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While I was coming up with this recipe, I tried to think of what my ultimate comfort foods are. The number of comfort foods that I’m obsessed with could probably reach up and over 100 if I really sat down and thought about. Some of these recipes include, but aren’t limited to, anything pasta related, meatballs in a saucy sauce, pizza, chicken noodle soup, blueberry muffins…I could literally go on for decades. The problem with comfort foods is that they can definitely be on the heavy side. I tend to eat a lot of meatballs served over large beds of pasta. This is actually awesome for my active lifestyle (I’m really big into trail running), but isn’t always so great for my stomach…especially when I eat it later in the evening.
Lately, I’ve been trying to come up with lighter meatballs recipes, and these almond chicken meatballs are one of my most recent favorites.
These meatballs are made with chicken (or turkey could be substituted) making them packed full of protein. They are tossed in a creamy cauliflower sauce that will remind you of the perfect heavy cream sauce, minus the heavy cream. While I do enjoy these meatballs served over pasta, I tend to think they taste best served over rice, and yes they are perfect for the night before a large athletic event.
This year, Blue Diamond is an official sponsor of this year’s USA Volleyball team, and having a balanced diet is so important while you try to stay active! I believe that dinner is just as important as breakfast when it comes to keeping you energized throughout the day. These light almond chicken meatballs served on top of a bed of rice or pasta is the perfect way to end your day and set you up for the following day!
I hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as I enjoyed creating it for you! Have a wonderful day! xo
1 1/2 pounds ground chicken (I used a blend of thigh and breast)
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Almond Breeze Original Almondmilk (more as needed)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cauliflower Cream Sauce
4 cups cauliflower florets (approx one small head of cauliflower)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 cup Almond Breeze Original Almondmilk
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, garnish
Serve with rice or pasta
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, egg, ground almonds, breadcrumbs, red onion, parsley, parmesan cheese, Almond Breeze Original Almondmilk, salt, and black pepper until fully combined. Using a 3 tablespoon-sized scoop, form the mixture into equal-sized balls. Place the meatballs on an oven-safe wire rack that has been placed on a baking sheet. Transfer the meatballs to the oven and bake until cooked through and brown, about 17-20 minutes.
While your meatballs are baking, prepare your cauliflower cream sauce. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the cauliflower and boil for about 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and transfer to a large blender.
Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer the butter and garlic to the blender with the cauliflower. Also to the blender, add the Almond Breeze Original Almondmilk, chicken broth, and a dash of salt and black pepper. Blend for about 2-3 minutes or until very smooth. Pour the sauce back into the skillet, and turn the heat to low. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted, about 2 minutes. Season the sauce to taste with salt and black pepper. Keep warm over low heat.
When the meatballs are cooked through, remove them from heat and carefully transfer them to the skillet with the cauliflower sauce. Toss to coat. Cook for about 2 minutes and then remove from heat.
Sprinkle the almond chicken meatballs with fresh parsley and black pepper. Serve on top of rice or pasta and enjoy!