guest post thursday! danica p.

by Janetha on May 6, 2010

in meals

hello and welcome to another installment of guest post thursday! i hope you have enjoyed getting to know some of the people i hold nearest and dearest.  today’s guest poster is no stranger~ danica has been my friend since i very first started blogging in april of 2009.  i have been reading her AWESOME blog, danica’s daily, longer than i have read any other food blog. what can i say, it is the best.

now i know it is not fair to play favorites, but danica is definitely one of my favorite people in the WORLD. i am not kidding! i have had the chance to meet her and her sweet husband, jay, in “real life” (at the first annual foodbuzz fesitival) and there really are not two nicer people in this world. danica is genuine, kind, creative, enthusiastic and she just flat out wins at life.

danica has guest posted for me several times~ and she ALWAYS creates a unique recipe that caters to the way i like to eat. how cool is that?? she also is always mailing people fun things and sending cards out left and right. she seriously is the most thoughtful person around!  make sure you head over to her blog.  if you aren’t already a subscriber of danica’s daily~ you will quickly become one!

okay, okay.. i will stop boosting her ego now and hand the mic over to her ;)


That’s a Spicy Meatball!

Hi Meals & Moves Fans ~ It’s me again ~ Danica from Danica’s Daily and I have another DELCIOUS, HEALTHY, BODY FOR LIFE Friendly Recipe for you all.  I know that Janetha shares my insane interest in LOVING all things SPICY and using ground turkey/chicken so it only made sense to create these……




1.25 lbs Extra Lean Ground Turkey Breast or Chicken *

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

1/2 a small onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced

2-3 Tbsps Frank’s Original Hot Sauce plus 1 cup

Sea Salt & Pepper To Taste

1 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Nonstick Spray

1 green onion, chopped, optional


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees, lined a cookie sheet with foil and nonstick spray.

2.  Chop all your veggies and combine with the turkey, hot sauce, sea salt and black pepper.

3.  Score your meat mixture into four and divide into 16 meatballs.  Place meatballs on the cookie sheet and set aside.

4.  Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat with Olive Oil or Cookie Spray.  Add meatballs and brown on each side, about 3-4 minutes per side.  Remove onto cookie sheet.

5.  Take 1/2 cup of Frank’s Sauce and pour over meatballs.  Toss to Coat and finish baking in the oven until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, about 15-20 minutes.

6.  Remove from oven, toss to coat, sprinkle with parsley and green onions.

7.  Enjoy as is or serve it up with Low-Fat Ranch, veggies and toothpicks.

Makes 16 meatballs, 4 meatballs per serving.



* Another option is to always make your own ground turkey/chicken breast by placing 1.25 lbs of breast in your food processor and chopping it up.  It’s super easy and you know EXACTLY what’s in there

I picked Jennie’-O Extra Lean Turkey breast because I couldn’t find a lean chicken breast ~ all of them had 11 g of fat which meant that most likely included some ground dark meat and possibly skin.


99% LEAN!


I wanted to give Janetha a reason to use her new Cuisinart Mini Chopper….I added from the carrots to the garlic.


Pulse to chop in seconds!


My favorite “Secret Sauce” ~ Frank’s Honestly is the BEST Wing Sauce :D


Add your turkey, chopped veggies, 2-3 Tbsp Frank’s sauce, garlic and sea salt plus black pepper.


Combine and divide into 4 squares.


Take each square and make into 4 meatballs, 16 total.


For this step, you can use Nonstick Spray or you can use 1-2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil.


You want to light brown all sides of the meatballs ~ 3-4 minutes per side.


Place your brown meatballs onto a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet and pour 1/2 cup of the Frank’s Sauce to coat.  You may need to add more.


Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Do NOT over cook or they will get super dry.


Remove from oven and toss with additional Frank’s Sauce to taste.


Sprinkle with parsley and green onions and Enjoy!


I served mine up with veggies and a healthy Homemade Low Fat Ranch.  You can save on calories by using half mayo & half greek yogurt.  It’s super easy to make your own and it tastes a million times better than bottled!


ENJOY!  Thanks again Janetha for letting me guest post and to all of you for playing along :)

Oh wait….I need a Q for you all!

