese has fully melted, slowly add half of the freshly grated pepper jack cheese, stirring constantly to incorporate.
  • Top with remaining cheese, parsley and red pepper flakes, and bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbly!
  • *Can also use 8x10 baking dish, heating ingredients in the microwave
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    New Year’s Eve Recipe Round-Up

    Post updated 12/27/2016 to include even more New Year’s recipe goodness!

    new years collageHow was your Christmas? What did you get? WHAT DID YOU GET ME?? I hope you had lots of family time and ate until you couldn’t breath. On that note, lets talk New Year’s Eve eats! Here is a round up of some of my favorite easy to eat munchies. I think food always tastes better with a bite in one hand and a adult beverage in the other, don’t you? Happy New Year my lovelies, thanks for sticking it out with me while I stumble through this blog thing. I love you all bunches!!

    Italian Nachos

    Stuffed Pizza Bites

    Bacon, Bleu Cheese and Caramelized Onion Tart  

    Cookie Sticks

    053

    Gorgonzola Waffle Fries

    064

    Hot Crab Dip

    tacochexmix (1 of 1)

    Taco Chex Mix

    almondchex (1 of 1)-2

    Almond Snack Mix

     165

    The Crispiest Oven Baked Wings – Two Ways!

    stuffed mini with words

    Stuffed Mini Peppers

    135

    Autumn Chex Mix

    206

    Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms

    phillypizza (1 of 1)-3

    Philly Cheese Steak French Bread Pizza

    Coconut Crusted French Toast with Caramelized Bananas

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    How was your holiday? Wonderful, I hope! I know many of you still have guests or may be home on vacation, or maybe guests for New Year next week. I have a killer breakfast recipe for you that will impress anyone!

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    Delicious sliced of french toast, coated in crunchy coconut, topped with sweet caramelized bananas and a caramel syrup. It’s a brunch lovers dream! You can change this recipe up slightly by leaving out the rum, and even substituting the milk for coconut milk if you want it to be extra coco-nutty.

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    Use caution when cooking the french toast, you don’t want the coconut to burn. Make sure to cook them on  medium so they cook through and the coconut has time to get nicely browned.

    Coconut Crusted French Toast with Caramelized Bananas

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 4 large eggs
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
    • 1 loaf French bread, sliced 1 inch thick
    • 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
    • Oil of frying (I used coconut oil.)
      Banana Caramel Syrup
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
    • 3 tablespoons whipping (heavy) cream
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 4 tablespoons dark rum (optional)
    • 2 bananas, thickly sliced

    Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet or griddle to medium. Whisk the first five ingredients together in a baking dish or large bowl.
  • Pour the shredded coconut onto a plate. Pour enough oil in the skillet to completely coat the bottom. Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture for 15-20 seconds per side. Then dip the slices in the shredded coconut on both sides for an even coat.
  • Cook for 1 minute per side. Watch for a crispy golden-brown crust. The coconut may turn a deep brown, but avoid burning! If the coconut burns before the crust has formed, turn the heat down a little.
  • Add more oil as needed and continue with the rest of the bread. Serve the french toast warm with the banana caramel syrup
  • For the banana caramel syrup: In a pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar and mix to combine. Once the butter and sugar are incorporated together, stop stirring and let the mixture come to a low boil. Without stirring, let the sugar mixture boil for 2 minutes.
  • Slowly add the whipping cream and whisk to combine. Stir in the cinnamon and vanilla. Add the rum and banana slices. Cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute or until the bananas begin to soften, but you don't want them to turn mushy.
  • Spoon the bananas and caramel syrup directly over the french toast. Serve immediately.
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    Gingerbread Streusel Muffins with Caramel Icing

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    I have always loved Christmas, but no one told me that it would be so much better as an adult watching your kids open gifts than when you’re little. Twinkling lights, festive tunes playing in the background, tiny shreds of paper and tape infesting every fiber of my carpet….oh wait. Forget that last part. 😉

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    All of that gift opening can really work up an appetite, and I love a big Christmas morning brunch.

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    These muffins taste like the holidays to me, and I couldn’t help but add streusel to yet another muffin recipe (Cranberry Orange Muffin, Carrot Cake Muffin. I haven’t heard any complaints yet, but I do admit these have a lot of topping. Feel free to cut that portion in half if you prefer.

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    The caramel icing really puts the muffins over the top. Despite how they look, they aren’t overly sweet, which is nice at a time of year when cookies and candy abound.

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    Recipe heavily adapted from Fork Knife Swoon

    Gingerbread Streusel Muffins

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup (1 small/medium) very ripe banana, mashed
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
    • 1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp ground ginger
    • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
    • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp fine-grain sea salt
    • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
    • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
    • 1/3 cup molasses
    • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or sub dairy milk)
    • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
      Streusel
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter-melted
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
      Caramel Icing
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 to 4 tablespoons milk

    Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray or line a 12 cup muffin pan and set aside.
  • To make streusel topping in a medium bowl stir together 1 cup all-purpose flour, ⅔ cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon salt, add 1 /2 cup melted unsalted butter melted and stir it with a fork until crumbly, set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mash banana with a fork. Add in egg, mix well to combine. Stir in the vanilla, oil, milk, yogurt and molasses, stir until completely combine. Add in the sugars, mix.
  • Add the baking powder, spices, salt and baking soda and stir to combine. Fold in the flour until just mixed. Do not over-mix.
  • Use a cookie scoop to divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups, about 3/4 full. Top each muffin with streusel topping.
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Turn the oven temperature down to 375 degrees, and bake for an additional 7-9 minutes until a cake tester inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Let cool in the muffin tins for 5 minutes, then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely.
  • For the icing, For frosting, in a microwave safe bowl, melt butter. Add brown sugar; cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from microwave cool for 3 minutes. Stir in the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve a thick pouring consistency. Drizzle over muffins.
  • Serve warm or at room-temperature.
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    One-Pot Chicken Marsala Pasta

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    Holidays man. They’re killing me this year! Even though I planned ahead, it seems like the time is flying by and I don’t seem to have enough time to fit it all in. Anyone else with me?

