Slow Cooker Beef Meatballs with Sriracha Lime Sauce

Disclaimer: I was provided compensation for the development of this recipe and my time at #FreshSummit, however this blog post, my opinions and enthusiasm are provided complementary! 

Jennifer Fisher of TheFitFork.com at Litehouse Foods booth PMA Fresh Summit 2016

 I was in Orlando earlier in the month for Fresh Summit 2016, a massive trade show that brings together produce industry peeps from around the world to showcase innovation, provide inspiration and track trends. With more than 1,100 exhibitors on the expo floor, there were fruits, veggies, nuts, and fresh packaged foods at every turn. But, were there meatballs? Why, yes, there were!

litehouse-pma-booth-menu-2016That’s right; I was cooking up a storm again for Litehouse Foods in their beautiful, backyard inspired booth. With football playing on the big screen, a spread of apple cider and snacks, and good eats coming from the kitchen (including my Sriracha Lime Meatballs), this was the ultimate homey hangout.

 

Sriracha Lime Dressing over meatballsHopefully in your house, the crowd gathering for these (Slow Cooker) Beef Meatballs with Sriracha Lime Sauce will not be smaller than at the packed expo. Although, there WILL be a  crowd (just sayin’) becase this super simple, slow cooker recipe is a real weekend AND weeknight winner.  Just toss in a short list of ingredients into a Crock Pot, pour over a bottle of their new Srirarcha Lime Dressing and walk away. In a couple hours, you’ve got the ultimate football party appetizer to skewer up on toothpicks or a fusion-inspired, “take-out” take off dinner that you can serve with the slow cooker sauce over rice. My kids loved it!

Slow Cooker Beef Meatballs with Sriracha Lime Sauce is a super simple, easy party appetizer or easy weeknight main dish.

The Sriracha Lime Dressing is a new “sweet heat” product from Litehouse Foods that you can find in the fridge shelves of your produce department – they also make a Mango Habanero version. What I love about these two dressings is that they are super flavorful without being off the charts hot, only have 20 calories per serving, and are made with fresh ingredients that you’ve heard of – no weird chemicals or preservatives. You can also try this dressing as a glaze on chicken, dip for your spring rolls, or drizzle for your salads and wraps.

*I’ve also provided alternate instructions for the sauce in case you can’t find this dressing.

far-east-sriracha-lime-meatballs

 

far-east-sriracha-lime-meatball-appetizerServe meatballs over rice for supper or on a little bed of rainbow slaw for a healthy, balanced appetizer!

 

 

 

 

 

What are you cooking in your slow cooker these days? Can you take the heat or do you like things milder? Big plans, races, events for fall — I’m doing a Spartan Beast this weekend!  Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

 

(Slow Cooker) Beef Meatballs with Sriracha Lime Sauce
Print Recipe
Get the party (or dinner) started in spicy-sweet style with this crazy easy recipe that uses frozen meatballs and salad dressing. Lots of protein, low carb.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings dinner 10 minutes
Cook Time
3 hourse
Servings Prep Time
6 servings dinner 10 minutes
Cook Time
3 hourse
(Slow Cooker) Beef Meatballs with Sriracha Lime Sauce
Print Recipe
Get the party (or dinner) started in spicy-sweet style with this crazy easy recipe that uses frozen meatballs and salad dressing. Lots of protein, low carb.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings dinner 10 minutes
Cook Time
3 hourse
Servings Prep Time
6 servings dinner 10 minutes
Cook Time
3 hourse
Ingredients
Servings: servings dinner
Instructions
  1. Place frozen meatballs in 4-qt slow cooker. Add bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, red onion, soy sauce and Sriracha Lime Dressing and mix to coat.
  2. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on high for 2 to 4 hours., stirring at halfway point. Serve on a toothpick as an appetizer. Or, serve with rice or noodles along with sauce in slow cooker for a meal. 
  3. *If you can’t find the dressing, swap for this mixture whisked together in a bow: 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup lime juice, ¼ cup rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons corn starch, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro.   
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Grilled Chicken, Corn and Jicama Chop Salad with Sweet-Heat BBQ Vinaigrette

This post is sponsored by Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q, however the recipes, opinions and enthusiasm are all my own!