1.  What’s your FAVORITE HOT SAUCE?

2.  If you could pick any appetizer to have made over into a healthy one, what would it be?

Ready, set, goooooooo……..

xo. janetha b. & danica p.

p.s.! everyone check out danica’s post regarding making a pledge for your health! next week is women’s health week and she is offering up two $20 whole foods gift cards as an incentive to make the pledge!!

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homecookedem May 6, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Ohhhhhhh, YUM!! This is totally my kind of recipe!! I am in love with that guy Frank!! ;) These look so good, thanks for the recipe!!

If I could pick any appetizer to make into a healthy one it would probably have to be sausage balls!!!!!!

Danica May 6, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Homecookeded ~ do you know that I just tried Frank’s for the first time this year and I fell in LOVE. I totally get it! Mmmm, Sausage balls….I’ve made my own turkey sausage before, I should try to create them as an appetizer!


amsterwill83 May 6, 2010 at 6:43 pm

FRANK’S all the way!! There’s always a giant bottle in my household, and we put it on everything from eggs to soup to burgers.

I would like to try a healthier version of those yummy, fried southwestern egg rolls I see everywhere!

Amanda @ WannaBe Chef

Danica May 6, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Amanda ~ I have to agree – for Buffalo Wings, Frank’s is the BEST! Although Buffalo Wild Wings Sauce is up there too :) I LOVE Sriracha on my eggs though…I should try franks.

You could easily recreate the Southwestern Rolls by making a lowfat black bean filling with TJ’s corn salsa a little lowfat cheese and bake them….Dip them in guacamole and YUM!


mom May 6, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Hola Danica!! You are awesome and my mouth is totally watering reading this yummy recipe with photos – Janetha just has to come to my house and make these good looking meat balls!

I whole heartedly agree with Janetha, Danica is one stellar woman and I’m glad I got to meet her and Jay in San Francisco!

I get sucked into Winger’s Amazing Sauce – then I take a look at the stats and it scares me, but it sure is good!

Hmmm, I’m not a real appetizer person, but maybe spinach artichoke dip……that is a good one!

Thanks Danica, loved your guest post!!

momma b.

Danica May 6, 2010 at 8:54 pm

HI Momma B,

Thanks for the super sweet comment ~ Jay and I both think you are the coolest Momma out there too. Oh and probably the FITTEST Momma too :)

I heard a rumor that Janetha has them on the menu for next week so maybe she might bring you some or make them over there….I can’t wait to hear what you think!

I’ve never heard of Wingers but maybe that’s a good thing :)

Xoxo ~ Danica….Jay says Hi too

Danielle C. May 6, 2010 at 7:01 pm

I <3 Frank's!!! Tapatio for Mexican eats though. I cannot wait to make these next week, I saw the post on Danica's blog and was anxiously awaiting this recipe.

Danica May 7, 2010 at 8:38 am

You know what Danielle ~ Tapatio is my FAVORITE for mexican food too! I pretty much use 3 hot sauces mainly with a few experiments here and there :) Now you have the recipe – yeah :D

simplyshaka May 6, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Yay for Danica-I just love her blog and I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her but I agree she seems like one of the sweetest people out there :)

And OMG to Spicy Meatballs! Can I just eat all of those….like now? I am a Frank’s Red Hot as well but Budweiser Wing Sauce has been growing on me as well.

Danica May 6, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Awww Thanks, Tiffany – I think you are pretty awesome and hilarious too! Just plan a trip here to Cali and I will be sure to include them on the menu :) I bet adding beer to buffalo wing sauce would be pretty tasty.


SassyRas May 6, 2010 at 7:32 pm

OMG! I am so making this this weekend. Such a simple recipe.

My favorite hot sauce is my jamaican hot sauce by grace. Frank’s hot sauce is too mild for my taste bud. kekekeke

Danica May 6, 2010 at 8:56 pm

HI SassyRas…You could totally make them using your Jamaican Hot Sauce! I can’t wait to hear what you think :)


thewhatkateateblog May 6, 2010 at 7:46 pm

This recipe looks awesome! I love all things buffalo. Im on the Franks train as well, its the best out there! Danica rocks :)

Danica May 6, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Hi Kate ~ I completely agree – I tink Buffalo Chicken is my favorite type of chicken.


