Recipe: Healthy Spaghetti and Meatballs


Photo and recipe by @everylastbite1.

At times it seems like nothing could be better than a hearty plate of spaghetti and meatballs - until you're left feeling sluggish and heavy after the meal. Enter this genius update, which uses hearty eggplant as the base for the meatballs.

What we love about eggplant is in addition to the important minerals and vitamins it delivers - including vitamin B6, which helps metabolize food into energy - the dense 'flesh' of the eggplant absorbs surrounding flavors well, making the traditional flavors of the tomato sauce, basil and grated cheese shine through.

The same holds true for spaghetti squash, which is easy to cook and eats like traditional spaghetti. In addition to an abundance of vitamins and minerals, spaghetti squash is high in fiber, which helps with both satiation and digestion. If you want to turn a pasta or Parmesan dish into a nutritional powerhouse while still enjoying those favorite flavors, look no further than this eggplant polpette.

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Recipe:

2 medium eggplants
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2/3 cup chicken or vegetable stock
Pinch of salt & pepper
⅓ cup basil, chopped
1¾ cup almond flour
⅓ cup Parmesan*
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauce:
6 medium tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, chopped
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon fresh chilli, chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
1 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup basil, chopped

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1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. Cut eggplant into small cubes. Heat olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add diced onions, garlic, cubed eggplant and stock. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for approximately 15 to 20 minutes until all of the eggplant has become soft and the liquid has been absorbed.

3. Transfer mixture to a food processor or blender and pulse once or twice but no more, you want the larger pieces to break down but you do not want the entire mixture to turn into a smooth puree. It should remain chunky.

4. In a bowl combine the eggplant mixture, chopped basil, almond flour, Parmesan and egg white. Blend until well combined.

5. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray to ensure it’s well greased.

6. Spoon out 1 to 2 tablespoon sized amounts of the mixture into your hands and roll into balls the size of a golf ball. Place on baking sheet one inch apart.

7. Bake in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, flipping the balls halfway through. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn. They are done when they become firm to the touch.

8. While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce. Chop tomatoes into small pieces. Place them in a medium sized pot on medium-low heat along with the olive oil, crushed garlic, chili and diced onion.

9. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes until onions becomes transparent. Add in canned tomatoes, lower the heat and allow to simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

10. Add in the oregano and chopped basil. Taste the sauce. If it’s too tart, add in honey. Season with salt and pepper.

11. Serve the eggplant polpette on zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash, topped with the tomato sauce and garnished with Parmesan and chopped basil

* If following a dairy free diet, substitute the Parmesan for 1½ tablespoon nutritional yeast

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About the Author

feedfeed is the world's largest collection of crowd sourced recipes from around the globe and a highly curated digital publication and social cooking community. Follow @thefeedfeed on Instagram for daily cooking inspiration and recipes.  

feedfeed is the world's largest collection of crowd sourced recipes from around the globe and a highly curated digital publication and social cooking community. Follow @thefeedfeed on Instagram for daily cooking inspiration and recipes.  

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