Meatballs are comfort food at its best. Have you ever gone to IKEA and had their swedish meatballs? Plus, with the creamy sauce?! Oh my gosh. Hard to beat. But watch out IKEA, these Turkey Swedish Meatballs are just as good, and bonus – they are gluten-free and dairy-free.
I’ve been wanting to make a healthier version of these for a while. Glad I finally did it, as the result came out amazing, and it will definitely be on a regular rotation. The meatballs taste fantastic, and I’m glad I went the extra step of sauteing the onions before adding them to the meatball mixture. I think this step really made the meatballs taste that much more fantastic. So I recommend you don’t skip that step.
I served the meatballs over gluten-free pasta, but you they would also be great over rice, quinoa or with sauteed greens (if you want to keep it lower carb), or heck, just have them all by themselves.
NOTE: When I made this recipe, I used FULL FAT coconut milk. Simply because I wanted a really rich tasting sauce. It did not disappoint. It was very rich and creamy. So I do warn you, the fat content is high if you use the full fat canned coconut milk as listed in the ingredients. However, in the notes below, I also added the nutrition for if you use LIGHT can of coconut milk. Next time I make it, I’m going to try with LIGHT coconut milk to compare the taste. I’m sure it will be as delicious, just a bit lighter and not as rich.
So feel free to make it whichever way suits you best.
Watch out IKEA, these healthy turkey Swedish meatballs are delicious, and also dairy-free and gluten-free
Author: Kristine Fretwell
Recipe type: Main
Yield: 4 servings
For the Meatballs
1 lb (454 grams) raw ground lean turkey
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup quick oats (or instant oats)
¼ cup egg whites (I used carton egg whites)
2 cloves (or 1 tsp) garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins brand is gluten-free)
¼ tsp salt & pepper
⅛ tsp allspice
For the Sauce
1 Tbsp gluten-free flour (or all-purpose)
1 Tbsp vegan margarine or butter
1 400mL (or 13.5 oz) can regular coconut milk
½ cup beef broth (check label for gluten-free)
Pepper, to taste
In a large skillet, mist it with oil or cooking spray. Saute the finely chopped onions until they are translucent and start to brown. Set aside.
Prepare the meatball mixture. In a medium bowl, add the raw turkey, egg, egg white, oats, salt/pepper, allspice, worcestershire and garlic. Lastly, add in the cooled cooked onions.
Heat up the same large skillet to medium/high and spray again with oil. I found my meatball mixture quite wet, so they didn't roll into balls. Drop spoonfuls of meatball mixture into the pan. Brown on one side (about 3 min) then flip and cook on the other side. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may need to do this in batches. The meatballs won't be fully cooked, as they can finish cooking in the sauce.
Now to prepare the sauce. Once the meatballs are browned and removed from the pan, prepare the sauce in the same skillet.
Using 1 Tbsp vegan margarine (or butter), 1 Tbsp gluten-free flour (or all-purpose), whisk together until it makes a paste. Pour in the can of coconut milk, and beef broth. Season with pepper.
Allow to simmer for a few minutes until it starts to thicken up (it will thicken more later). Add back in the meatballs and simmer together for about 10 minutes, turning the meatballs occasionally. During this time the sauce should thicken, and the meatballs will be fully cooked through.
Serve meatballs on their own, over pasta or rice. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
*Nutrition per ¼ of recipe if you use a can of LIGHT coconut milk instead* Cals: 331 Fat: 16.2 g Sodium: 460 mg Carbs: 17 g Fiber: 1.5 g Sugars: 8.6 g Protein: 29 g
Serving size: ¼ of recipe Calories: 433 Fat: 28 g Saturated fat: 2 g Carbs: 10 g Sugar: 1.8 g Sodium: 426 mg Fiber: 1.5 g Protein: 29 g Cholesterol: 121 mg
A really delicious and easy pasta dish. Which also happens to be vegan and gluten free! Really happy with how delicious this came out and it came together in under 30 minutes as well. I love that in stores its so much easier to find dairy free and vegan options. Plus, today, they don’t taste that much different from the real thing, so the quality is great too.
