Asian Turkey Meatballs with Carrot Rice

Flavorful Asian turkey meatballs served over carrot rice is an awesome, easy 30 minute weeknight dinner. Kids love it too!

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Carrot Rice | thepajamachef.comThis is one of our absolute favorite dinners. I’ve made it more times than I can count, but it’s never appeared on the blog because I never get a photo before it’s gone-zo. It’s pretty simple, as most meatball dinners are, but it feels so special because of the Asian flavors and wonderful aromatic ingredients in the dish. The meatballs are zingy with just a hint of spice. If spice isn’t your thing, feel free to leave out the Sriracha or use less. Don’t be afraid of the fish sauce though–a little goes a long way to making the meatballs extra tasty! Just don’t smell it. Take my word on that one. Can you say gross?! :)

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Carrot Rice | thepajamachef.com

One of the best things about this dinner is that it’s SO adaptable. Normally I make the meatballs with ground turkey, but if that’s not your thing, use pork or chicken or a combination. I also love that the rice isn’t boring. I stir carrots and cilantro [or Thai basil] in for some extra flavor and texture. To make this a 30 minute meal, using white rice is key… but if you have more time, brown rice would work too. Sometimes I make the rice with another liquid besides water, like chicken broth or coconut milk, for a lil extra something. But even if you just make the rice plain, it’s still amazing!

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Carrot Rice | thepajamachef.comI love to serve this dinner with steamed broccoli or edamame. It’s the perfect meal to take to a family with a new baby. I’ve done that so many times and have gotten rave reviews from everyone, including the kiddos! Just don’t forget the lime wedges. A squeeze of lime over the whole meal is essential! Enjoy!

two years ago: Maple Cornmeal Drop Biscuits
three years ago: Garlicky Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil
four years ago: Pillow Cookies

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Carrot Rice

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Print

from Everyday Food Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white rice
  • 2 cups liquid for cooking rice – like water, chicken broth, or coconut milk
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1/3 cup cilantro or Thai basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 pound ground turkey [pork works too!]
  • 2 green onions, green and white parts chopped and divided
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 3 teaspoons Sriracha
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger, optional
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • lime wedges, for serving

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large saucepan, combine 2 cups water [or coconut milk or chicken broth for extra flavor] and rice. Bring to a boil, stir, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook until rice is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and top with carrot and cilantro. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes, then stir to mix all ingredients and fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons water. Let stand for 5 minutes, then add turkey, white parts of the green onions, cilantro, fish sauce, Sriracha, sugar, garlic, and ginger if using. Gently stir to combine, then shape into 24 small meatballs.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Work in batches to brown meatballs on all sides, then transfer to a large baking dish to cook for 10 more minutes in the oven, or until cooked through. Serve meatballs over rice with green onions and lime wedges.

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SRC: Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts

These mini apple doughnuts are dipped in an easy sweet caramel sauce for the ultimate easy fall treat!

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Cookaholic Wife, a blog written by Nichole. Nichole has SO many delicious recipes on her site. I had such a hard time deciding what to make! In the end, I chose these cute lil mini caramel apple doughnuts because they seemed so seasonally appropriate. I do love pumpkin but wanted to show apple some love. :) Recipe runner ups included this Apple-Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Pork that Nichole just posted last week, Hawaiian Burgers, Caramel Grapes, and Coconut Lime Cookie Bars. If it was summer, those cookie bars would’ve definitely won! Aside from being into pretty much every one of Nichole’s recipes, I think the two of us could be BFFs. We’re the same age, both have two cats, and ideally would either be baking or reading on the beach. Yup, sounds about right. :) While I have a 30 before 30 challenge, Nichole had a 28 before 28 challenge. How fun! [And speaking of fun, read this post about Nichole's mom and her burning water habit. Hilarious!]

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

Anyways, I was psyched to see this recipe because I a) love caramel apples but hate biting into one, b) have a mini doughnut pan that I never use, and c) they just sounded AMAZING! And that they were. These mini doughnuts were a little bite of fall, perfect for dessert or breakfast. One word of caution though–the caramel sauce is super hot, so don’t take a bite until it’s cooled down a bit. The roof of your mouth will thank you! :) [I learned that from Nichole's first hand experience.]

