Friday, March 8, 2013

Revamping Old Favorites: Spaghetti & Meatballs

It's Friday night, I've been sick (with a cold, not Whole30 related), my car is in the shop, I haven't been able to run, so it's been a long week. I'm feeling better, but the last thing I want to do when I get home from work is make a big fuss for dinner.

I saw a really cool thing on Pinterest about how to cook spaghetti squash in the slow cooker... whole! This site says to add water, but I omitted that. Seriously, you just turn that bad boy on and plop the squash in stem and all. So this morning I did exactly that. My plan was to have spaghetti squash and meatballs for dinner.

One thing I've noticed so far on Whole30 is that it is very hard to find "convenience" foods that are compliant. While this didn't exactly come as a surprise, there are certain things, like pasta sauce, that I just haven't had time (or local tomatoes) to make my own and freeze it yet. We'll be purchasing a small chest freezer very soon and I'll be freezing goodies left and right in no time. Anyway, I was really fortunate to find a bottled pasta sauce that is completely compliant! Seriously, Bove's Marinara has exactly what I would put in sauce, nothing more, nothing less: crushed tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, onions, fresh garlic, salt, and spices. I'm in LOVE!

So now that I had the spaghetti squash cooking itself while I was at work, a Whole30 compliant bottled sauce, the next step was to create a paleo meatball. I made the meatballs with a pound of local, grass-fed ground beef from Little Alaska Farm. I kind of made the meatballs recipe up as I went along (see recipe below). I rarely make meatballs but I'm really happy with the way these came out! Even my very picky husband liked them!

It took 35 minutes from the time I came home from work until I sat down to enjoy my spaghetti squash and meatball dinner. It was VERY good!! It's nice to know I can still enjoy the flavors of some of my favorite meals and still stay paleo! If you try this recipe out please let me know what you think!

Paleo Meatballs (makes approx 22 meatballs)

preheat oven to 350F

1lb grass-fed ground beef
1 pastured chicken egg
1/2-1 cup almond meal (enough to bind the mixture)
3-4 cloves garlic minced (I like garlic)
1Tbsp dried basil
salt/pepper to taste

Beat the egg with a fork, add the ground beef and spices, mix well (I just use my hands). Once mixture is thoroughly mixed (it will be kind of loose at this point), add almond meal until mixture will hold a ball shape. Use a tablespoon measuring spoon to make evenly sized meatballs. Place in a single layer in a shallow casserole dish. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes.

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