Sometimes its so nice to just have a creamy and comforting pasta dish. This mushroom and kale creamy penne is smothered in a creamy vegan parmesan sauce, and you’d never know it was vegan. My secret is using canned light coconut milk. I find that in recipes like this, you don’t taste coconut whatsoever and it works much better than using the carton milk alternatives that people typically use to drink or in cereal. I’m not sure what the difference is, but I find using the canned coconut milk, it just comes out so much better.
The girls didn’t even mind the greens in this, because the sauce was so good. If you wanted to make it even creamier, you could use full fat coconut milk (I used light). To switch it up you could also use different types of mushrooms, or a combo of fresh and dried mushrooms.
This was a really great weeknight meal, and there were leftovers, which were great warmed up the next day.
500 grams penne pasta (dry) I use Tru Roots Ancient Grains Pasta which is gluten-free
3 kale leaves (stem removed), chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
⅓ cup Parmesan cheese (vegan or regular)
1 400 mL can light coconut milk
1 Tbsp butter (or vegan margarine)
1 Tbsp gluten-free or all-purpose flour
Cook your pasta according to package directions.
In a large skillet, spray with cooking spray. Add the mushrooms in an even layer so they can cook and brown. Flip, and when they have browned a bit, add in the chopped onion and cook until the onion is translucent.
Add in the kale and garlic and cook down until the kale starts to become soft.
Remove the mushrooms, onion, garlic and kale from the pan. Set aside.
Now to make the sauce. Melt the butter and 1 Tbsp flour and whisk for a couple minutes in the large skillet over medium heat.
Add in the can of coconut milk to the butter/flour mixture and whisk until smooth. Add in the salt, pepper and parmesan cheese and whisk until melted together into a creamy sauce.
Add back in the mushrooms, onion, garlic, kale and simmer together for a few minutes.
Add in the drained pasta and toss together.
Serve with extra parmesan cheese on top if desired.
Recipe can be made vegan by using vegan margarine and vegan parmesan cheese
Serving size: ⅙ of recipe Calories: 403 Fat: 10.4 g Saturated fat: 4.7 g Carbs: 69 g Sugar: 3.7 g Sodium: 245 mg Fiber: 3.8 g Protein: 9 g Cholesterol: 5.2 mg
African peanut stew is one of those recipes that I’ve been seeing on vegetarian blogs for years but have never made it. I’ve seen a lot of various versions and add-ins, so wanted to come up with my own. Its too bad it took me this long to make it, because its so delicious and the whole family ate it up! Even my pickiest eater! I decided to add it tofu for extra protein, even though you’re getting a bit with the peanut butter. But I’m glad I did as it upped the protein to almost 12 g per serving.
This made a pretty big batch, so we had a bit leftover…but we definitely ate more than a serving as we kept going back for more….it was that good! I kept the spices mild for the kids. There is cumin and red chili pepper in there. I thought that the amount of cumin was great, and its not spicy. But, if you want some more heat, you could definitely add more red chili pepper, or even a touch of cayenne.
I really liked the addition of cilanto and peanuts on top for the crunch, it brought it up a notch. But if you’re not a cilantro fan, you could leave it out. You could also use a variety of greens in this. I happened to have red kale on hand, so that’s what I used. But collard greens or spinach would work great as well I’m sure. The wilted greens really added a nice texture to the stew. If you find the stew is a bit runny, a good trick is to use the backside of a spoon and squish some of the yams/sweet potatoes in the pot. It will mash them up a bit and thicken up the stew.
I hope you give this one a try. If your family are peanut butter fans, I think this will be a hit!
Its still really chilly here in Vancouver, so soups and stews are in full effect. The inspiration for this recipe was the fresh produce I had on hand. I had some beautiful fresh chard on hand, and perfect yellow potatoes. For a hearty and flavorful meal, I like making soups and stews with turkey sausage. There is so much flavor within the sausage, you don’t need to add any seasoning. It flavors the whole dish, so what could be easier?!
This recipe came together in under 30 minutes. Most of it was hands off time when the potatoes were simmering in the soup.
I’ve been really loving fresh chard lately. Chard with the red stems is my favorite as its super sweet, but the rainbow chard I used in this was delicious as well. So grab any type you can at the grocery store. Other than soup, I love chard and greens simply sauteed. Great way to get your greens and they taste delicious!