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    How is a person supposed to impress guests with a 5 course meal and have time to do it all? They aren’t, that’s how! Bring on the one-pot meals. Limited dishes, people pleasing meals that can be adapted to your tastes.

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    This pasta is one that I would be more than happy to serve to holiday guests. I took the traditional chicken Marsala dish and made it about as easy as a meal could possibly get. Serve with extra cheese and a sprinkle of parsley on top and you have a dish that will impress any holiday guest and-dare I say- leave you a little extra time to actually enjoy the holidays?!

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    One-Pot Chicken Marsala Pasta

    Ingredients

    • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
    • 1 pound mushrooms (button or cremini)
    • 1 tablespoon oil
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced (I used roasted garlic)
    • 4 1/2 cups chicken broth
    • 1 cup Marsala wine
    • 1 lb short cut pasta of your choice
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
    • ¼ cup heavy cream
    • Parsley, to garnish

    Instructions

  • In a deep saute pan, heat the oil, then melt the butter.
  • Add in the chicken. Stir often and cook until chicken is browned on each side, about 8 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and garlic, cook until mushrooms are just browned. Season with salt and pepper. Add in the wine, scraping the bottom of the pot to pull up any browned bits. Add the broth and pasta.
  • Bring to a low boil and then reduce to a simmer. Stir occasionally, until the pasta is cooked to al dente, When the pasta is cooked and the sauce has reduced, mix in the parmesan cheese and heavy cream. Stir to combine, until it is all warm. Garnish with parsley and serve, topping with additional cheese if desired.
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    Lemon Coconut Biscotti with White Chocolate

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    This holiday season, I have decided to switch things up a bit and not make my normal “traditional” recipes. Instead of the same cookie and candy tray I usually make, I think I will give homemade granola for gifts, or these biscotti. Recipes that will keep for a long time, but aren’t as sweet as the expected holiday fare.

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    These biscotti are so light and lemony, the perfect treat with a cup of tea. I love the combination of lemon and coconut and the white chocolate on top give the perfect amount of sweetness. They ship well and keep for a long time. Wrap individually and they will stay fresh even longer.

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    Recipe adapted from Laughing Spatula

    Lemon Coconut Biscotti with White Chocoate

    Ingredients

    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • ⅔ cup sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (about one medium lemon)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
    • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
    • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
    • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
      Garnish:
    • 1 cup shredded coconut
    • 1 package white chocolate chips

    Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter, sugar, salt, lemon rind, almond extract, and baking powder until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Beat in the lemon juice and eggs. Slowly add the flour, mixing until smooth. The dough will be sticky, I recommend flouring your hands or spatula when shaping the dough.
  • Tun the dough onto a large baking sheet with parchment or silicone mat.. Shape it into a log that’s about 13" long x 3" wide x 3⁄4" thick. Try to straighten the sides and smooth the top the best you can.
  • Bake the dough for 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven, and allow it to cool on the pan anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes.. Reduce the oven heat to 325°F.
  • Use a serrated knife to cut the log crosswise into 1⁄2" slices.
  • Place the biscotti back on the prepared baking sheet. Return the biscotti to the oven, and bake them for 30 to 35 minutes, till they feel very dry and are beginning to turn golden around the edges. Biscotti will harden as they cool, so do not over-bake. Cool biscotti on wire rack.
  • While biscotti cool, melt the white chocolate in a double boiler. Place the coconut on a large plate. Dip biscotti into chocolate, then in coconut. Allow chocolate to set. Store biscotti in an air tight container for up to 3 weeks.
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    Grilled Kielbasa Sandwich

    Hello winter, I have been dreading your arrival. You can hurry up and leave now please! Now that the cold days and even colder nights have arrived, I crave comfort food. This sandwich is perfect for the nights when the kids are gone and I want something filling that won’t feed and army.

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    The sandwich consists of all the things I love: cheese, sourdough, sauerkraut and kielbasa. Mmmm I am drooling just thinking about it! Of course, if you are going to open a can of kraut and cook the sausage, you might want to make more than one sandwich, but I find that both ingredients freeze well. Depending on how thick you slice the kielbasa, you may need to put a weight on the sandwich while it cooks, like a heavy skillet.

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    Grilled Kielbasa Sandwich

    Yield: 4 sandwiches

    Ingredients

    • 13 oz package kielbasa (I used turkey kielbasa)
    • 14 oz can sauerkraut
    • 1 package sliced Swiss or provolone cheese
    • 8 slices sourdough bread
    • butter

    Instructions

  • Cook kielbasa according to package instructions. While kielbasa is cooking, drain sauerkraut well.
  • Heat skillet over medium heat. Butter two slices of bread. Slice the sausage into 1/4 inch slices, and layer cheese, kielbasa and sauerkraut onto bread. Place sandwich, butter side down, into preheated pan. Cook until golden and cheese is starting to melt, then flip and cook on other side. Serve immediately.
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