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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    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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    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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    Harvest Salad

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    The season of hearty, calorie laden comfort food is upon us! I do love big bowls of chowder, pumpkin bread and anything creamy and cheesy as much as the next person, but my motto is “everything in moderation.” I eat a lot of salad, and I really do love it. I ate my fill of caprese and salads topped with fresh corn  and garden tomatoes this summer, but now fall produce is getting its turn.

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    Spring mix is topped with crisp apples, tart dried cranberries, candied pecans, blue cheese and a simple balsamic vinaigrette. A perfect way to enjoy fall flavors while being both light and delicious.

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    While you could buy candied pecans, homemade are so simple to make and completely customize-able. Add a little cinnamon or even a pinch cayenne for flavor. If you want to switch it up some, replace the apples with pears and the blue cheese with goat cheese.

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    Harvest Salad

    Ingredients

    • 5 ounces of mixed gourmet/spring greens
    • 1 apple (I used Fuji), cored and chopped (to equal about 1¼ cups)
    • 1 cup candied pecans
    • ⅔ cup dried cranberries
    • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
      Dressing:
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 1½ tablespoons pure maple syrup
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • ½ teaspoon smooth dijon mustard
    • a pinch (about 1/16 teaspoon) kosher salt
      Candied Pecans
    • 1 cup pecans
    • 1½ tablespoons packed brown sugar
    • 1½ teaspoons water
    • ⅛ teaspoon vanilla
    • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

    Instructions

  • For pecans: Mix together all ingredients but the pecans. In a medium-large saucepan over medium heat, toast pecans for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. When you begin to smell them, they're done.
  • Quickly drizzle the sugar mixture into the pan, on top of the pecans, stirring the nuts as you drizzle. Stir constantly for about 15 seconds, until the pecans are thoroughly coated in the sugar mixture. Immediately remove from heat so they don't burn.
  • Spread the pecans on a piece of parchment to cool. Once cooled, you can break the nuts apart, if needed.
  • Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container. The pecans will be slightly sticky at first, but the coating hardens further within a few hours.
  • For the salad: Place greens in a large serving bowl (or divide it among individual salad plates).
  • Sprinkle apples, pecans, cranberries, and cheese over top of greens.
  • For dressing, whisk together balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, mustard, and salt until emulsified.
  • Dress salad just before serving.
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    http://blondegirlcravings.com/2016/10/10/harvest-salad/

    Recipe Source: Two Healthy Kitchens

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    Sausage and Pumpkin Pizza

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    Anyone else feel as blue as I do when fall comes around? Something about the end of summer, school starting and the approach of winter gets we all kinds of melancholy every year.

    This year I am going to try to battle the “fall blues” by trying to actually enjoy the season. I know, who would have thought???

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    Naturally, part of enjoying fall is eating all the pumpkin things. I wanted something that isn’t a baked good, and this pizza didn’t disappoint.

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    I used my favorite pizza dough recipe, and with a short ingredient list this pizza comes together in a snap. Don’t skip the pumpkin seeds on the top, they add the perfect crunch! I know the combo seems a bit different than the pizza you are used to , but trust me this was delicious!

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    If you are looking for another fun dinner idea using pumpkin try my Pumpkin and Chicken Sausage Pasta. YUM!

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    Sausage and Pumpkin Pizza

    Ingredients

    • One recipe Fast and Easy Pizza Dough
    • 1 lb. Italian sausage, browned and drained of grease
    • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
    • ½ cup pumpkin puree
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
    • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
    • ½ cup pumpkin seeds (pepita)

    Instructions

  • Preheat the oven according to 450 degrees. Roll out pizza dough to desired thickness.
  • Mix together the ricotta cheese, pumpkin puree, the salt, garlic powder and oregano in a bowl.
  • Divide the mixture in half and spread equally on the pizza dough.
  • Spread the sausage, mozzarella cheese and pumpkin seeds evenly on pizza.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until crust is crisp and cheese is melted.
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    Mexican Chicken Taco Skillet

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    You guys. How is summer almost over and school about to start? I am sooo not ready for this! M will be in first grade this year, and a full-time student. Which means homework, and picking up/dropping off kids at two different places on weekdays.

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    I know that I am going to need to have plenty of one pot meals in my arsenal to help me get dinner on the table on crazy school nights.

    I seems that pretty much everyone loves anything “Mexican” or “taco” and this easy meal doesn’t disappoint. Just a few minutes prep and one pot(!) and dinner is cooking. This dish can be topped with any of your favorite taco toppings, so everyone in the family add what they like. Winner winner chicken dinner!

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    Mexican Chicken Taco Skillet

    Ingredients

    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1/2 onion, diced
    • 1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
    • 1 taco seasoning packet (or 3 tablespoons, if using a bulk mix)
    • 1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes
    • 1 (14oz) can corn, drained
    • 3/4 cup long grain white rice (I use Jasmine)
    • 2 cups chicken broth
    • 6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
    • Taco Toppings:
    • sour cream, tomatoes, diced avocado, black olives, cilantro, chips etc.

    Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook the onion and chicken pieces in the oil until the chicken is browned and the onion is tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the taco seasoning, diced tomatoes (undrained), mexicorn, white rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes (or until rice is cooked through), stirring halfway.
  • Top with cheese and cover for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from heat and top with taco toppings as desired. Leftovers heat well!
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    Homemade Hamburger Helper

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    Once a year when I was little my dad would leave my mom, brother and I home for a week and go on a hunting trip. While I’m sure we missed him, we looked forward to eating some of the meals that Dad wasn’t fond of. One of those meals was Hamburger Helper, particularly the “cheeseburger macaroni” kind. For me, that was my favorite and I could eat it by the bowl-ful.

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    I still love cheeseburger macaroni just as much now that I am an adult, but as a food blogger I love finding homemade versions of store-bought favorites that taste better and are a little better for you.

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    This recipe doesn’t disappoint. It’s about as easy as dinner can get, and comes together quickly. One pan meals are my favorite, and a meal that the kids and I love without having to do lots of dishes is a win-win for me!

    Homemade Hamburger Helper

    Ingredients

    • 1 pound ground beef
    • 3/4 cup dry macaroni
    • 1 cup hot water
    • 2 cups milk
    • 1 tablespoon corn starch
    • 1 tablespoon paprika
    • 2 teaspoons onion powder
    • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
    • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

    Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Brown the ground beef, season with paprika, onion powder, salt, sugar and mustard powder. Drain meat if needed.
  • Stir in the milk, water and macaroni. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Stir in cheddar cheese until melted.
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    Recipe Source: Buns In My Oven

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    LIGHT RANCH BLT CHICKEN SALAD SANDWICH

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    I love cooking and would do it all day every day if I could. That much is obvious. But even a foodie like me draws the line at being in the kitchen when its as hot as it is right now. I don’t have AC, so I can only stand to be in the kitchen long enough to throw something quick together.

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    This sandwich makes the perfect lunch or dinner. I like it so much better than traditional chicken salad, and we all know bacon and ranch makes everything better! This makes a wonderful sandwich, but would be great with crackers, on a croissant or over a bed of greens.

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    Light Ranch BLT Chicken Sandwich

    Ingredients

    • ¼ c. light mayo
    • ¼ c. non-fat plain Greek yogurt
    • 1 Tbsp. djjon
    • 1 Tbsp. ranch seasoning
    • 1.5 c. chicken cooked and cubed
    • ¾ c. tomato, seeded and chopped
    • ⅓ c. bacon pieces cooked
    • ½ c. green onions diced
    • 8 slices wheat bread
    • lettuce for garnish

    Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayo, yogurt, dijon and ranch seasoning until well combined. To that add the chicken, tomatoes, bacon and green onion. Stir until evenly coated. Store refrigerated for 1-2 hours before serving for the best flavors.
  • Arrange salad and lettuce on bread, serve immediately
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    Creamy Spinach Tomato Tortellini

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    While it may be silly, one of my most favorite parts of summer is fresh basil. Yes, I am well aware that fresh basil is available year round. Yet I can only seem to keep mine alive in the summer, and in my small down sometimes the fresh stuff is hard to find in stores. So to me, fresh basil= summer. I made this pasta the day after I bought my summer basil plant. I couldn’t help myself!

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    This dish was so easy but full of yummy Italian flavors. Its meat free, so perfect for meatless Monday, but I wouldn’t be mad at some Italian sausage or chicken being added to it. My kids enjoyed it too, and I felt quite proud of myself for being able to sneak some spinach into them 😉

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    Creamy Spinach Tomato Tortellini

    Ingredients

    • 1 (20 oz) pkg three cheese tortellini (fresh or frozen)
    • 2 Tbsp butter
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 1 cup milk (I used skim, anything works fine)
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes (undrained)
    • 1 1/2 cups (packed) chopped fresh spinach
    • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
    • 2 tsp chopped fresh oregano (or 1/2 tsp dry)
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 6 Tbsp finely shredded parmesan, plus more for serving
    • Red pepper flakes, for serving (optional)

    Instructions

  • Cook tortellini according to directions listed on package.
  • Meanwhile, in a large and deep skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds, then add flour and onion powder and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. While whisking, slowly pour in milk and cream, then whisk until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to simmer, then add tomatoes, spinach, basil and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook several minutes longer until sauce has thickened and spinach has wilted. Add parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat.
  • Toss prepared and drained tortellini into sauce mixture (note that as the pasta rests, the sauce will seem thicker and it will sort of soak into the noodles. So, if you won't be serving it for 10 minutes or so you can stir in some pasta water, milk or cream to thin it out if desired). Serve warm sprinkled with additional parmesan cheese if desired and optional red pepper flakes.
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    Recipe adapted from: Cooking Classy

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