Cajun chicken meatball bowls

I love how easy meatballs are, and how they're great for meal prepping. You can mix in some spices to any type of ground meat like turkey, beef or chicken. I chose to use chicken for this recipe, but you can easily swap out for any of the mentioned choices. I opted to use some of the same ingredients from the meatballs to sprinkle on asparagus and served over broccoli rice and drizzled with coconut aminos. You could also use cauliflower rice or jasmine rice if you eat white rice (which I sometimes do for added carbs during training). As I often mention, feel free to substitute the asparagus for other veggies, or add in some others. I prepared this meal towards the end of the week when I was running out of ingredients, but mushrooms and/or carrots would be a great addition. I had purchased a big bunch of asparagus at Sprouts because it was on sale, which is why I chose that veggie.

You can also adjust the chili powder and red pepper flakes to your liking. I love spicy food, so I added a bit more pepper flakes than the recipe calls for. This was my first time using broccoli "rice" in a recipe and I really liked it. I saw it at Trader Joe's and figured I'd give it a try - plus I was feeling lazy, and buying it pre-riced sounded a lot better than having to rice my own and clean up the food processor. Even though that's really not that much extra work.

I added a few dashes of coconut aminos so that the broccoli rice wasn't plain, and I liked the saltiness that went with the spice, but you could definitely omit that and flavor the broccoli rice with the same spices as the asparagus.

There will definitely be cajun seasoning left over, so it's great for other recipes like baked cajun parsnips or french fries or cajun hamburgers just to name a few ideas!

Ingredients: (makes about 4 servings)

1 lb ground chicken breast (or beef or turkey)

1 large bunch asparagus (about 1 - 1 1/2 lbs)

4 cups riced broccoli (I used store bought from Trader Joe's, but you could buy broccoli and pulse in a food processor to make your own)

2 Tablespoons cajun seasoning

1 egg

Cajun seasoning:

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon onion powder

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp sea salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

2. Place ground chicken in large mixing bowl

3. Mix in 2 tablespoons cajun seasoning and egg; mix well until egg and seasoning are combined

4. Line large baking sheet with aluminum foil (I use aluminum for easy clean up, so feel free to omit)

5. Make 1'' balls with the meat mixture and place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart

6. Wash and dry asparagus and remove tips (I break the ends off and they tend to easily break where the hard tips are

7. Cut asparagus into 2'' pieces

8. Line another baking sheet with aluminum foil

9. Spread out asparagus onto baking sheet and drizzle with about 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

10. Sprinkle asparagus with 1 tsp cajun seasoning

11. Place both baking sheets in the oven (if they both fit, place both on top rack, otherwise leave meatballs on top and asparagus on bottom)

12. Bake for 15, then remove asparagus and mix and return to oven

13. Bake for another 15 minutes

14. Remove meatballs and asparagus from the oven

15. Place 1 cup broccoli rice in each serving bowl (or Tupperware if using for food prep)

16. Top with 4-5 meatballs and 1/4 serving of the aspargus

17. Drizzle with coconut aminos

Enjoy!

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