I hope you give this a try on your next cold wintry day. My littlest really liked this too. I used a hot/spicy turkey sausage, but if your kids are sensitive to spice, a mild Italian turkey sausage would work great too!
Snacks for the girls can sometimes be a challenge. If they’re too healthy tasting, I find sometimes they are a miss. The balance is creating something healthy, still has a bit of fat (cause fat = good taste), but using whole ingredients and fruit. These Raspberry Muffins are a perfect match of all of those things. They are gluten-free as they use oat flour, and can easily be made dairy-free with a couple of modifications.
These went soooo fast. My oldest ate 4 within the first 4 hours, and by day 2 there were only 3 left! Now I’m wishing I had done a double batch! Its great that these are also school-safe as they have no nuts in them. I’m always looking to add things to their lunchboxes that I know they’ll actually eat.
With healthier muffins, I find they are best kept in the fridge as they can spoil after a few days if left at room temperature. They freeze really well, so if you’re not going to be eating all of them right away, I recommend freezing them, and taking them out individually and letting it thaw, or simply pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds. I also find if they start to dry out in the fridge, if you microwave them for 15 seconds they will taste fresh-out-of-the-oven again.
If you have really little ones, you could easily make these into 24 mini-muffins. You’ll just need to adjust the bake time. My guess is they’d take about 10-11 minutes as mini-muffins. Hope you like these as much as we do!
Lately, I’ve been experimenting with more vegetarian/vegan recipes. Since the new year I’ve been able to stick with doing 1-2 meatless dinners per week. I’m testing out various recipes, but need them to be quick and easy and done in 30 minutes. These lentil sloppy joes were a hit with the whole family, and I definitely recommend them if you’re venturing into more meatless meals. It only takes slightly longer than using turkey or ground beef.
I’ve been liking working with lentils as they are higher protein, and easy to cook. You could use any type of lentil you like, but for these I used the green lentils as they hold up better and don’t go mushy like the orange lentils. Brown lentils should work well too!
I served the sloppy joes with whole grain buns, and topped with onion and pickles. Plus some caesar salad on the side, with the Best Ever Light Caesar Dressing. A really great meal, and it will definitely be a regular in our meatless Monday rotation!
Lentil Sloppy Joes are an easy and delicious vegetarian meal. Perfect for Meatless Monday!
Author: Kristine Fretwell
Recipe type: Main
Yield: 4 servings
1 cup dry lentils, added to 2 cups water
1 cup onion, finely chopped
½ cup green pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp mustard
¼ cup ketchup
1 - 14 oz can no-salt added tomato sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp BBQ sauce
1-2 packets of stevia, or sweetener to taste (optional)
First, cook the lentils. Boil 2 cups of water (or veggie broth) and add the 1 cup dry lentils and turn down to a simmer (with the lid on). Cook until all the water is absorbed and the lentils are softened (about 15 minutes).
In a large skillet, mist it with oil or cooking spray. Add the onions, green pepper and saute. Add in the garlic and saute until the onions are translucent and the green peppers are softened.
Add in the mustard, ketchup, tomato sauce, chili powder, BBQ sauce and stevia (if using).
Add in the lentils and simmer together for about 5-6 minutes. Adjust seasoning if needed with salt/pepper.
Serve with whole grain hamburger buns.
Serving size: 1 serving Calories: 254 Fat: 4 g Saturated fat: 1 g Carbs: 35 g Sugar: 11 g Sodium: 392 mg Fiber: 13.7 g Protein: 32 g Cholesterol: 40 mg
Lemon, garlic and shrimp is such a classic combination. This was a really easy dinner that came together in just over 20 minutes. Enjoy as is for a low carb meal, or pair with some cooked rice or quinoa for a more substantial meal. Its a very simple dish, and very light and fresh. You get some tanginess from the lemon and a bit of richness from the Parmesan cheese.
I served it over quinoa and the whole gang loved it! It would also be delicious with any type of rice, or even riced cauliflower. There are some juice drippings in the pan when its done, which is fantastic, because then you can drizzle a bit of it over each serving.
My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Isn’t it true that sometimes, the best meals are so simple?! That’s definitely the case with this easy dinner. I used baby bok choy as it happened to be at the store I was in, but if that’s hard to find, use regular bok choy and roughly chop it into some smaller pieces.
