Gwyneth Paltrow’s Healthy Turkey Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash
As this blog showcases, I have a HUGE sweet tooth. I get asked all the time how I stay slim when I am baking almost everyday. First, it's all about moderation: A little bit of everything and a lot of nothing. Taste everything, eat nothing! I love to try everything but usually just a couple bites satisfies.
That being said, I do generally eat healthy on a daily basis. Hot tea in the morning and a green smoothie. I love to snack on frozen blueberries, nuts and dried fruit and eat lean meats and veggies for dinner.
Sometimes life gets crazy though and with travel, parties and holidays, my healthy eating plan gets thrown out the window. I like to practice a whole foods diet whenever possible. No, not simply eating AT Whole Foods (Jacobs would love that) but eating whole, unprocessed food. The trendy name for it is "The Paleo Diet." It's really easy to follow because you just have to ask yourself—could a cave man have eaten it? If the answer is no, then you shouldn't be eating it. That means, no processed food, including pasta, cheese, refined sugar, liquor and bread. Yes to fruits, veggies, meat and grains. It really reminds me what I should be eating and how amazing food from the Earth really is!
My friend, Stacie, wrote about doing an elimination diet from Gwyneth Palthrow's new cookbook It's All Good on her blog southernsophisticate.com (Go follow! Amazing travel and Nashville's hottest spots).
I had bought the book a couple of months ago (because it's really beautiful) but Stacie's post intrigued me to open it up and really read some of the recipes. I decided to make Gwyneth's Turkey Meatballs and "Go-To Tomato Sauce." The dish was delicious, very satisfying and ultimately incredibly healthy.
Now, don't get me wrong ... I LOVE fresh pasta and real Italian meatballs (just look at my post on Lazzaroli Pasta). But you can not eat like that EVERYday. This is a great fresh alternative that makes you feel good about what your eating. Your gut will thank you!
Turkey Meatballs Serves 4 (makes 24 meatballs) 1 small onion, coarsely chopped 1 cup arugula, coarsely chopped 1/4 cup Italian parsley 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped 8 fresh sage leaves 8 fresh basil leaves Leaves from 4 sprigs thyme Leaves from 1 sprig rosemary 1 lb ground turkey 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 3 tablespoons olive oil
In a food processor, pulse onion, arugula, parsley, garlic, sage, basil, thyme and rosemary until finely chopped. In a bowl, combine onion-herb mixture with turkey, salt and pepper; mix with hands. Roll turkey mixture into 24 golf ball-sized meatballs. (I can never get it to make 24 meatballs. The most I've made with this recipe is 16). In a large pot over low heat, warm tomato sauce. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Cook meatballs in skillet in batches, stirring, until browned, 10 minutes. Transfer meatballs to simmering sauce (recipe below); partially cover pot. Cook meatballs, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Serve hot with gluten-free pasta or polenta or vegetables. 334 calories per 6 meatballs with sauce, 19 g fat (4 g saturated), 17 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 26 g protein
Go-To Tomato Sauce Recipe 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 4 large fresh basil leaves 2 28oz cans of whole peeled tomatoes with their juice Coarse Sea Salt Freshly ground black pepper
Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan on low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring to make sure garlic does not burn. Add 2 of the basil leaves and stir for 1 minute. Add in both cans of tomatoes with their juices and remaining basil leaves. Turn to high and bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow sauce to simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and crush tomatoes with a wooden spoon.
I served with roasted spaghetti squash (slice in halve, brush with a little olive oil and roast, sliced side up, in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes and then scrape out flesh) and an arugula salad. I popped half the meatballs and left over sauce in the freezer for a easy dinner down the road. I can't wait to try another recipe from the book but until then …
Don't worry, I'll be back with something sweet tomorrow!