Back in my previous life when I wasn’t concerned with nutrition and what I was eating, I kept a folder with recipes from food magazines and even mailed flyers. Remember those Kroger mailers that had coupons attached to recipe pages? Well, I had a whole accordion folder filled up with them, and every Friday I’d plop that thing out and sort through the same old same old looking for meals to plan for the week.
I’d pretty much forgotten about all those recipes, as they were basically just an excuse to sell a cart load of processed boxed or pre-made foods from certain brands. I had a craving out of nowhere for one of those old meals, Polynesian meatballs.
Now, the recipe I had called for all things Kraft, their frozen meatballs, their instant rice, their BBQ sauce, you get the idea. That’s not going to fly for me now, but I knew right away this would be a very easy one to modify to my current lifestyle.
You can make your own BBQ sauce as I have before, but there are plenty of no sugar added options out there now that are tasty, so you can buy them in order to save time. My diet has been severely lacking in pineapple lately, and that fruit is so sweet, it’s basically like eating candy for me now.
I’m not sure just how “Polynesian” this really is. If I were to ever visit Samoa, I’m betting I would learn that just throwing pineapples into whatever you are cooking does not make it authentic fare. Pineapples do make for great eats, though, so any excuse is a good one. Low in calories, high in fiber, loaded with nutrients, and that’s not all.
Pineapple is great at reducing inflammation due to its high bound antioxidant content, which lasts longer than other inflammation reducing compounds. The really cool thing Pineapple has is the enzyme Bromelain. It’s a protease, which means it breaks down protein molecules into their building blocks of peptides and amino acids. It’s basically doing the hard part for you.
Have you ever eaten pineapple on its own, and then taken a drink of water later? Did the water taste like worm dirt? That’s because the bromelain in the pineapple was breaking down the protein molecules on your tongue.
That’s right. As you were eating it, it was eating you.
It has even been proven in studies that it lowers the risk of viral and bacterial infections, and can boost the white blood cells. That means in this age of pandemics, your immune system will be more than ready to handle whatever is thrown at it.
This dish also calls for chopped green and red bell pepper, so with all the Vitamin C all three are bringing to the party, you may forget where the cold and flu aisle is located in your mega-mart of choice.
This dish was even better than I remembered, and it’s quick and easy. It’s definitely earned a spot in the starting line up in my house again. Give it a try, even if you think you don’t like pineapple. Check that, especially if you think you don’t like pineapple. You might just learn that you actually do.
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 tbsp almond flour
- 1/2 tsp sea salt, black pepper, onion and garlic powder, dried chives
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano and basil
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 can pineapple in juice only
- Low sugar BBQ sauce
- 1 large package cauliflower rice
- 1 tbsp avocado or olive oil
Combine the ground turkey, almond flour, and spices. Weigh out in 7 ounce balls and place on a sheet pan sprayed with some non-stick:
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, flip, and then bake 10 more minutes:
Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the cauliflower rice. Cook until the rice just starts to brown and gives up most of its moisture, stirring often. While that is happening, chop your veggies and saute until soft over medium heat. Hit with a pinch of sea salt and pepper if desired:
Add your meatballs to the pan and stir:
Add at least 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce to the pan, stir to combine over low heat. I used this brand and flavor for this recipe, and it was a perfect fit:
Open your pineapples and drain, or use fresh if you have the time. Add to the pan and heat through:
See the list of all the Shirtless Chef recipes at www.mysaline.com/shirtless.
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