Michelle May 6, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Oh Frank’s 100%!!! Adore the stuff!

App re-do? Maybe warm spinach-parmesan-artichoke dip …

Great post – can’t wait to try the meatballs!

Danica May 6, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Hi Michelle ~ That’s a tough appetizer to redo although I am sure you can lower it by using a reduced cal mayo and half the cheese. Although, somethings are just good left not so healthy huh?! :)


Jill {irun ieat} May 6, 2010 at 8:21 pm

I CANNOT wait to make those meatballs! They look delicious. Thanks for sharing!

Danica May 6, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Thanks Jill! They are really easy and taste even better the next day :)


Danica May 6, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Awwww and you say I am the nicest person – look at that super sweet intro you have for me. Thanks so much for letting me guest post again and for just being you.

You are awesome Janetha and Jay/I both agree you are one of our most favorite people ever too! You inspire me every day with your AMAZING workouts and eats.

Thanks for being such a great friend and I can’t wait to hear what you think of the meatballs :)

overconcerned May 6, 2010 at 11:19 pm

DELICIOUS! My favourite hot sauce is always the Korean kind, gochujang. Yum!! I even add it to my sandwiches/wraps. :D


Danica May 7, 2010 at 8:39 am

Overconcerned ~ I bet that sauce is SO HOT, but, it sounds delicious – I LOVE Korean BBQ :)

Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) May 7, 2010 at 5:14 am

I love you, Danica! and I love you too, Janetha :)

Can’t wait to try this recipe on the boyf & a mod version for my veg self!!

Siratcha is my fave hot sauce, hands down!

And I LOVE stuffed mushrooms- but usually they are filled with cheese & breadcrumbs!!


Danica May 7, 2010 at 8:41 am

I LOVE you too – Kristin! I am pretty sure The Boy will love your more for these. I can’t wait to see how you create your veggie version – YUM!

Stuffed mushrooms are actually pretty healthy with the bread crumbs and cheese…..If you use a sharper cheese like Parmesan it adds a lot of flavor for little calories/fat. Oh and avoid the cream sauce topper….I LOVE using fresh chopped tomato/basil/garlic bruschetta on top for color and flavor!

Xoxo ~ Me

Kristie May 7, 2010 at 6:33 am

Recipe SAVED. I kinda wish I hadn’t just eaten breakfast because these are so tempting that I would have almost considered making them right here and now. Meatballs for breakfast? WHY NOT!

As for fav hot sauces, Frank’s is definitely up there, though Ring Of Fire Garden Fresh Chile Sauce, even though not quite a HOT sauce, is pretty incredible.

Danica May 7, 2010 at 8:42 am

Kristie ~ I LIKE the way you think – I would totally eat these for breakfast or even better make them in a breakfast burrito with eggs and maybe a little sweet potato!

Thanks for the hot sauce suggestions….I NEED to try those out!


Katrina May 7, 2010 at 6:34 am

This recipe ROCKS!!! Hands down! Thanks for the great eats idea! These are absolutely PERFECT for game day. One MORE reason to get excited and crazy over football season!!!!

Thank you Danica! Now….I must check out this block of yours!!!


Danica May 7, 2010 at 8:43 am

Katrina ~ These are awesome as an appetizer and perfect for game day. Just put a small container of toothpicks next to them and watch them disappear. :D


Naomi(onefitfoodie) May 7, 2010 at 7:32 am

BAHH taht looks SO good! so making this for me and my boy, he loves franks red hot!!!

I would love to see a healthified brie in filo dough OMG that is the best app!! although I would just eat the real thing happily! :)

Danica May 7, 2010 at 8:45 am

I can’t wait to hear what you all think Naomi….since the Spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are so healthy.

You’d have room to indulge in that brie filo dough app…..I bet it would be awesome with some fresh organic apricot preserves :)

samantha May 7, 2010 at 7:39 am

in college, my housemates and i used to go through an economy sized thing of franks A WEEK. we had just a wee bit of an obsession.

these look great, i’m going to make these!

