Spicy Meatball and Bok Choy Buddha Bowl

Spicy Meatball and Bok Choy Buddha Bowl

I love Trader Joe's; not only does it appeal to my budget, but it also has great seasonal items that fit into a paleo lifestyle. There a Trader Joe's that is about a mile or so away from my work, so on my lunch hour I sometimes will go browse and see what's new that they have on their shelves. One time I found those cookie butter cookies - dangerously addicting and super sweet. I opened the box at work and they were gone within a day. Any who, my last trip to Trader Joe's had me looking at the baby broccoli and bok choy, and got me thinking....what if I made an Asian inspired Buddha bowl? So I grabbed my reusable shopping bags (for those of you familiar with the new California law, plastic bags are now banned from grocery stores, or you have to pay extra for them. But it is better for environment and my bags roll up and are always in my purse). I love making meatballs, so I added ginger and garlic and made a creamy and slightly spicy tahini sauce to go over all the vegetables. 

FOR THE MEATBALLS:

1 pound ground beef

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon ginger

3 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 zucchini, shredded

1/2 small white onion, finely chopped

FOR THE VEGGIES:

1 bag of bok choy

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 bag baby broccoli or bag of florets

1 bag shredded cabbage

FOR THE SAUCE:

2 tablespoons tahini

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of water

1 clove garlic

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

pinch black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Shred the zucchini and place in a bowl; sprinkle salt over it and rest for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, place the shredded zucchini into a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible. 

Add the zucchini and the rest of the ingredients for the meatballs into a large bowl. Mix well with your hands. Using a tablespoon, scoop out and roll the balls, placing them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once all the meatballs are rolled, place the baking sheet into the oven for 25 minutes 

I love using zucchini in place of bread crumbs for meatballs. Even after squeezing out probably half a cup of water out of the zucchini, my meatballs were still very tender and moist. Sneaking in extra vegetables is always a great idea and just adds an extra layer of flavor to the meatballs.

I love using zucchini in place of bread crumbs for meatballs. Even after squeezing out probably half a cup of water out of the zucchini, my meatballs were still very tender and moist. Sneaking in extra vegetables is always a great idea and just adds an extra layer of flavor to the meatballs.

Now prep your vegetables. Peel and chop your carrots and add to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place the baby broccoli onto the same baking sheet and drizzle about a tablespoon of melted coconut oil over it. Mix with with your hands, then sprinkle some salt and pepper on top. Place into the oven for 20 minutes. 

Chop the bottoms off the bok choy and add to a pan with a teaspoon or so of coconut oil over medium high heat. In a separate pan, add a teaspoon of coconut oil and add the bag of shredded cabbage over medium high heat. Saute both vegetables for about 6 minutes. 

Now, onto the sauce. Add all ingredients for the tahini sauce to a small bowl and whisk together until smooth. You may need to eyeball it to make sure you get the right consistency; add the water maybe a tablespoon at a time if you want it thicker, or add all the water at once if you know you want it to be looser.  

Have you guys figured out yet that I am obsessed with roasting vegetables? The broccoli tops came out so crispy, it was perfect. 

Have you guys figured out yet that I am obsessed with roasting vegetables? The broccoli tops came out so crispy, it was perfect. 

Take the meatballs and vegetables out of the oven.  Assemble your Buddha bowl, adding a little bit of everything to your plate. Drizzle on some of the sauce and enjoy!

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