Thai Style Meatballs with Cauliflower Rice – CrossFit Series




I’m a meatball guy.

Really, I’m an every-kind-of-food guy, but meatballs hold a special place in my heart. When working at Paisano’s, my first restaurant job, my fellow dishwasher, Scott, would sneak into the walk-in cooler and snag two meatballs. He’d give one to me and he’d save one for himself, resting it on the dish machine control panel and nibbling on it through the night. I would eat mine in 2-3 bites right away, but when his was gone, it would be my turn to retrieve the balls. I didn’t feel good about the arrangement, but Scott assured me that we were doing the owners a favor by “taste-testing”. If we were to someday find one whose taste was off, we’d be sure to let them know. I’m not sure how many balls I ate in dish dog days, but I’ve been a “meatballer” ever since!

Today’s recipe was designed out of necessity. One of my all-time favorite dishes on the site is the Thai Turkey Throwdown. In my Ice Age Meals operation, we tried several times to recreate the TTT in bulk fashion, but something was always off. Thai Turkey Meatballs became the solution. We fold carrots and celery into the meat mixture, which stretches the protein while keeping it moist.

We originally served our Thai Turkey Meatballs with Cauliflower Rice, but then cauliflower got hit hard due to last year’s drought and the price tripled overnight. We did some brainstorming and came up with our Thai Meatball Curry, which is similar to the caulk rice, but replaces cauliflower with parsnips. This adds a hint of sweetness with an underlying tone of mint that I really enjoy. If you get the chance, check out Ice Age Meals and order some up today.

Better yet! Make today’s recipe in your own kitchen and find the joy that I find each time I cook for my family. When you do, smile because you are eating food that will help you live longer and you’re being an example to those around you of how to…

“Keep It Paleo!”

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

(Rocking this program to bring you the next evolution in Culinary Ninja training…)

Thai Style Meatballs with Cauliflower Rice


  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 6 cups carrots, shredded
  • 8 cups cauliflower, shredded
  • 2 cups light coconut milk
  • 2 cups bamboo shoots
  • 2 cups water chestnuts
  • 3 cups onions, diced
  • 3 cups green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup ginger, minced
  • 5 tablespoons Paleo Grind Ga Ga Garlic
  • Cilantro, to garnish
  • 3 tablespoons sambal
  • 3 tablespoons tamari or coconut aminos
  • 2 eggs
  • Olive oil, as needed

Preparation Instructions for Meatballs:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2lbs ground turkey, 2 cups carrots, 1 cup onions, 1 cup bell pepper, 1/2 cup ginger, 2 eggs and 3 tablespoons of Ga Ga Garlic. Mix well until uniform.
  2. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Using a 1oz portion-control scoop, scoop meatball mixture into the pan. Repeat the process until the meat mixture is gone and you’ve got a pan full of meatballs.
  3. Turn them 3-4 times with the goal of achieving a nice caramelization on all sides and an internal temperature of 165F.
  4. When the meatballs are done, scoop 2 large spoonfuls of cauliflower rice onto a plate, top with 4-5 meatballs, and garnish with sambal and cilantro.

Preparation Instructions for Cauliflower Rice:

  1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 cup ginger, 1 1/2 tablespoons sambal, 2 cups onions, 2 cups bell peppers, 4 cups carrots, 8 cups cauliflower, 2 tablespoons Ga Ga Garlic and tamari. Stir to incorporate all ingredients. Place a lid on the pan and cook for 7 minutes.
  2. Remove the lid; stir the rice; add the coconut milk, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots, and cook for 3 minutes longer.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and enjoy the rice immediately.
  4. You can portion the rice and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

“Keep It Paleo!”

Zone Breakdown:

Proteins: (20)

Our protein comes from our ground turkey. We start with 32oz before cooking it but after cooking it cooks down to about 27oz. Each block equals 1.5oz, therefore we have 18 protein blocks from the turkey. Additionally we get two protein blocks from the two eggs (each egg being one block) for a total of 20 blocks.

Carbohydrates: (16)

We get 6 blocks from our carrots as one block equals on cup. Additionally we get about 2.5 blocks from our cauliflower. About 3.5 cups equal one block, so we will say we have 2.5 for easy math. Additionally we get 6 blocks from our onions as ½ cup equals one block, and finally we get 1.5 blocks from our peppers as 2 cups equal one block. We have a total carb block count of 16.

Fats: (24+)

We get 24 fat blocks from the milk as there are 3 fat blocks in a ¼ cup. Additionally for every tablespoon of olive oil that is needed/added, you will add an additional 9 blocks.

Balancing Act:

We can break this meal down into 4 meals. We would have 5 protein blocks, 4 carb blocks, and 6 fat blocks, but this would vary based on how much oil is added.

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