Oh, and if any of you are looking for an amazing lemon/lime juicer, I love this one from Zulay Kitchen, which can be found on Amazon. It works so well, and the price is totally reasonable too.
As for the shrimp, I left the tails on, but you could definitely remove them if you wish. To make this dish dairy-free, use a vegan-style parmesan cheese, or you could omit the cheese altogether if need be. Hope you enjoy!
Sweet, delicious teriyaki sauce. I could smother it on so many things. Over rice, over stir fry, mix it with beef for a beef teriyaki. Definitely a lot of options! To date, I haven’t found a store bought teriyaki sauce that tastes very good. I find many of them to be runny and very salty. This 10-minute teriyaki sauce is thick, sweet, not too salty, and reminds me of what you would get at a good Japanese restaurant.
I love how easy it is to make, and it makes a good sized portion, so depending on what you need it for, you could be left with extra. I find the sauce serves around 4 people, whether it be mixed with beef or chicken, drizzled over rice, or used over top of a stir fry. In the photo below, I used the sauce with some thinly shaved raw beef. I boiled the beef in water for a few minutes until it was cooked, then drained the beef and tossed it in some of the sauce. It was a hit with the whole family!
In the photo below, I made a simple stir fry with veggies I had in the fridge. Once the stir fry was done, I drizzled some of the teriyaki sauce over the stir fry. I like to put the sauce over the stir fry vs mixing it in the stir fry while its cooking, as I find when the vegetable cook down and release water, it dilutes the sauce. So when you put it on after the stir fry is cooked, it give it a much more concentrated flavor.
I hope this becomes your staple teriyaki sauce recipe. I can’t even count how many times I’ve used it so far. My apologies for not posting it sooner. Its been living on my Instagram feed for a while, but deserved a spot on the blog so its easier to bookmark!
*Note: I find sherry cooking wine in the non-alcoholic beverage area at my grocery store. It might also be by the vinegar’s.
I love 1-pot meals. When its a delicious dish with minimal clean-up, its a big win! Weeknight meals can be a challenge when you want to come up with something different than the norm. This honey garlic salmon with quinoa is different than some of the dishes I usually make, and it came out really delicious! So its definitely going to stay in the rotation.
The salmon is cut into small chunks, so it cooks very quickly. Then it goes out of the pot and the quinoa and veggies are cooked. So start to finish this meal is done in 30 minutes!
This dish is mild enough to please picky eaters, and my youngest who likes salmon, really gobbled this up! If you’re not a fan of salmon, I’d recommend using a firm white fish such as cod or halibut. Fresh tuna would also work well in this recipe.
This hasn’t happened in quite some time, but I seem to be on a roll lately with recipe development! The new year has me inspired to create some new recipes. When I was making this one, I had no idea how it was going to turn out. Typically most recipes might need a couple tweaks. But this one came out great on the initial try. First of all, the SAUCE in this stir fry is AMAZING! I’m actually thinking of making a batch of the sauce to pour it on everything. Ok…..well maybe not everything. But almost everything.
It started out as a typical stir fry. I knew I wanted to use black beans in the recipe too so it could be vegetarian/vegan. As mentioned in another post, I’m trying to do vegetarian dinners more often. Right now I’m aiming for about 2x per week. I was doing a search online for inspiration and quickly discovered that most recipes with black beans had a Mexican flair. But, I didn’t want to do that this time around. I’m in taco overload most weeks, since my girls LOVE tacos, so we’re having them quite often.
So I decided to go more of a thai/asian route and I’m very happy that I did. The peanut sauce in this recipe could (and will) be used in many different ways. It would make a great rice bowl or salad dressing, a dip for salad rolls and in addition to this stir fry, it would be a great sauce over roasted veggies (I especially have broccoli in mind). I would have added broccoli to this dish, but I didn’t have any on hand.
But as with any veggie dish, use the veggies that you enjoy eating. Plus if you like peanuts and peanut butter it really is the sauce that makes this dish so delicious (sorry vegetables!). I served over some quinoa as I recently bought a huge bag of it. But any grain like brown or white rice, rice noodles or regular noodles would all work great. If you want to keep it lower carbs, just skip the grain or noodles altogether. You do get some carbs from the black beans anyway.
Next time you’re thinking of making stir fry, I hope you give this one a try!