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

Since I only have one doughnut pan, and wasn’t about to mess with letting the pan cool down in between batches, I used half the batter in my mini muffin pan for some adorable doughnut holes. So if you don’t have a doughnut pan, try that out! You may just need some additional caramel sauce for dipping since they’re a tiny bit bigger. Hope you enjoy! Thanks, Nichole for the great recipe! :)

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts | thepajamachef.com #secretrecipeclub #src

one year ago: Baked Strawberry French Toast with Strawberry Maple Syrup
three years ago: Pumpkin Spread
four years ago: Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts

  • Servings: 24 doughnuts
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Print

from Cookaholic Wife
Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup apple, minced
  • 1 cup chewy caramel candies – I used Kraft caramels, the ones they advertise for making caramel apples
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Directions:

Grease mini doughnut pan(s) or mini muffin pan(s) with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. In a measuring cup, whisk together egg, sugars, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined. Fold in apples.

Spoon batter into prepared pans, filling about halfway.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove to a wire rack to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place caramels and milk in a microwave safe small bowl. Microwave for 30 second increments on 50% power, stirring after each burst. Repeat until a caramel sauce comes together.

Dip doughnuts into caramel sauce then return to wire rack to set. Serve warm! Enjoy within a couple days, but they are definitely best the first day.

Be sure to check out other recipes from the Secret Recipe Club today!

Book Review: Captured by Love

Another book review! I have a stack to catch up on so bear with me. :) Jody Hedlund’s newest book Captured by Love is awesome. I received it over the summer from Bethany House’s book review program and am glad for the chance to check out new books every month!

Captured By Love by Jody Hedlund - reviewed on thepajamachef.com

Here’s a description of the book from the publisher:

Michigan Territory, 1814. A voyageur and a young woman swept up in a time of upheaval and danger discover firsthand the high price of freedom.

The British Army has taken control of Michilimackinac Island and its fort, forcing the Americans to swear an oath of loyalty to the crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a fur trader who returns after being away from the island for years, only to find the family farm a shambles and those he cares about starving and at the mercy of British invaders.

Torn between the adventurous life of fur trading and guilt over neglecting his defenseless mother, Pierre is drawn deeper into the fight against the British–and into a relationship with Angelique MacKenzie, a childhood friend who’s grown into a beautiful woman. She now finds herself trapped by the circumstances of war and poverty, and the cruelty of her guardian, Ebenezer Whiley.

As tensions mount and the violence rages on, Pierre and Angelique must decide where their loyalties rest and how much they’ll risk for love.

My five point review as usual:

  • Though I’ve read Jody Hedlund’s books before and loved them, I was especially interested in this one because it’s set on Mackinac Island! I grew up visiting my grandparents in Midland, MI [where Jody is from] and going on vacation to their cottage on Higgins Lake. Our day trips, especially when it was raining, were to Mackinac Island. It was so fun thinking about those times as I read about the history of the island. Jody Hedlund’s writing is so descriptive and I wanted to be there on the island, even though the British occupation during the War of 1812 made life very difficult, especially during the long winter months.
  • I really enjoyed the storyline between Angelique and her guardian. If you read the description above, you might think that’s strange since he is so cruel. However, considering that this situation was probably a reality for many women throughout history makes me really sad…and I loved reading about her redemption from him by Pierre, as well as his brother, Jean.
  • There’s a love triangle in this book [when is there not?] between Angelique and Jean, who she promised herself to while Pierre is away and Angelique and Pierre, who she’s always been in love with but thought he’d never come home. Craziness, I tell ya. Though I like both men, I didn’t like the decision Angelique was forced to make. The relationship with Pierre was portrayed as fun and amusing, but I hate that Jean would have to be thrown under the bus for that relationship to succeed. I do appreciate that this relationship wasn’t determined by death as most wartime romances are. I won’t tell you what happens but it’s good!
  • In reading some reviews online I noticed that some people consider this book to be too racy or graphic. I thought it was fine, but you can judge for yourselves once you read it.
  • All in all, this was a great book. Intriguing, captivating, well written, and well researched. It was the location that drew me in and the characters that made me read it in two days. A great read! Check out this post if you want to hear more about why the author wanted to write the book. It’s fascinating!

