If you are on a health kick like me (story of my life), this recipe is about to be your go-to spaghetti and meatball night meal. I love pasta but the fact that it finds its way to places on my body I'd rather it not settle into, makes me avoid it as much as possible. I have found a few ways to get around it that both satisfy and trick me into believing I'm getting to indulge. One of those way-arounds is "Miracle Noodles" (click here to find them on the web). They are a plant fiber based noodle that has ZERO calories and ZERO carbs -- therefore ZERO guilt. They are a completely free food that you can eat as much as you want of. I have found that I like the Angel Hair variety best. I will do a post at some point in the future about these little miracle noodles but I thought I would introduce them here. Another way around pasta that I have been doing for some time is zuchinni. I julienne the zuchinni and instantly have a super healthy veggie pasta. No need to cook it, just use a julienne slicer and serve a hot marinara and meatballs over it. It even whips around and slaps your face sometimes - just like the real thing ::thumbs up:: The recipe below allows you two meatballs and marinara over the zuchinni "spaghetti" noodles for under 200 calories!!!! (The audience says ooooooooh) That means you can have a third meatball and still be under 300 calories (and the audience says ahhhhhh) You're welcome friends. Enjoy.
2 lbs lean ground beef (95/5 ratio)
1/2 cup raw rolled oats (not instant)
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup water
Mix all ingredients together, reserving the water. Once all ingredients are combined, add in the water and mix one last time. Form meatballs that are just slightly larger than a golf ball. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a skillet with cooking spray and brown all sides of the meatballs over medium heat. You may have to do this in 2-3 batches. Once all meatballs are browned spread them out on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. While the meatballs are baking, make your marinara sauce using the recipe below (or use your favorite store-bought marinara). Makes 24 meatballs.
28 oz crushed tomatoes, canned
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning blend (or 1/4 Tbsp each of oregano, basil, rosemary and thyme)
2 Tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp sugar
Combine all marinara ingredients in a medium sauce pan (big enough to fit sauce and meatballs). Heat over medium heat until meatballs are done. Add meatballs to marinara and let simmer for 30 minutes or until ready to serve. Makes 8 servings of marinara.
4 medium/large zuchinni squash (room temperature)
I know that most people don't just happen to have a full scale mandolin slicer with a julienne attachment lying around, but you should at least grab a julienne peeler (like this one) from Walmart or Target. They are around $10-$15 and they are super handy! Cut the ends off of the zuchinni squash and julienne them until you have a pile of healthy zuchinni "spaghetti" noodles. If you sauce and meatballs are hot and ready to serve, there isn't a need to heat the noodles. Just serve 2-3 meatballs and some marinara on top of the "spaghetti" and with the amount of calories your saving with this dish you can even splurge with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
CHECK OUT THE NUTRITION FACTS!!Meatballs (per meatball): 63 cals / 2g fat / 1g carbs / 9g protein
Marinara Sauce: 58 cals / 2g fat / 10g carbs / 1g protein