Danica May 7, 2010 at 8:46 am

Samantha ~ that is hilarious, I can totally see using that much Frank’s – IT’S AWESOME!

freckledfoodie May 7, 2010 at 7:49 am

TERRRIFIC recipe, Danica! Thanks for sharing with us! I saw the teaser on your blog a few days ago and could not WAIT until you shared the recipe on meals & moves :)

1. I like Texas Pete hot sauce!

2. I would choose fried zucchini! I already DO have a healthy recipe for it, though!

Happy Friday JB & Danica!

Danica May 7, 2010 at 8:48 am

Thanks FreckledFoodie :D It was really hard to not post and share the recipe, but, it’s fun to give you all something to look forward too.

You know, I’ve never tried Texas Petes, but, I think I NEED to :)

I LOVE Fried/Baked Zucchini….it’s easy to make healthier too! WTG at already having a healthy version.

Happy Friday!!!


Seryi May 7, 2010 at 8:05 am

1) Sriracha is my FAVORITE hot sauce ever…you can put it on everything. The consistency isnt too watered down and the taste is phenomenal. The perfect kind of spicy.
2) an Appetizer i want to see turned into a healthy one would be… Pigs in a Blanket.

Danica May 7, 2010 at 8:53 am

Seryi ~ I completely agree with you on Sriracha! I have noticed that the more I use of it the more I want…It’s AMAZING on pretty much everything :)

You could make your own pizza dough or buy a pre-made one, like the one at Trader Joe’s – it has amazing stats ~ around 120 calories for 1/8th of the dough.. Buy Nathan’s 97% Fat Free Hot Dogs, leave them whole or cut them into mini dogs. They are made with REAL ingredients and have great stats (around 50 calories a hot dog!). Bake at 400 for about 10-15 minutes or until golden and you have HUGE pig in a blanket for less than 200 calories and less than 8 g of fat. Not bad…it would even leave you room to add cheese if you wanted :D


Alicia May 7, 2010 at 8:37 am

Ooh…that looks super yummy! I don’t have a favorite hot sauce, but I LOVE wasabi!!! I can’t get enough when I eat sushi. My soy sauce ends up looking very pale brown. Healthy appetizer would be chips and dip! I love eating chips and salsa or guacamole and unfortunately ther really isn’t a way to make healthy chips and salsa.

Danica May 7, 2010 at 8:55 am

Alicia ~ you are so BRAVE! I LOVE Wasabi too but I can only handle a little :)

Have you ever considered making your own tortilla chips? It’s super easy and a lot healthier. You can cut your favorite corn tortillas into 8ths or 16ths then “fry” them in 1-2 tsp of oil. Sprinkle with salt and tadahhhh! You can bake them too but I have found they turn out a lot harder that way where as the method above makes them just as crispy as bagged chips. Guacamole is loaded with healthy fats so nothing to feel guilty about there :)


Heather May 7, 2010 at 8:50 am

Yum! Husband’s gunna love these!

Danica May 7, 2010 at 8:55 am

Heather ~ My Husband LOVED them and asked for them again….I can’t wait to see what your hubby thinks.

Mary @ What's Cookin' with Mary May 7, 2010 at 8:59 am

HOLY YUM those balls look so good! twss HAHA

My favorite hot sauce… sooooo hard to pick one. I like sriracha (rooster suace), Tapatio and Frank’s Red Hot. Love them all for different types of food ;)

If I could make any app over to be healthy, it would have to be crab cake ;D

Danica May 7, 2010 at 9:41 am

Hi Mary ~ Those were some GOOD balls for sure….I highly recommend you try them ;)

You listed my top 3 favorite hot sauces for sure!

MMMM….crab cakes…I have never made them, but, I imagine they would be pretty easy to make healthy….it’s all in how you “fry” them (you don’t need a lot of oil)….and of course you can use greek yogurt for the mayo or do half yogurt/half mayo if you want the mayo taste!

hayleycepeda May 7, 2010 at 11:39 am

Holy yumballs Danica!!! These look amazing! Bookmarking this recipe now! I’m also heading over to check out your blog now, too. Thank you so much for this recipe! :) So is that correct in assuming that 4 meatballs = 212 cals? I just want to make sure I have the nutritional info correct. Thanks again!

