“Spaghetti” and “Meat” Balls

Last fall I tried a new type of spaghetti.

 

Source: steamykitchen.com

 

Spaghetti squash.  It blew my mind.  Who knew you could make a vegetable act like a pasta?!  The best part is that you can make it in the microwave in under 10 minutes.

If you haven’t tried it yet, you should probably do so immediately.  It’s that fantastic.  This squash-pasta takes on any flavor – have fun with it!  I’ve been known to eat it for breakfast…

 

 

The air has a nice fall crispness to it, which only makes me crave an Italian classic: spaghetti and meatballs.  (Side note: I didn’t have a single meatball in Italy!)  Post-cleanse and post-Forks Over Knives watching, I have decided to limit my intake of meat and other animal products.  So how was I to have meatballs?!

The spaghetti already had a twist… why not go experimental all the way?

 

Pre-Saucing

 

And so, Tofu-Lentil “Meat” Balls were born.  I’m not going to lie – these aren’t a perfect match for the real deal, but they are good and added some nice bulk to the dish.

I used plenty of red pepper flakes, fresh parsley, and garlic to make it feel more Italian.  The addition of liquid smoke (found at Whole Foods) was awesome.

 

 

As if they weren’t healthy enough, I baked my balls rather than fried them in oil.  That may have been more a function of my not believing they’d stay together in the pan.

As I alluded to before, the key to good spaghetti squash are the accompanying flavors.  Use your favorite sauce here to make the dish pop!  Don’t be afraid to start with a jar and add capers, roasted garlic, basil, red pepper flakes, cheese… or whatever your go-to Italian flavors are!

 

While we’re on the subject of balls

 

Source: benjerry.com

 

Did you see that some grocery stores are refusing to carry Ben & Jerry’s new brilliant creation: Schweddy Balls???  I guess I get it… but come on… kids aren’t even going to “get” the joke.

Say what you will, but those fudgey rum balls are good – Schweddy Balls is B&Js most successful special edition ice cream to date.

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“Spaghetti” and “Meat” Balls

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1/2 block tofu
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T shallot, minced
  • 2 T parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/3 C lentils (pre-cooked)
  • S+P, to taste

 

Preheat oven to 350.

Cut the squash in half (can soften in microwave first).  Remove the seeds.  Place in a glass baking dish, cut side down, in about 1 in of water.  Microwave for 7-8 minutes, or until shell is tender when pierced with a fork.  (You can also do this in the oven at 350 for about 45 mins.  I thought the microwave worked fantastically.)  Remove the flesh with a fork and place in serving bowl.

Meanwhile, crumble tofu into food processor or Magic Bullet.  Add garlic, shallots, parsley, red pepper flakes, and smoke.  Blend until just combined – you don’t want to make a paste, just to be able to form a ball.  Add lentils and stir by hand to combine.

Form 1-2 T size balls and place on foil or parchment paper.  Place in oven and bake ~20 mins, until balls begin to brown.

Serve with spaghetti squash and your favorite sauce!

Makes 2 servings.

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Voting is now open on Facebook for Delta’s Biscoff Bake-Off.  Pretty please vote for my Biscoff Cookie Dough Balls by clicking here and “liking” my entry.  You can vote 1x per day!!!

What is the best “cold weather” meal you’ve made healthier?

What do you think of the Schweddy Balls controversy?  Overkill or being responsible?

 

Tortilla Pizza

Where do people come up with this stuff?

 

The search terms that lead my blog crack me up!  *Not that I’m not happy to have new visitors!  I’m just baffled occasionally.*

 

My Recent Favorites:

  • Rotating deodorants (I do… my body gets immune!)
  • “Love my stylist” short hair cut (go see Karen at Lava)
  • My black coffee and breakfast to go
  • Things that make me go mmm (click here for those)
  • Sweet bikini bellies
  • Pumpkin dumbbells images
  • Herbs that go well with cottage cheese (they all do)
  • PMS salty sweet (I hear you, sister… make these)
  • Schweddy balls (tee hee)

 

You guys know I’m on an airplane right about now (thank you, wi-fi).  Since the trip has begun, I can officially declare victory over my quest to only use what I have this week.

 

I haven’t dined out since Sundaythis is no small feat for me!  I’ve probably saved $200 (which I promptly spent on trip stuff).

 

My fridge is a wasteland of crumbs and stuff that never expires.

Some of the odd creative concoctions I haven’t shared yet:

 

Use-everything-in-my-fridge pizza(s):

 

 

Customize pizzas as you like!  The one above is chronicled at the bottom of this post with instructions.

