This recipe is straight from McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN, Dietitian and Founder of Nutrition Stripped, and it’s part of our “Back to the Table” SB Challenge, where we feature seven recipes each Sunday, for three weeks, and challenge our readers to gather around a home-cooked meal each night! At Nutrition Stripped, McKel encourages meal planning as a simple way to take the guesswork out of healthy eating, so much that she created the Guide to Master Meal Planning. By setting aside a “batch cooking day,” you can make enough food to include in meals throughout the entire week, which comes in handy when life gets in the way. These recipes are geared toward meal prep in their versatility; you can make them ahead of time, then just add your toppings, dressings and fresh components when it’s time to enjoy. Bonus: they all keep well in air-tight glass containers.
Inspired by her mother’s spaghetti and meatballs, McKel set out to create an equally comforting and satisfying recipe that wasn’t packed with carbs. Enter: spaghetti squash. The versatile vegetable serves as the noodles, while her unique and mouth-watering chickpea meatballs substitute for your usual ground beef.
McKel says, “Spaghetti squash is yellow, which is a good indicator of which antioxidants and vitamins it has (think carrots) and contains vitamin A, C, B vitamins, manganese, copper, potassium, iron and calcium,” so you can enjoy this indulgent dish completely guilt-free!
See original recipe on Nutrition Stripped RIGHT HERE.
Recipe: Spaghetti Squash and Chickpea Meatballs
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup hemp seeds
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup fresh basil chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped dry sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt adjust to taste
- Pinch of red pepper flakes adjust to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper adjust to taste
- 1, 15 <g class="gr_ gr_221 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" id="221" data-gr-id="221">ounce</g> can chickpeas drained, rinsed and dried
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using a sharp knife, poke holes all around the entire spaghetti squash. Place the squash directly on the rack of your preheated oven and cook for 45 minutes or until a knife easily goes through the skin. Take out of the oven and slice the squash in half, longways, be careful it’s hot! Scoop the seeds and center out, discard or roast the seeds as an option. Using a fork, gently scrape the sides of the squash until all the flesh is in ribbons. Set aside.
- In a medium heated skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and onion. Saute for 2-4 minutes until they start to soften; add minced garlic with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes until fragrant.
- In a food processor or blender, combine the sauteed onions and garlic with nutritional yeast, hemp seeds, egg, chopped walnuts, oats, basil, <g class="gr_ gr_204 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="204" data-gr-id="204">sun dried</g> tomatoes, oregano, sea salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, remaining olive oil (2 tablespoons), and chickpeas. Pulse together until the mixture comes.
- Pour this mixture out into a large mixing bowl. Adjust seasonings to taste before you start rolling these into about 1 tablespoon balls. Use a little olive oil or water to coat your hands to prevent the chickpea meatballs from sticking, repeat until all of the <g class="gr_ gr_209 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" id="209" data-gr-id="209">batter</g> are in balls.
- Using the same skillet you sauteed onions in, add in 1 tablespoon olive oil just to cover the bottom of the pan, add chickpea meatballs to cover the bottom and cook on medium until the outside is golden brown, about 5 minutes each side. Be gentle when flipping over each chickpea meatball so it doesn’t lose form. Use a baking sheet with parchment and paper towels to drain any excess oil
- To serve: Place chickpea meatballs into the center of the squash halves with the spaghetti squash noodles inside already, pour your favorite heated marinara sauce on top and garnish with fresh torn basil
- Another option, to take out all the spaghetti squash noodles into 1 large serving bowl and mix all the chickpea meatballs and sauce on top. This is great for serving a large group at once. Otherwise, serve individually and reheat meatballs in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes or until warm.
For more Nutrition Stripped recipes that are part of this challenge, see the recipes below in “More Articles You’ll Love.”