Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs

My aunt Stephanie and I are cooking together again!  She's still living a few states away, but we had another lovely visit recently (this time around the birth of baby Anya) and we chatted about nutrition and looked at recipes and meal plans and got to cook together; it was great!  We decided to keep it going by picking a recipe to make the same evening and compare notes, or in this case, we just decided on a common ingredient and made our own recipes.

Spaghetti squash.  So amazing.  When I'm not making this casserole I like to sub the squash in for pasta and then proceed with a spaghetti, meatball, and marinara dinner.  Steph and I decided to make our own dishes along these general lines and then compare notes.
Since these little sweeties are 2 years old and 2 months old I am a little out of practice at making meatballs from scratch.  I have been enjoying the ridiculously delicious Whole Foods pre-made meatballs.  
I had about 1.25 lbs of ground beef to use, so I didn't do half beef/half mild italian pork sausage (my usual flavor base and safety net).  These were straight beef.  I also had 2 red bell peppers to use ... sooner than later!  I mixed up the following, then worked the mixture through the ground beef using my hands.

-- 1/2 red bell pepper, minced
-- 1T onion powder
-- 1T chopped garlic
-- 1tsp dried basil
-- 1T dried parsley
-- 2tsp chili powder
-- salt and pepper
-- 1 egg
-- 2T almond meal
looks pretty yummy!
garlic and green onions sauteed in olive oil - ready for the meatballs
 I browned the meatballs for about 3 minutes per side before adding the sauce.  I bought a jar of tomato basil spaghetti sauce at Whole Foods - intentionally very simple so that I could add a bit to it.  I sauteed some green onions and garlic in olive oil, then added the meatballs.  Once they were browned, I added the jar of sauce, some salt and pepper, and about 1T each of dried parsley, dried basil, and onion powder.

meatballs simmering in sauce
 I used the rest of the bell pepper as a side dish, combined with some frozen leeks from Trader Joe's, and some spinach that I needed to use up.  I started with the leeks and peppers in some olive oil for about ten minutes, and then added the spinach and let it wilt.

The final dish.  Tim's was a pretty traditional serving of spaghetti squash with a few meatballs and some extra sauce.  I opted for the squash with pesto on it, and a few meatballs without extra sauce.  This was pesto from Trader Joe's, but I have a recipe for Paleo pesto that I'm hoping to try in the future.

Colorful and tasty.  The best kind of meal!!

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