Ok I admit it…I love carbs and I love comfort food. I’ve always loved breads, pasta, pastries, you name it. But let’s be honest, that type of food doesn’t always do our waists justice.
In an effort to cut back on carbs but keep the feeling of a satisfying meal, last weekend I made my own new spin on Paleo Meat Balls. I’m also including my version of spaghetti squash for those of you who are looking on new ways on how to use up all of your summer zucchini.
Let’s begin. You’ll need the following for the meat balls:
1 pound of lean ground turkey meat
3 tablespoons of almond flour
2 handfuls of baby carrots
2 handfuls of mushrooms
6 fresh leaves of basil
A couple cloves of garlic
Crushed red pepper
Salt and Pepper
For the spaghetti squash you will need the following:
6 zucchinis (this fed about 3 people so average 2 zucchini’s per person if you have a larger group)
About 1/2 cup of water
Your favorite marinara sauce
Now it’s time for you to make your meat balls.
Start by prepping and washing your veggies. Then I used my food processor with the shredding attachment to cut all the veggies down to manageable size. Next, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil on a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add about 2 cloves of minced garlic and let that heat up for a few minutes. When your garlic has turned to a light brown color and the pan is heated through, add your veggies and cook through. The volume of the veggies will decrease by about half because so much water weight will evaporate (this is a good thing). Once the veggies are cooked, set aside to cool.
(Carrots, mushrooms and zucchini just starting to cook down)
While your veggies are cooling, use a vegetable spiral slicer tool to make your spaghetti noodles. Set your noodles aside while your make the meat balls.
(All of the meat ball ingredients)
In a large bowl, combine your cooked veggies, ground turkey, egg, almond flour, minced basil, a couple dashes of crushed red pepper, a pinch of salt, teaspoon of pepper and 2 teaspoons of oregano. I found that using clean hands to mix it all together was quick and then you can quickly go into forming the meat balls.
(Uncooked turkey meat balls)
Next create the meat balls by rolling an equal amount of the mixture in your hands. Set each meat ball on a cookie sheet or large platter until you are ready to cook them. Once you have them all formed, heat a large saute or sauce pan over medium/high heat. I used cooking spray on my pan but you could use olive oil if you wish for a non stick surface. Place enough of the meat balls in the pan so you have room to flip them.
(Your zucchini should look similar to this when in the stock pot)
In a separate large stock pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 clove of minced garlic and heat through. Next add the spiralized zucchini and begin to saute it. Continue to cook and flip your meat balls at the same time ensuring that you flip them to brown on all sides.
Once your zucchini has cooked down, add 1/2 cup water and let it simmer over a low/medium heat.
By this time your meat balls should almost be done. Check on the zucchini, it should be less than half the volume of when you started to cook it. Drain the extra water. Pour your favorite marinara sauce over the zucchini and cook through.
Serve the meat balls over a bed of the spaghetti and if you’re feeling feisty, grate some fresh parmesean on top. Enjoy!