Thursday, December 6, 2012

(veggie!) Spaghetti & (meatless!) Meatballs

So it's been an entire month since our last post - which means the whirlwind of the holiday season is certainly in full-swing!  From the end of Fall through the Thanksgiving tryptophan coma, we certainly ate our way through November and are backlogged with great blogs to post!

With all of the heavy eating that went on last month and with Christmas and the New Year still ahead of us, I took a time out for some light eating that would still satisfy my comfort food cravings so that I wouldn't feel deprived.

Below is a really great recipe for low-carb 'spaghetti' (aka spaghetti squash) and protein-packed veggie quinoa 'meat'balls for a flavorful, filling lunch or dinner.

1. Cut spaghetti squash length-wise, scoop out seeds and roast 1/2 (reserve the other 1/2 for later up to three days uncooked depending on how much you need) after rubbing with olive oil and sprinkling with sea salt and pepper in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.

2. While roasting, make quinoa balls:

- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 5-6 large button mushrooms, cleaned & thinly sliced
- 1 small drizzle of olive oil
- 1/2 bag fresh baby spinach, chopped
- 1/2 red pepper, finely diced
- 1/4 cup onions, diced
- 2 tbs pine nuts (or any nut of your choice!)
- 2 eggs, one for egg wash
- A couple generous pinches of crushed red pepper (omitted in mine since I didn't have any, didn't notice!)
- 1/2 tsp fresh oregano*
- 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary*
*fresh is so important here, totally makes a difference!
- Salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook quinoa according to package using water and set aside to cool a bit.
2. Fry up the onions & mushroom slices in some olive oil until softened and browned, set aside.
3. In the same pan, wilt the spinach until is softens
4. In a large bowl, combine mushrooms, spinach, red pepper and onions.
5. Add oregano, rosemary and crushed red pepper, salt & pepper to taste.
6. Add pine nuts and combine mixture.
7. Add cooled quinoa and mix in of the eggs.
8. Shape mixture into even-sized balls and place on a greased and foil lined baking sheet.  make an egg wash by mixing together remaining egg and a splash of water.  Using a brush, paint the meatballs with the eggwash.
10. Bake at 400 degrees until they are cooked through, browned and slightly crispy (15min or so.)
(This awesome recipe originated here.)

Once both items are finished, top spaghetti squash with quinoa balls and your choice of tomato sauce and some cheese (I used creamy goat cheese) if you'd like.  Enjoy and feel like you're indulging - guilt-free!

Feel good,

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