I have to say that this weeks challenge turned out better than I thought. The ingredients we had to use were dried cranberries, steel cut oats, and Pomegranate Apricot TeaZen. My initial thoughts were some kind of cranberry oat bar, which would be the easy way to go. But I didn’t want to go that route. It seemed too safe. So I did some research and came up with something better. I created a Cranberry Meatball Swoodles with Cranberry Shallot Chutney, and I have to say it came out really good.
I am gluten intolerant, so when I got to this challenge I was a bit concerned with the steel cut oats. I didn’t really know much about them and assumed they had gluten. From what I found though, they are gluten free. So if you can tolerate gluten but want to follow a paleo lifestyle, I think it’s safe to include steel cut oats if you want. However, if you are gluten intolerant like myself, or have celiac, then I think it’s better to exclude steel cut oats from your diet. With a that being said, I didn’t notice a reaction to them once I tasted the dish.
The other challenging ingredient that we were asked to use was the Pomegranate Apricot TeaZen. What is TeaZen? Well let me tell you a little about it. TeaZen is a Green Tea concentrate with specific benefits for specific reasons. We used the Ac-Tea-Vate formulated for energy while also including Ashwagandha and Rhodiola. Both of these additional supplements are known as adaptogenic herbs that help the body handle stress. Its caffeine, calorie and sugar free. You can add it to a glass of hot or cold water and drink as is. Or, you can add it to your smoothies, oatmeal, acai bowls and cocktails. If you want to know more about TeaZen, check them out here.
Note about Cranberry Meatball Swoodles with Cranberry Shallot Chutney: You will want to make the Cranberry Shallot Chutney before the rest of the dish so it has time to cool.
Cranberry Meatball Swoodles with a Cranberry Shallot Chutney
- 1/3 Cup Pine Nuts
- 1 lbs Grassfed Ground Beef
- 1 Egg, beaten
- 1 Cup Steel Cut Oats, ground into a flour
- 1/2 Cup Onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 Cup Spinach, finely chopped
- 1/3 Cup Dried Cranberries, chopped
- 2 tbsp Parmesan, grated, plus more for garnish
- 1 1/2 tbsp Fresh Sage, finely chopped
- 3/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/4 tsp Ground Marjoram
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
Cranberry Meatball Directions
- Heat a small pan over medium heat and roast your pine nuts. Set aside when done.
- In a bowl, combine everything from the Grassfed Ground Beef through the Black Pepper and mix well. I used my kitchenaid mixer to make sure things got mixed thoroughly.
- Cover and chill for about an hour, this will help the meatballs keep shape while cooking. (Optional)
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and brush with avocado oil.
- Roll the beef mixture into 1 inch meatballs, placing them 1/2 inch apart on the cookie sheet.
- Bake the meatballs until brown and internal temp reaches 165 degrees. Approximately 10-18 minutes.
- Remove the meatballs and let them rest.
Sweet Potato Noodles aka Swoodles
- 2 Medium Sweet Potatoes
- 2 tbsp Avocado Oil
- Season with Salt & Pepper
Sweet Potato Noodle Directions
- Spiralize your sweet potatoes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large pan over medium heat, sauté your swoodles for 6-8 minutes, or till they reach al dente.
(See note below on how to finish the dish.)
Cranberry Shallot Chutney
- 6 oz Shallots, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp Avocado Oil
- 1 bag Frozen Cranberries
- 2/3 Cup Maple Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Dropper of TeaZen (optional)
- 1 tsp Garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Ginger, minced
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
Cranberry Shallot Chutney Directions
- In a pot, salute the shallots over medium heat till they turn translucent.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir occasionally till the cranberries pop. Approximately 10-15 minutes.
- Let the chutney cool and serve.
Note about Cranberry Meatball Swoodles with Cranberry Shallot Chutney:
Once you have completed the swoodles, you will toss them with the pine nuts and additional parmesan. Add as much chutney to the swoodles and toss again so they are nicely dressed. When you have finished tossing the swoodles with the remaining ingredients, serve with the meatballs and enjoy.