Tortilla pizzas sound like such a silly thing to eat before getting the “real” thing in Italy.

 

Working lunch

 

Pizza #2 (above) consisted of pressed tofu, sheep’s milk cheeseartichokes, marinara sauce, garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes.

There was a dinner saute:

 

Pressed tofu, edamame, jalapeno, garlicshallot, salsa, and liquid smoke.  Side of sauteed zucchini I’ve been eyeing here on Rufus’ Food and Spirits Blog… it has a twist of something you’d never guess: Peach Schnapps.  I followed the recipe, except I used olive oil instead of butter.  It was awesome.

 

And my favorite – Overnight Oats in a Jar.  Yep, I even used all the peanut butter.

 

PB jar with the “dregs” on the bottom, oats, sunflower seed milk (so glad to see this gone!), cinnamon, Biscoff granola, vanilla, and a shake of salt.

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Since I’m gone, the weekly recap is early!  Slacker, I am not.  At least not while in the U.S.

 

Workout Recap (9/19-9/24)

  • Monday – Biceps/Back, 6 min plank sequence, 100 push-ups
  • Tuesday – 7 miles run, P90X Ab Ripper X, 100 push-ups
  • Wednesday - Kickboxing, 3 mile run, Shoulders
  • Thursday – Tris/Chest (click link for the workout!), Ab Ripper X100 push-ups
  • Friday – 5 mile run, 6 min plank sequence, 100 push-ups
  • Saturday – Rest/Travel
  • Sunday – I’ll be biking through Verona :)

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Tortilla Pizza

  • 1 tortilla (I used Ezekial)
  • 1/4 C tomato sauce
  • 1 handful fresh spinach
  • 1 T fresh thyme
  • 1 chicken sausage (I’m loving Bilinski’s from Whole Foods!)
  • 1/4 C artichoke hearts
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

 

Preheat oven to high broil.

Lay tortilla on baking sheet or pizza stone.  Layer ingredients on top of tortilla.

Place in the oven, watching very closely (broil is no joke!).  Cook until just beginning to brown, ~7-8 mins.

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The next two weeks will be filled with an all-star line up of guest posts!  Please stop by, say hello, and discover some new bloggers.

I’ll also be inserting a little commentary about what Italian region the Wandering Wine-os are terrorizingtouring… and will try to write a few full-length posts as time/wi-fi allows.


What is your favorite pizza base?

Would you have added the schnapps to the zucchini?  I’m glad I did!

 

Creative or Crazy?

Go Packers!

 

I’m happen to be in Milwaukee for work while the Packers open again the Saints.  All of this is lost on me - I prefer college ball.

 

I had quite the view!  People in Milwaukee are incredibly nice.  They also really like Bud Light and Riesling (as evidenced by the patrons at the bar last night).

No, I wasn’t out partying.  But how could I pass up eating dinner at the hotel bar while watching this shenanigans go down?!

 

Plus, I was in need of a treat after a workout so awesome it left me shaking.  That one will be posted ASAP.  :)

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To entertain myself between work and the NFL, I researched fried foods.  Apparently one can fry anything.

 

They claim everything is bigger in Texas.  If bigger = fried, then “they” might be right!

 

The prize for the Most Creative State Fair Food in Texas went to the Fried Bubble Gum.

Source: inquisitr.com

 

It wasn’t really fried gum – it was fried bubble gum-flavored marshmallows.  That actually doesn’t sound so bad…

Last year’s winner was fried beer ravioli.  Homer Simpson’s favorite dinner.

Click for source

 

But that’s nothing compared to Iowa’s Fried Butter on a stick.  Seriously.  Who could even take one bite of that?!

Source: Iowa State Fair/ Steve Pope Photography

 

And we wonder why half of America will be obese by 2030?

 

Moo-ving on to ice cream, Ben & Jerry have finally outdone themselves.  Coming soon to a store near you…

 

Schweddy Balls Ice Cream will consist of vanilla ice cream with a hint of rum and is loaded with fudge covered rum balls and milk chocolate malt balls.  Schweddy balls on ice.  

Please tell me Betty White’s muffin is next.

(In case you missed it, these are hilarious SNL skits.  Click the links to watch!!!) 

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I love crazy, creative non-fried, non-ice cream combos too!

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I once had a fried Snickers.  Not gonna lie – it was good.

What’s the werdest fried food you’ve ever seen/tried?

Do you get into the NFL?  College football?  Nothing?