Thursday, December 26, 2013

{Zoodles with Homemade Tomato Sauce and Vegetable Meatballs}





Merry Christmas everyone! I know it is a day late, but I got to use my new vegetable spiralizer, so it was Christmas all over again at lunch! I have been saving up my zucchini, secretly hoping I would find the spiralizer under the tree. 


Can I just say, the spiralizer is AWESOME!!! I absolutely love it!! I cannot wait to try it with many different vegetables.  If you don't have one, you should definitely get one. Christmas is only 364 days away.. :)

Anyway, back to my little lunch. One word- DIVINE!! The zoodles were soft to perfect, harking back memories of my pasta days. The fresh basil in the tomato sauce perfectly complimented this Paleo Italian meal. I'm still drooling a bit as I write this. It was so good. I think I may have it for dinner too. And breakfast. And lunch. 

The tomato sauce and vegetable meatballs were really moments of creative genius. I'm usually not that ambitious, just making stuff up  without a framework or some idea of what I am doing, but I saw vegetables and canned tomatoes and went for it!


Since I've been sugar free for about a month, it has been really hard finding tomato sauces without sugar. Even the organic ones have agave syrup! So I decided if I wanted to have something sugar free, I had to make it myself. Homemade pasta sauce is not really that hard, its easy, its sugar free, and it maybe is even less expensive. So If you are looking for a sugar free option for tomato sauce, I suggest making your own.

I have made the vegetable meatballs before for my family over spaghetti squash, but I haven't posted it until now. So sorry! They are truly delicious! 

My inspiration came from a time when I was flipping through our six TV channels (which NEVER happens!) and I saw a cooking show. The chef was teaching a family how to eat gluten free and suggested adding cooked rice to the meat. Of course I thought, instead I can use cauliflower and vegetables and get the same effect with for a Paleo option with more nutrition. 

That was a moment of brilliance, for I get more vegetables (yay!!!) while using less meat at one time. Feel free to add in other vegetables with the carrot and spinach mix, such as kale or zucchini, being sure it grinds well. 

Since only I ate this, I made a single serving. I made the full recipe for the tomato sauce, but only used as much as I desired to coat the zoodles from one zucchini (which was just 1/4 of the whole tomato sauce recipe).  For the meatballs, I only used about 5 carrots, a small handful of spinach, and a spoonful or two of riced cauliflower with just under a 1/8 pound of ground turkey. 

I hope you enjoy this new favorite as much as I do! May your cravings fro pasta be satisfied by this healthier delicious dish!




 INGREDIENTS:

4  Zucchini, spiraled using a spiralizer, or julienne peeler
1 head of broccoli, chopped into florets

For the Homemade Tomato Sauce-

28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
6 ounce can of tomato paste
1 clove garlic, pressed
3 leaves of fresh basil, washed and chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

For the Vegetable Meatballs-
 
1/2 cup spinach
15 baby carrots
1/2 cup riced cauliflower
1 pound ground turkey meat 
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano

INSTRUCTIONS:

Begin by preparing the Homemade Tomato Sauce, placing the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste in a  nonstick skillet. Then, add the garlic and herbs. Cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat, allowing it to simmer. Set aside. 

For the meatballs, using a food processor, grind the carrots and spinach into pieces. In a bowl, combine the turkey, ground carrots and spinach, cauliflower, and oregano. Then, form into meatballs. Place the meatballs in another skillet until thoroughly cooked through. 

While the meatballs cook, prepare the zucchini and broccoli. Then, add the broccoli to the simmering tomato sauce and cover to steam the broccoli. Next, when the meatballs are almost done, add the zucchini to the pan with the tomato sauce, and cover the pan to breifly soften the zucchini.

After one minute, remove the cover from the pan with the tomato sauce and zucchini and add the meatballs. Mix thoughoughly, adding more salt and pepper if desired. 

Serve and enjoy!




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