Tuesday, December 23, 2014

We've Had a Request, People :: Veggie Packed Meatballs.

Welp. We've had a request. A friend of mine asked me what to do when she is needing to eat something on the way to a workout, but doesn't have the time to fix something right then or needs it on the go. This is a great question AND a very important element of feeding your body at the right moment.

While I must remind you I am NO expert or nutritionist, I know some stuff. There are two key windows to fueling your body to really take advantage of your hard workout efforts! One would be the hour or so leading up to a workout and the second would be that 15-30 minutes after a workout when your body is recovering and makin any gainzzz you can off your ever-so-recent hard work. Just like when you eat at any point during the day, your snacks are just as important to keep completely balanced with your macro-nutrients. Getting a balance of protein and carbohydrate (come down people...this is referring to carb dense, nutrient-ful veggies, not glowing buttered rolls and other complex carbs) is vital to serving your body fuel and not consuming wasted, invaluable calories.

My favorite easily prepped such snack is the Veggie Packed Meatball. I prep these at the start of the week and store them by two's for an easy to grab snack on the way to Crossfit or as an afternoon pick-me-up.
A lot of people have their own variations, and to be honest, I change it up based on what I remember to buy each week but I'll share the gist!

What I use:
  • 1 pound ground meat of choice (ground turkey or ground beef both work great)
  • 1 egg
  • 5-6 strips of cooked bacon (I prefer to bake mine to be crispy)
  • 1 cup/or a handful of baby carrots
  • 2-3 handfuls of leafy (LEAFY) greens...I use spinach, kale and chard or whatever other power greens I have on hand
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of sun dried tomatos
  • 1 shallot
  • a little salt and pepper
  • really, the list can be endless, zucchini, shredded sweet potatoes, peppers, green onions or anything like that will be great add-ins!

Then What:
  1. Heat oven to...you guessed it, 415!
  2. Pulse all the veggies in a food processor along with the bacon. You can puree if you prefer but I like it to look like this with some chunks still in there for better texture.
  3. Let's get messy...in a large bowl, hand mix the veggie mix with the ground meat, salt and pepper and one egg. Hand mix it all until thoroughly incorporated. 
  4. I line a deep pan with foil as there will be some juices baking out from the meat and grease/spray with some EVOO
  5. Create ball shapes about 1.5-2" in diameter and spread out evenly across your pan
  6. I like to drizzle a little Frank's Red Hot Sauce across the meatballs for some added flavor baked into the top!
  7. Bake the meatballs for about 25-30 minutes depending on your oven. You can check them to see how the meat looks and I often cut one open to do a little taste test if they look done!
  8. I put these in containers of 2 and eat them cold on the way to Crossfit or sometimes after. I also have been known to eat a few of these for breakfast in a pinch and they're great reheated or cold....in my opinion.
Having things like this already prepped and packed full of nutrients makes it easy to grab the right kind of snack and keep that metabolism going throughout the day!

Get to snackin!
Finding Fit,

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