There is so much to love about May! The weather is warmer, daylight lasts longer and backyard patios, porches and pergolas are prime party spots for good friends and great food. I don’t know about you, but my go-to cooking method from early spring well into the fall season is grilling. Whether I’m entertaining company or it’s just the family, my trusty grill is this mom’s solution when it comes to whipping up creative, healthy and quick meals. Grilled Chicken, Corn & Jicama Salad with Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce Vinaigrette

I will grill anything and everything.  I get fired up for grilling the gamut . . . meats and seafood to fruit, veggies and dessert (mmmm, banana boats)!  Today, I’m sharing a recipe for Chicken, Corn and Jicama Chopped Salad with Sweet-Heat BBQ Vinaigrette that relies on one of my secret weapons when it comes to grilling and barbeque – Stubb’s Bar-B-Q Sauces, Marinades and Rubs.

Grilled Chicken, Corn & Jicama Salad with Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce Vinaigrette makes a hearty meal for your backyard cookout, picnic or potluck.

grilled corn in hand squareGrilled corn and chicken are the stars of this simple grilled salad recipe – Stubb’s Chicken Spice Rub gives just the right amount of seasoning to poultry and vegetables without being overpowering or too spicy for my kids to eat. This is the original rub of Stubb’s fame, crafted by the legend himself at his original Texas Bar-B-Q joint — “It all starts with good rub.”

Stubb's Chicken Spice Rub

To dress this chopped chicken salad that also features jicama and avocado , I’ve created a simple barbecue sauce vinaigrette that is a bit spicy, a bit sweet – and certainly fun to eat! Using Stubb’s Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce is my not-so-secret shortcut to prepping this dressing in mere minutes. Of course, this BBQ sauce with hints of brown sugar and chipotle peppers is also excellent used in the traditional way to drizzle or douse on everything from baby back ribs and burgers to pizza and sweet potatoes.

Barbeque Brisket Skillet Nachos will satisfy a crowd!It’s also the sauce I use in my Brisket & Bean Skillet Nachos. I love that Stubb’s Bar-B-Q sauces get their bold flavors from real, wholesome ingredients with no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners.  Also, you’ll find absolutely NO (none, zip, nada) high-fructose corn syrup in these quality condiments.

Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q, maker the No. 1 brand of barbecue sauce, rubs and marinades in the the country, is located right here in Austin, Texas — so I can head over and dive head-first in a vat, if I want!  But, these barbecue “helpers” are also sold in 85% of grocery stores nationwide — so, run out and getcha some!

Stubbs Grilled Chicken Corn Chop Salad

Grilled Chicken, Corn and Jicama Chop Salad with Sweet-Heat BBQ Vinaigrette is such an easy grilled recipe and the perfect fixin’s for a potluck or picnic – whether for Memorial Day, a graduation or any summer time celebration. You can also make it the night before, the dish is delicious served cold and the vinegar and lemon juice in the dressing help keep the avocado fresh for up to a day in the fridge. If you want to enjoy as a side dish or vegetarian meal — just omit the chicken and dig in!

