Spaghetti and meatballs is a classic. But we know by now that pasta made of processed wheat noodles makes us fat and sick.
A plate of regular pasta can easily pack in over 80 grams of carbs while offering little to no nutritional value…
What’s a health nut to do?
I wouldn’t survive without delicious Italian favorites like spaghetti (and pizza – recipe coming soon).
Alyson and I are hard at work making comfort foods good for you again.
Here’s how we do it:
Step 1: Dump the processed flours, sugars, and icky “vegetable” oils.
Step 2: Swap in nutrient-dense real food.
I think it’s time you meet the lord of the gourds: Spaghetti Squash.
Spaghetti Squash is a healthy, low-carb substitute for pasta packed with nutrients including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and B Vitamins. Due to its uncanny resemblance to noodles, it’s also known as vegetable spaghetti, noodle squash, and my favorite, squaghetti. The seed of this versatile squash can be roasted and eaten like pumpkin seeds, with a bit of olive oil and sea salt (kids love them).
Don’t have any spaghetti squash? Try subbing spiralized zucchini, sweet potato, or sliced eggplant for your pasta dishes (all Wild Diet approved).
On top of that, tomatoes provide Vitamins A, C, B2 and potassium, a mineral that most of us don’t get enough of. Tomatoes are also high in the phytonutrient lycopene, which research shows can play a powerful role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and chronic illnesses.
(Want a free jar of organic tomato sauce? Scroll to the bottom of this post!)
Tomato sauce, meatballs loaded with Italian flavors, aldente spaghetti squash, and melted mozzarella. Dinner is served!
BAKED SPAGHETTI SQUASH AND MEATBALLS
A spaghetti squash, a jar of sauce, a pound of meat and BAM—hunger satisfied, Italian style! You won’t even miss the noodles.
- 1 whole spaghetti squash
- 1 pound grass-fed ground beef (85% lean)
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning (see note below recipe for a homemade recipe for Italian seasoning)
- Ghee for frying (or coconut oil)
- 1 26-30 ounce jar organic tomato sauce (no sugar added)
- ¾ cup grass-fed cheese, shredded (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F, and pour ½ cup water into a 9x13 baking dish.
- Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds.
- Place squash, flesh side down, in the baking dish, and roast in the oven until just tender, about 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool, and then rake a fork back and forth across the inside of the squash halves to remove the strands into a large bowl.
- While squash is baking, peel and dice 1 yellow onion and mince 2 garlic cloves. Add to a large mixing bowl.
- Add 1 pound ground beef, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon coconut flour, ½ teaspoon sea salt, and 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning. Use clean hands to mix everything together.
- Shape meat mixture into golf ball-size meatballs—it should make about 14.
- Grease a large skillet with ghee or coconut oil, and heat over medium. Cook meatballs, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
- Add spaghetti squash strands to the 9x13 baking dish, add meatballs, and pour marinara sauce over the meatballs. Cover with foil and bake 10 minutes.
- Remove foil, sprinkle ½ cup shredded cheese over the top, and continue to bake, uncovered, for 10 more minutes. (note: if you’re not using cheese, simply remove foil and continue baking).
<strong>Note #2: </strong>Sometimes we like recipe is even better when it's reheated the next day (after the sauce seeps in). Double the meatball mixture to make sure you have enough for leftovers.
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HOW TO GET A FREE JAR OF ORGANIC TOMATO SAUCE
We always keep organic, low-sugar tomato sauce in our pantry. It can turn a pound of meat and a few veggies into a meal in no time. But you don’t want just any jar of marinara.
Most major brands you find at the supermarket are full of sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, tomatoes grown with pesticides, too much salt, and refined grain oils. A far cry from the recipe grandma handed down for her tomato sauce with garlic and fresh basil.
Want one of our favorite low-sugar sauces? Thrive Market Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce is produced by an Italian company that’s been making the real-deal since 1902. It’s bursting with flavor and has all the nutritional punch you’d expect from a batch of fresh homemade sauce simmering on your Nonna’s stove.
For a limited time, Thrive Market is giving away FREE jars of tomato basil pasta sauce when you sign up. Alyson and I have been Thrive customers for over a year now and highly recommend it for saving time and money on groceries.
What’s your favorite fat-burning Italian dish? Share your pictures and recipes in the comments!