What are you reading lately?

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. However, I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to Bethany House for the chance to read this great book!

 

Mystery Dish: Kale Salad with Sesame-Lime Dressing

Kale salad is made over with a tangy and nutty sesame-lime dressing! 

Kale Salad with Sesame-Lime Dressing | thepajamachef.com #MysteryDish

Welcome to another edition of Mystery Dish! This month, Zainab from Blahnik Baker was our host and she gave us a fabulous list to make one great dish with, including: sesame seeds, green chiles, green tea/matcha powder, cardamom, ginger, feta, lamb, pinto beans, white wine, prickly pear cactus, and apples. We were supposed to use three ingredients, and I immediately thought of a few directions I could go: an apple dessert, a Mexican dish, or something Asian-y. To me, making an apple dessert [which I'd make anyway countless times this fall] was the easy way out. So was Mexican. That left Asian. What to make, what to make. OH! Sesame. I had sesame seeds and sesame oil… and somehow made an awesome awesome kale salad that has been a constant in our fridge for the past three weeks. Seriously!

Kale Salad with Sesame-Lime Dressing | thepajamachef.com #MysteryDish

 

I would say that the dressing in all its nutty sesame, citrusy tart lime, intense fresh ginger, and salty soy is the best part of the salad. But then I’d be doing a disservice to the crunchy toasted sesame seeds [I used white AND black] and the dried sweet apples. That’d be so sad. This salad keeps well in the fridge over the course of the week. The dressing softens the kale more and more over time, and is just so fragrant and flavorful! One might think that if you’re making the salad ahead of time it would be better to add the sesame seeds and dried apples just before serving. But surprisingly the sesame seeds stay nice ‘n crisp, and the apples take on a great salty-sweet flavor once they’ve bathed in the dressing for a day or so. Obviously the ultimate choice is up to you–assuming the salad lasts long enough for leftovers–but I highly recommend just tossing it all together and enjoying dish after dish in your lunch all week long.

Kale Salad with Sesame-Lime Dressing | thepajamachef.com #MysteryDish

I’ve never had a salad I’ve had to fight Ben for…this is a first. I mean, he likes salad and kale but this kale salad is out of this world amazing! Enjoy!!

one year ago: Maple Apple Pie-Crisp with Cheddar Crust and Bacon Crumb Topping
two years ago: 1970s Style Tacos

four years ago: Sweet and Spicy Blueberry Pork

Kale Salad with Sesame-Lime Dressing

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Print

dressing recipe from freshncrunchy

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • juice of 1 lime [approximately 1/4 cup]
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 cup dried apples, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Directions:

Wash kale, then remove thick stems and thinly slice leaves into ribbons. Dry with a salad spinner or a kitchen towel. Place in a large bowl.

In a measuring cup, combine extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, lime juice, vinegar, soy sauce, maple syrup, and ginger. Whisk to combine, then pour half the dressing over the kale. Toss together with salad tongs or your hands, and add as much of the remaining dressing as desired. For extra tender kale, massage dressing into the kale with your hands for a few minutes. Allow salad to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving to soften. Top with chopped apples.

Place sesame seeds in a cold skillet. Set on stovetop over medium heat, and toast for 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring often. Add sesame seeds to kale salad before serving.

September Mystery Dish | t hepajamachef.com
Come check out what else we made this month!

