Avo Dressing [& Green Veggie Bowl]

Confession time. While on vacation, the closest things to a vegetable that I ate were pickles, coleslaw and the teeny tiny chunks of tomato and lettuce on my tacos. Talk about nutritious… I firmly believe that life is all about balance, but I struggled with balance as every restaurant in North Carolina had hush puppies and an assortment of pies. After a week of inhaling seafood and every carb, I needed a fresh start. In the moment, that meant green EVERYTHING. I went crazy in the produce section at my grocery store and for someone who has a love/hate relationship with veggies, I was pleasantly surprised with the result – avocado dressing for my green veggie bowl (insert heart eyeballs emoji here). Since I made this dressing a few weeks ago, I haven’t been able to stop craving it!

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This game changing recipe took me less than five minutes and is probably my favorite dressing so far.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 1/2 limes
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • Handful of cilantro
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

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Dice your avocados and juice your limes. Throw your avocado, lime juice, water, cilantro and spices into your blender and blend until smooth and creamy. For a more liquid consistency, add more water.

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See, I told you it was easy. You can add this dressing to any of your favorite salads. I added mine to a giant veggie bowl that had spiralized zucchini, fresh green beans, broccoli, edamame and peas. It was SO yummy!

I highly encourage you to try this recipe out. You won’t regret it!

Naturally,

Ari

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Recipe: Healthy Meatballs

Growing up in an Italian family, eating tons of delicious, not-so-healthy dishes was a family past-time. I don’t remember a time where we went to my grandparents house and some variation of pasta with meatballs wasn’t being served – lasagna, penne, baby pastinas, spaghetti… you name it – we definitely didn’t discriminate.

One of my favorite things to do at Grandma and Grandpa’s house was to help Grandpa roll the meatballs. I looked forward to it every trip.

Now, as I’m older and I’ve grown to prefer healthier, lighter alternatives to some of my favorite dishes, I’ve come up with a healthier version of a family favorite – meatballs. I’m sure even Grandpa would approve.

For this recipe, I made a pretty big batch for my big family, and for leftovers for lunches. You could easily half this recipe for a smaller quantity.

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  • 3 lbs Lean Ground Turkey
  • 15 oz. Fresh Spinach
  • 1 cup Oat Flour (more for sturdier meatballs)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 cup of finely diced Onions
  • 1 1/2 tsp. minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 1 tbsp. Dried Parsley
  • Olive Oil

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What I love about this recipe is that the swaps are simple but make a huge difference! We traded out the ground beef for ground turkey, the breadcrumbs for oat flour and added spinach for a nutrient boost! A bonus: this recipe is pretty quick to throw together and you can make your pasta while you wait for your meatballs to bake.

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil.

Over medium heat, cook the minced garlic and diced onions until onions begin to become transparent.

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Add fresh spinach. (Depending on how you prefer, you can choose to remove the stems and chop your spinach into finer bits.)

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Continue to cook the onions, garlic and spinach until the spinach is wilted. This should only take a few minutes.

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Beat the large eggs until yolk is separated into the whites.

In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, oat flour, eggs, spices and mix.

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When thoroughly combined, knead in spinach, onions and garlic mixture.

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Scoop evenly portioned balls of the meat mixture and roll into balls (I used an ice cream/cookie dough scoop).

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Space the meatballs evenly on a baking sheet.

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Bake the meatballs for about 25 minutes, depending on the size of your meatballs.

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It took two batches to get rid of all the meatball mixture. I served mine with edamame spaghetti and traditional pasta sauce!

Let me know some of your favorite “healthier” pasta alternatives! I’m always up for a yummy Italian-inspired meal. : )

Naturally,

Ari.