Chicken and Ginger Meatballs

I love meatballs — there’s something, well, fun about round food. And meatballs are easy to make, even when you’re gluten free. I made these meatballs — with tasty ground chicken and a lot of ginger! — for a party at a friend’s house. There were actually three kinds of meatballs (I was feeling overachieve-y that day), but these were the hands-down favorite.

Since then, I’ve made them whenever the mood strikes (and whenever ground chicken is on sale). They’re delicious with chicken wraps or on top of rice noodles. I mix up a quick chile sauce with a bit of lime juice, chile paste, and fish sauce to pour over the noodles or as a dipping sauce. Of course, my gluten-free ponzu would work just as well!

Larb, or Ground Meat Lettuce Cups

While you may not have heard of larb by that name, you are likely familiar with the variation known as “lettuce cups”. Lettuce cups often feature Chinese flavors while larb tends to be spicier, with flavors of Thailand and Laos.

This ground meat dish features lime juice, fish sauce, chiles, and herbs. You can use any type of ground meat, though chicken seems to be the most traditional. Serve in lettuce cups and make a little extra sauce for spooning over the completed dish if you’d like.

Once interesting ingredient in this dish is ground toasted rice. It can be optional, but the rice powder adds a bit of crunchiness that is surprising, so I suggest going for it. You can toast the rice on the stove, but I prefer the oven method because it’s less hands-on — I do all the other meal prep while the rice is browning away!

Spicy Peanut Sauce

I love spicy peanut sauce. It’s my go-to for spring rolls (and I make a lot of spring rolls), chicken satay, regular chicken, and even rice noodles. Mix the sauce with hot noodles, add some shredded chicken, and some torn basil…voila! lunch. Or dinner.

The recipe below is just a suggestion — you can mix up the ingredients as you need. Don’t have lime juice? Substitute the mellower rice vinegar. Want to dial back on the heat? Omit the red pepper flakes. I’ve seen recipes that use coconut milk to temper the heat. It’s all up to you.