Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Fit Tuesday" Spaghetti Squash and Meatless Balls

Yesterday was Mardi Gras (a.k.a. "Fat Tuesday"), a day when people typically indulge in fat- and calorie-laden treats before the 40-day season of Lenten fasting begins.  In the Detroit area, the most popular way to celebrate Fat Tuesday is with paczkis, which are like donuts taken to the extreme.  You'll be hard-pressed to find a vegan paczki but there are certainly many other ways to celebrate Fat Tuesday vegan-style, if that's what you want to do.

For me it was just another day.  I had a smoothie for breakfast, soy yogurt and fruit for lunch, PB2 balls for a snack, and for dinner we made spaghetti squash and meatless balls.  I had been a long time since I'd had spaghetti squash and it really hit the spot.  I like it better than pasta.  It has more fiber, vitamins, and minerals and is lower in calories and carbs, plus it doesn't leave me feeling weighed down.  

If you've never cooked spaghetti squash before, it's really simple.  Just cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and prick the skin all over with a sharp knife.  Place the squash, cut sides down, in a baking dish with a little water and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. 
Use a fork to scrape out the flesh.  It will look like spaghetti strands!

Then we topped our squash with veggie-packed sauce, nutritional yeast, and some delicious balls. Countless jokes ensued.  Nothing very funny so I'll spare you.  You're welcome.  

We also had salad and delicious whole-grain garlic bread, which Brian makes with Earth Balance and garlic powder.  Simple and delicious.  Oh, and nearly guilt-free when you're eating squash instead of carb-loaded noodles, right?  I already can't wait for the left-overs tonight!  

Bring on the balls!

Gimme Lean Meatless Balls
(printable recipe)


1 package Gimme Lean Italian Sausage
1/4 cup quick oats
1/4 plain whole wheat bread crumbs 
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup sweet onion, minced
1 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. black pepper 
1 tbsp. olive oil


1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or Vitamix and pulse until combined.  If you don't mind getting your hands a little messy, go ahead and just throw it all in a bowl and mix it by hand.  The Gimme Lean is very sticky so regardless of how you do it, it's going to be messy!

2. Form meatballs that about 1-inch in diameter.  Try to get about 24 balls.  (I had 21 but should have made a few of them smaller.)

3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the balls and saute for about 10 minutes, turning frequently, until they are evenly browned on all sides.  (Make sure not too brown them too quickly or else they'll be mushy in the middle.)

4. Add to your favorite sauce and serve or spaghetti squash or pasta.

Makes 24 balls.

NOTE: If you prefer not to pan-fry, you could probably bake these at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping once.  Please leave a comment if you try them this way.

We used a store-bought sauce (Prego Veggie Smart) but also added fresh steamed broccoli and mushrooms

Did you celebrate Fat Tuesday or Fit Tuesday?

1 comment:

  1. baked balls are in our culinary future ~ post to follow.