  1. Green Chile Chicken Soup – Chez CateyLou
  2. Crockpot Chicken Chilli Stew – Yummy Healthy Easy
  3. Spiced Apple Crisp – I Want Crazy
  4. Kale Salad with Sesame-Lime Dressing – The Pajama Chef
  5. Spiced Mini Skillet Apple Crisp – Culinary Couture
  6. Pan Seared Pork Chops with Spicy Apple Chutney – Flavor the Moments
  7. Matcha Swirl Cheesecake – Baking a Moment
  8. Green Chile Cheese Pinwheels – I Dig Pinterest.
  9. Baked Apple Donuts with Cardamom Cream Cheese Glaze – Joyful Healthy Easy
  10. Vegan Gluten-Free Ginger Walnut Apple Pie Bars – The Sweet-Tooth Life
  11. Apple Feta Salad with Toasted Sesame Seeds – The Well Floured Kitchen
  12. Apple Cardamon Crisp – Blahnik Baker

#10DaysofTailgate: Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili

A chunky vegetarian chili loaded up with beans, veggies, and pumpkin for some velvety smooth sauce. This soup makes a ton and tastes better the second day!

Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili | thepajamachef.com #10DaysofTailgate

TEAR! This is my last recipe for #10DaysofTailgate. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway… there are lots of great prizes, including one from Bob’s Red Mill. You’re probably pretty familiar with Bob already, but you can check ‘em out on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram too. :) They sent me a bag of their 13 Bean Soup Mix and boy! was it good. Thanks, Bob! It had some of my favorite beans–black beans, lentils, pinto beans–along with some fun additions like black eyed peas and lima beans.

#10DaysofTailgate Sponsors

I have a few things to admit with this recipe, guys. First, I didn’t really make it vegetarian–I used chicken broth. Oops! But you can use vegetable broth if you want… I just wanted to call it a vegetarian chili. Second, it’s not nearly as pumpkiny as I would have liked. But that’s okay–the pumpkin adds a velvety smoothness to the saucy part of the chili… that may not actually be traditional chili because it has wild rice in it. Yum. But I wanted to call it a pumpkin chili so I did. Third, it’s addictive and may cause even non-bean lovers to swoon with delight because it’s chunky, tomato-y, pumpkin-y, and delicious!

Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili | thepajamachef.com #10DaysofTailgate

Is that okay with you? Good! Go grab half the contents of your pantry, fridge, and spice cabinet and make this chili NOW. You’ll be so glad you did! It’s extra delicious with lots of melty cheese on top. Thanks, Camilla, for hosting #10DaysofTailgate! Hope y’all have enjoyed it as much as I have!

Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili | thepajamachef.com #10DaysofTailgate

four years ago: Chunky Crock Pot Applesauce

Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 3 hours + overnight soak
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups 13 bean soup mix
  • 1 – 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 – 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes in tomato juice, undrained
  • 1 – 8 ounce can tomato sauce, no salt added
  • 5 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • pinch cinnamon
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup wild rice, uncooked
  • cheese, for topping

Directions:

The night before you wish to cook, wash and sort beans to remove any small pebbles. Soak in a large bowl full of cold water. When ready to cook, drain and rinse beans.

Add all ingredients except rice and cheese to pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, then cook uncovered for 90 minutes. After that time, add wild rice to the pot and let simmer until beans and rice are soft.

Serve with cheese on top!

Here’s what the rest of the crew brought to the table…

Starters
BBQ Sausage & Cheese Plate by The Spiffy Cookie
Vegified Hot “Wings” by Curious Cuisiniere
Fried Polenta Cakes with Grilled Tomato and Mozzarella Salad by Love and Confections
Smoky Karma Stovetop Beans by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Dips
Chile con Queso by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Mains
Kicking Karma Veggie Fajita Pizza by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Not Ketchup Cherry Chipotle Steak Tacos by Making Miracles
BBQ Chickpea Sliders with Apple Slaw by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili by The Pajama Chef
Beef Kabobs by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Disclosure: I received a complementary bag of 13 Bean Soup Mix from Bob’s Red Mill as part of my participation in #10DaysofTailgate. I was not compensated in any way–for my time, to create a recipe, or to publish positive comments. I was not required to use these products as part of my recipe. My opinions are my own.