Meatballs and Zoodles
My mothers side of the family is Italian...(Bunny Trail alert)...have you seen those commercials with people who thought they were one nationality only to find out they were several others? Yah, I have and now when I think of this I think, "well, how much Italian am I, how much Slavic, what else am I?". Haha! (Bunny trail over... but it would be interesting to find out don't you think?). Though their last name was certainly Italian and my great grandparents on one side came from Italy....anyways...makes me curious. We now return you to the regularly scheduled post.
I love all things pasta and bread, but we've been trying to cut back on our carbs recently. Sad, I know! Because of this I've been trying to find meals that are no carb, low carb but still satisfying. I have made lasagna using Zucchini as noodles, and recently purchased a spiralizer from Pampered Chef. So why not put spaghetti on the menu. Oh yah! So good, I've made it several times in the last few weeks. To make it heartier, I made meatballs with a meat sauce. Served with salad, it's the perfect meal, and a quick one if you make your sauce and meatballs ahead of time. Perfect for family or company. The other thing I loved about it was that you don't have the heavy feeling you sometimes get with pasta. Win-win!
Let's get this party started! First with the meatballs. I bake them in the oven in my muffin tin, then while they're baking I start my sauce, and after about 10-15 minutes I transfer the meatballs into the sauce to stay warm or finish cooking through.
1 lb. ground beef
2 Tbs. Parmesan cheese
2 Tbs. bread crumbs
2 Tb. milk
2 tsp. parsley
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Combine all ingredients. Roll into whatever size meatball you want. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, then transfer meatballs to the sauce.
1 lb. Ground beef
2 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
2 small cans tomato paste
1 15 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
2 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. I]]]\\\talian seasoning
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs. butter
*NOTE: As sauce heats up, add more seasoning if you need to.
Brown your ground beef. You can also add some chopped onion and garlic right before beef is done cooking. Drain beef and return to pan. Add all remaining ingredients except butter. Add that at the end...it adds a richness and cuts the bitterness of the tomato sauce. Season more to taste.
When meatballs are done, add them to the sauce.
2-3 zucchini, depending on size. You want to look for a medium size
Spiralizer or vegetable peeler will work too
Following your spiralizers instructions create noodles to your liking. Or if you don't have a spiralizer take a vegetable peeler and work your way around zucchini making long, wide strips. You can leave as is, or slice them into thinner strips.
Just before you're ready to serve, heat a skillet and add just a bit of coconut oil, or oil of choice. lightly toss noodles in heated pan until warmed through (you don't want them to get mushy, the sauce will heat them more).
Add noodles to plate or pasta dish, top with sauce, meatballs and some fresh or grated parm. Serve immediately!!
*Note: I'm still getting used to my spiralizer, and I do like it, however, unlike other ones, you have to cut the zucchini down in size because this is an upright spiralizer so the noodles aren't quite that long, stringy look you often see. But they still taste the same so I'll keep playing with it. See below for some other popular styles and brands.
With Joy Unquenchable,