Slimmed-Down Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Craving pasta? No problem! This recipe uses lean ground beef (95% fat free) and whole wheat pasta, so you can fuel up without filling out! I slimmed down this classic and pumped it up with some extra nutrition, including a hefty serving of fiber and protein, with only a modest amount of fat. Another secret? Use whole-wheat breadcrumbs to hold the meatballs together, instead of the refined stuff. Make this dish even healthier by using unseasoned whole-wheat breadcrumbs and adding your own spices and herbs (garlic powder, onion powder, salt, parsley, etc.). Remember the fundamental values of nutrition: moderation, balance and variety. Enjoy this favorite as part of a balanced diet and keep fueling your body with whole, real, nutritious foods!

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Ingredients (serves 4):

16 oz (1 lb.) lean ground beef (95% lean, 5% fat)

8 oz whole wheat thin spaghetti

2 C tomato sauce (look for a low sodium brand, or make your own!)

1/3 C whole wheat breadcrumbs, seasoned (note: if using unseasoned, season them up yourself with whichever spices and herbs you’d like)

2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

1 Tbsp fresh parsley

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 large egg, scrambled, raw

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or you can use another oil, such as canola oil)

IMG_0538Directions:

1. Pour oil into large skillet and warm over medium heat.

2. Boil water in large pot over high heat.

3. Combine ground beef, scrambled egg, breadcrumbs, spices (garlic powder, ground black pepper), parsley, and parmesan cheese in large mixing bowl. Use your hands to mix ingredients well. Form small meatballs and place in skillet. (note: this recipe should yield approximately 20-25 meatballs)

4. Add pasta to rapidly boiling water and cook approximately 7-10 minutes. Continue to turn the meatballs in the skillet so they brown.

5. Drain water from pasta in colander. Place pasta back in pot (with no water) and add sauce. Warm over low-medium heat. Remove meatballs from skillet once cooked (they should be brown in color throughout) and place on paper towel over a plate to drain excess oil. Add meatballs to pasta, mix and warm another 2-3 minutes. Serve hot. 

The Goods: What’s Inside?IMG_0541

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 488 calories, Fat 23 g, Saturated Fat 7 g, Cholesterol 150 mg, Carbohydrates 32 g, Fiber 5 g, Sugars 7 g, Protein 42 g, Sodium 617 mg, Calcium 130 mg

*note: the sodium content is analyzed using seasoned breadcrumbs and a tomato sauce that is not low-sodium. 

Squash Those Pasta Cravings!

Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Olive Oil

Craving pasta, but wishing you didn’t love the starchy stuff? While whole wheat pasta is fine in moderation, it is understandable to wish you were craving something a little healthier. This is where spaghetti squash comes in- tastes like pasta, looks like pasta, but is actually a winter squash that packs in a ton of nutrition with every bite! Spaghetti squash is rich in beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A. The healthy fat in the olive oil aids in the absorption of this fat-soluble vitamin. Also, spaghetti squash is a rich source or vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium! Make enough for seconds – you’re going to want them!

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Ingredients (serves 5):

1 medium spaghetti squash (about 3 lbs)

4 cloves garlic

1 medium zucchini squash

1/2 C extra virgin olive oil

1/2 C grape tomatoes, halved

1 C reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled

2 basil leaves, chopped

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise. Remove pulp. Place on baking sheet (skin facing upward) and bake for 45 mins- 1 hour.

3. After spaghetti squash has been cooking for approximately 30 minutes, dice zucchini and mince garlic.

4. Pour 2 Tbsp olive oil in large skillet and warm over medium heat. Add zucchini and garlic powder. Cook approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Add minced garlic, chopped basil leaves and halved tomatoes to skillet with zucchini. Cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove skillet from heat.

6. Remove squash from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Pull squash with a fork. It should be easily removed and appear as long, thin, soft strands of spaghetti. If this is not the case, continue to cook squash and resume once squash is finished cooking. Add squash to skillet with vegetables and warm over low-medium heat.

7. Add remaining olive oil, salt and ground black pepper. Add chopped basil leaves to skillet. Cook approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

8. Mix in feta cheese and cook 1-2 minutes. Serve hot.

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 312 calories, Fat 26 g, Saturated Fat 6 g, Cholesterol 16 mg, Sodium 578 mg, Carbohydrates 15 mg, Fiber 3 g, Sugar 6 g, Protein 5 g, Calcium 166 mg