Danica May 7, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Hi Hayley ~ Yes, 4 meatballs are 212 calories. I calculated it on CalorieCount.Com. I LOVE their site because you can copy/paste your recipe, tell it the number of servings and hit analyze. It gives you a complete breakdown of how nutritious the recipe is as well as a grade.


closet365project May 7, 2010 at 11:47 am

OMG those meatballs. MAKING.

Danica May 7, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Thanks, Closet – they are pretty tasty, but, I might be impartial ;)

learningtocookeatandenjoydeliciousfood May 7, 2010 at 5:44 pm

I would love to have my moms fruit dip healthified. It seems to be filled with lots of saturated fats and I am sure that it could do with a makeover!! :)

Danica May 10, 2010 at 8:52 am

I would LOVE to help you makeover your mom’s fruit dip..Not sure if I can, but, it’s worth a try ~ you can email me at danicasdaily 2t :D

marisa May 8, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Those meatballs look delicious…. a must try this week! I’ve been dying to go back to Taylor’s since I met you there… one day! :)

Danica May 10, 2010 at 8:53 am

Hi Marisa!!!

They are so easy to make and super tasty too :) You know, I think we just have to get Janetha out here again so we can all meet at Taylor’s again :D It was delicious and so fun having lunch with you all.


Mo December 30, 2010 at 10:38 am

I’m definitely going to try these. Danica, I love that you’ve posted the nutritional info. I used it to calculate the Points+ value of 4 meatballs and I came up with 5 points.
they looks “5 Points+ worthy” to me! I’m even thinking as a lunch or dinner on a 1 or 2 point wrap with that much protein staying power, they’d be perfect.

Danica December 31, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Hi Mo,

I cannot wait to hear what you think. Thanks to calculating the points values.


tj January 4, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I am making these tonight and I CAN NOT WAIT!!!! So excited! lol :)

Danica April 7, 2011 at 10:59 am

Hope they turned out delicious TJ!

Danica January 5, 2011 at 10:15 am

Can’t wait to hear what you think of them TJ ~ We loved them. I think I need to make them again for sure :)

biz319 January 6, 2011 at 11:19 am

I am all over those!! While I do love Frank’s, Tabasco is my true hot sauce – I have a 12 ounce at my desk, one at home and is it weird that I carry a small bottle in my purse?! :D

Danica January 7, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Biz ~ I LOVE that you carry hot sauce with you wherever you go! Can’t wait to hear what you think of the recipe :)



Jama Lenig January 27, 2011 at 11:02 am

I made these yesterday I love them (my hubby not so much, he has this whole thing about veggies not belonging in meatballs ( not the 1st time I tried this!), my kids even loved them (without the sauce). Had them as leftovers for lunch split them in half and served them on Thomas Deli Thin ( could easily do it on on English muffin as well), with a 2 tsp of fat free ranch dip! So good it reminded me of a meatloaf sandwich and hot wings! Thanks for the great recipe, I have linked it on my blog!

Danica January 27, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Hi Jama,

That is AWESOME ~ so glad you and your kids LOVED them. My Husband is the same about veggies in meatballs but the Buffalo Wing Sauce “disguised” it enough for him I think. I LOVE the idea of making a meatball sandwich!

Thanks for sharing ~ I am totally trying that the next time I make them.


susan April 4, 2011 at 2:57 pm

saw this recipe and i was dying to try them. my husband is not a “hot” anything kind of guy, so i only mixed in 1 tablespoon of hot sauce when making the meatballs. divided the mixture, but made 12 little meatballs out of each quarter. poured 1/4 cup sauce over them when baking and i think they are yummy! company showed up, as they were coming out of the oven. tested on my company and got great reviews. my husband thought they were still too hot!!!!!!!! i’m freezing them, in a single layer and taking them to a friends house over the weekend. hopefully, they will freeze well. thank you for the perfect, bite size rendition of “hot wings.”

Danica April 7, 2011 at 11:00 am

That is AWESOME Susan! So glad everyone LOVED them….your husband will toughen up on the spice eventually :)

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