What have you been tossing on the grill lately? Any big weekend plans for Memorial Day — a race, a party, a picnic? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Grilled Chicken, Corn and Jicama Chop Salad with Sweet-Heat BBQ Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Grilled Chicken, Corn and Jicama Chop Salad with Sweet-Heat BBQ Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Rub uncooked chicken breasts with 1 tablespoon olive oil and rub with 2 tablespoons Stubb’s Chicken Spice Rub.
  2. Heat charcoal or gas grill to approximately 400 F degrees and grill chicken approximately 15 – 20 minutes, flipping once, or until cooked through and internal temperature reads 165F degrees.
  3. While chicken is cooking, rub corn cobs with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon Stubb’s Chicken Spice Rub.
  4. Place corn on grill with chicken and grill for approximately 10 minutes, rotating occasionally, or until turning tender and browning in spots.
  5. Remove chicken and corn from grill and let rest for 10 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
  6. Chop chicken into small, bite-sized pieces. Slice corn kernels off the cob. Add both to medium bowl along with jicama, red onion, red bell pepper and avocado. Set aside while making dressing.
  7. To make dressing, whisk Stubb’s Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce together with olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, honey and pepper.
  8. Pour dressing over salad and toss gently. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
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Paleo Carrot Ginger Gazpacho – Some Bunny Loves You

Lemony Carrot Ginger Gazpacho is perfect for light lunches, Easter brunches and as a prelude to your spring entree. Paleo, sugar free, raw, vegan and vegetarian friendly.Each time I enjoy my recipe for Lemony Carrot Ginger Gazpacho, I want to kick off my sandals and run through the green lawn shouting “whoohoo!”  That’s because this light and lovely chilled soup captures the essence of spring, and I live for the spring . . . and summer.  Warmer weather calls for cooler food and this chilled soup is a twist on gazpacho, a classic Spanish recipe. For my version, I’ve added carrots, ginger and a coconut water base to help with hydration.  Perfect for a light lunch, Easter brunch or way to start your pool-side dinner – save a few cucumber slices for your eyes so you can feel like a pampered spa guest.

Lemony Carrot Ginger Gazpacho is perfect for light lunches, Easter brunches and as a prelude to your spring entree. Paleo, sugar free, raw, vegan and vegetarian friendly.

 

Benefits of Ginger - TheFitFork.comWhen I serve this Lemony Carrot Ginger Gazpacho to my family, I smile and say “some bunny loves you!”  That’s because I know how much wholesome, healthy nutrition in packed into each spoonful  of this chilled soup– loads of lycopene, vitamin K, potassium and dietary fiber to mention a few benefits.  Plus, you get all the healing benefits of ginger – it helps tame digestive issues, reduces inflammation, boosts the immune system. Plus, I personally adore the zingy taste – you can add more or less fresh ginger depending on your preference.

To optimize taste and health benefits, please use fresh ginger and not ground ginger, bottled minced ginger or ginger paste.  A little knobby length of ginger will stay fresh in your produce bin for a couple months and if you have the right grater, it’s easy and mess-free to get what you need.  Not trying to sound infomercial-y, but this Dual Gage Grater is a must-have for ginger, garlic, turmeric, citrus zest, hard cheeses and such it’s only $3! The two sides each have a different grate size and the “V” shape catches all the teeny-tiny shavings so they don’t fall all over the counter or plate – you simply tip over into the bowl and scrape off.  Plus, after you rinse off and dry, it slides back into itself for easy storage.

Lemony Carrot Ginger Gazpacho is perfect for light lunches, Easter brunches and as a prelude to your spring entree. Paleo, sugar free, raw, vegan and vegetarian friendly.

Paleo Carrot Ginger Gazpacho -  Paleo, vegan, vegetarian, raw, sugar-free, gluten-free and more. Also, if you’re a meal-prepper, this soup that doesn’t’ need to be reheated makes a nice alternative to the standard make-ahead fare for grab-and-go healthy lunches and quick dinnersThis recipe works for many diet types including Paleo, vegan, vegetarian, raw, sugar-free, gluten-free and more. Also, if you’re a meal-prepper, this soup that doesn’t’ need to be reheated makes a nice alternative to the standard make-ahead fare for grab-and-go healthy lunches and quick dinners. Keep refrigerated in tightly sealed mason jars or plastic containers for up to five days and transfer to a lunch box with ice-pack. Enjoy. Linking up with The Fit Foodie Mama and Running on Happy – please check out!

Are you a gazpacho fan? Do you prefer warm weather or hot?  Did you run a race this weekend or have a competition? Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer

 

Lemony Carrot Ginger Gazpacho is perfect for light lunches, Easter brunches and as a prelude to your spring entree. Paleo, sugar free, raw, vegan and vegetarian friendly.
Lemony Carrot Ginger Gazpacho -- Paleo
Print Recipe
This chilled soup is a light and lovely prelude to any spring meal -- Paleo, sugar-free, vegan, vegetarian, raw and low-sodium.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Passive Time
2 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Passive Time
2 hours
Lemony Carrot Ginger Gazpacho is perfect for light lunches, Easter brunches and as a prelude to your spring entree. Paleo, sugar free, raw, vegan and vegetarian friendly.
Lemony Carrot Ginger Gazpacho -- Paleo
Print Recipe
This chilled soup is a light and lovely prelude to any spring meal -- Paleo, sugar-free, vegan, vegetarian, raw and low-sodium.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Passive Time
2 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Passive Time
2 hours
Instructions
  1. Add sliced carrots to microwave-safe dish and add ½-inch water to bottom. Top with lid and microwave for approximately 3 minutes or until steamed and tender, but not mushy. Remove from microwave and add to colander, rinsing with cold water. .
  2. Add carrots, cucumber, tomatoes with juice, onion, ginger, vinegar, lemon zest and lemon juice to blender. Pour coconut water on top and process until smooth, adding more coconut water if needed (or sub water, if can empty).
  3. Can serve at room temperature, but tastes better if chilled for several hours prior. Garnish with additional lemon zest, snipped mint and unsweetened shredded coconut.
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Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup + #KeepingFitFun

Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup is a powerhouse of nutrition -- feel free to swap out the protein for chicken or shrimp , if needed.January is National Soup Month, so I’ve been busy making a new pot of healthy, hearty and warming comfort every couple days – I will share everything in a Soup Roundup soon!  Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy my latest creation – Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup! It’s so delicious and packed with oodles of healthy veggie ingredients along with brown rice noodles. I’ve used crab in the recipe (mainly I was looking for an excuse to eat crab), but shrimp or chicken would make perfectly acceptable and yummy substitutes.

Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup is a powerhouse of nutrition -- feel free to swap out the protein for chicken or shrimp , if needed.

Y’all know with my busy family, work and fitness training schedule, I’m a convenience lover – but keep in mind I stock up on HEALTHY helpers, not your typical sodium, sugar and fat-loaded convenience products.  Some of the convenience ingredients I’ve used in the soup recipe to reduce prep time include the Power Blend from Mann’s  Vegetables (a blend of Brussels sprouts, Napa cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, carrots and kale) and Odowalla 100% Carrot Juice. I also used Better that Bouillon Vegetable Base and  the Thai Brown Rice Pad Thai Noodles from Explore Asian (see my past recipes), as I find they taste super and the texture holds up really well!

Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Bowl

I’m also sticking to my intention to #KeepFitFun in 2016 with handstand and backbend practice – just like I was some sort of kid!

Spiced Beet & Carrot SoupLooking for another quick and unique carrot soup recipe? Try this Spiced Beet and Carrot Soup from CookingLight.com . . . its a delicious riot of root veggies!

 

 

 

 

 

So, what is in your soup pot this week? What are you doing to #KeepFitFun ? Please share in the comments below – XOXO,  Jennifer

Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup is a powerhouse of nutrition -- feel free to swap out the protein for chicken or shrimp , if needed.
Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup
Print Recipe
Enjoy the exotic taste and oodles of healthy veggies along with brown rice noodles in this easy Thai inspired soup recipe.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup is a powerhouse of nutrition -- feel free to swap out the protein for chicken or shrimp , if needed.
Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup
Print Recipe
Enjoy the exotic taste and oodles of healthy veggies along with brown rice noodles in this easy Thai inspired soup recipe.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil over medium-high in large stock pot. Add red onions and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until slightly softened.
  2. Add ginger, garlic and curry paste and sauté for 1 to 2 more minutes until fragrant.
  3. Toss in bag of veggie slaw (no dressing!) and stir for 30 seconds to coat with spices.
  4. Add carrot juice, coconut milk, vegetable broth, fish sauce and lime juice to stock pot. Bring to boil and then reduce heat to medium low to simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add brown rice noodles and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Add crab during last 5 minutes of cooking.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. To serve, garnish with lime wedges.
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Plant-based Protein – Asian Chop Salad with Gardein Teriyaki Chick’n Strips

Thanks to Gardein for introducing me to their Gardein Teriyaki Chick’n Strips and for sponsoring today’s post.

I’m that fast girl you’ve been warned about. I talk fast, I run fast . . . . and, I like to get my food fast. But NOT fast food, no way.  To keep my diet fit and fresh, I like to make the majority of my meals at home, despite the insanely busy schedule I keep.  So, while a 30-minute weeknight meal might sound pretty quick to most, I’m kicking it up into super-sonic speed on the typical night with 10-minute, pan-to-plate dinners!

Teriyaki Chick'n Chop Salad is a fit, fast and flavorful meal that takes 10 minutes to make and fills you up with healthy plant-proteins.

Tonight, I whipped up a far-out, far-east inspired dinner using Teriyaki Chick’n Strips from Gardein. These tasty strips have 15 grams of plant-based protein for a mere 120 calorie cost. They are made with non-GMO soy and wheat, ancient grains and veggies and remarkably have a similar taste and texture to real chicken breast – they are also work for those of you who keep vegan and kosher diets. My husband,  a carnivorous guy who would normally turn his nose up at such “nonsense,” didn’t even realize he was eating a meat substitute! I call that winning dinner!  #MeetChef

Teriyaki Chick'n Chop Salad is made with plant-based protein and perfect for a #MeatlessMonday mealIn addition to the Teriyaki Chick’n Strips magic, I employed my favorite busy-night trick and used what I could find in the produce bin to make the remainder of dinner.   While the strips were browning for five minutes in the skillet, I quickly chopped up some jicama, carrots and red onion and thawed out shelled edamame that I always keep in the freezer. The Teriyaki Chick’n Strips come with a sauce packet that also I also found to make a serendipitous salad dressing (there was plenty to drizzle on everything)!

This quick and easy meal solution is definitely going to be in my dinner rotation — I now have more time for running fast . . .  and running errands!

jen running in yellow flowers

Gardein makes lots of other yummy, healthy, meatless proteins like Gardein Ultimate Beefless Ground, Golden Fishless Filets. Check back next week, because I’ll have a new recipe for you! All Gardein products are found chillin’ in the freezer aisle at your favorite grocery store.  Save yourself a dollar with this coupon (available for download until May 31, 2015).

Far Out Far East Chick'n Chop Salad - TheFitFork.com

What is your quickest go-to meal to make at home?

 

Teriyaki Chick'n Chop Salad
Print Recipe
This Asian-inspired salad uses plant-based protein, teriyaki sauce and chopped fresh veggies to create a fit, fresh and fast dinner solution.
Servings Prep Time
3 Servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3 Servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Teriyaki Chick'n Chop Salad
Print Recipe
This Asian-inspired salad uses plant-based protein, teriyaki sauce and chopped fresh veggies to create a fit, fresh and fast dinner solution.
Servings Prep Time
3 Servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3 Servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Servings
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil on medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add thawed chick'n strips and cook for about 5 minutes, flipping once. Remove from heat. Add thawed sauce packet to skillet to coat strips.
  2. Toss carrots, jicama, edamame beans and onion into skillet and stir quickly to coat veggies with sauce, yet not heat them.
  3. Divide chicken and veggies among three plates and sprinkle with cashews. Drizzle with Sriracha sauce, if desired.
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