Ciao bella gente!
I have been wanting to share this recipe for a while now but I kept forgetting to take pictures of the entire process 🙁 But the good news is that it’s finally here!
Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE Italian food. Like if I could eat pasta all day everyday I would. Every meal. Seriously. I went to Italy a few years ago with my mom and I think I ate so much pasta that I almost turned into pasta. I ate stuff like this on the daily:
But since that doesn’t exactly fit in with my fitness goals, I have had to learn how to find healthier alternatives (while still occasionally indulging in some chicken Alfredo or homemade lasagna *drooling*).
I’ve tried the whole wheat pasta thing, which can be a great substitute, but it’s not really my thing so when I heard about the whole “zoodle” craze I had to get right on it! Zoodles aka zucchini noodles are simply zucchinis spiraled into noodles – basically an IMPASTA! Get it? Okay moving on…
I bought my cute little veggie spiralizer on Amazon for about $13. It’t super easy to use and really you could turn any vegetable into noodles for a healthier but still delicious substitute!
With some experimenting I have come up with this (now favorite lunch meal prep) dish – zoodles and homemade meatballs with marinara sauce! Let’s get to zoodling!
How to Make Zoodles
- 2 medium to large sized zucchinis
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp minced garlic OR 1 clove of fresh garlic finely chopped
- Seasoning of choice (I used Simply Organic Italian seasoning)
- Dash of pepper
First using your handy dandy spiralizer, spiralize your zucchini and set aside. This should be enough to make about 3-4 servings.
Heat up a large pan and add olive oil. Add minced garlic and saute for about a minute and then add in your zoodles. Stir for 1-2 minutes (they should be a little crunchy, not mushy!) and then add your pepper seasoning of choice. And there you have it, easy right?!
Sometimes if I don’t feel like getting fancy, then I’ll just add more fresh or raw veggies and turn it into a zoodle salad. But today we are DEFINITELY making zoodles with meatballs 😉
Now comes the fun part…
How to Make Homemade Meatballs
- 1 lb ground beef (TIP: I only use the 93/7 lean ground beef because it’s not as fatty and the meatballs hold together better)
- 1/2 cup of rolled oats
- 1 egg
- Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
- 1/3 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 pickled jalapeños, diced*
- Seasoning of choice (I used Simply Organic garlic salt)
- Dash of pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 jar of marinara sauce
*omit jalapeños if you don’t like spicy! These aren’t TOO spicy but they do have a little kick to them 🙂
In a large mixing bowl, mix ground beef, egg and oats by hand. Slowly add in your diced jalapeño, cheese, pepper, and then squeeze in the juice of 1/2 lemon until all ingredients are well combined.
Now take a small handful of your mixture and form into small ball shapes. You should have enough to make about about 14 meatballs.
Heat up a large skillet and add olive oil. Place all meatballs in the pan and sear on each side for about a minute. Pour about 1/2 jar of marinara sauce on top of your meatballs. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes (make sure to check them right at 15 minutes so that you don’t over cook them!).
Now you can combine your zoodles with a couple of meatballs and create a tasty meal to have for lunch or dinner for the rest of the week!
This recipe is super simple and a much healthier alternative than having pasta every day for lunch and dinner – a girl can dream though, right?!
Like I always say, clean eating and healthy cooking don’t have to be boring and you don’t have to be an amazing cook. You just have to have an open mind and get creative! Most of my healthy dishes have been created by trial and error and now I have several staple dishes that I can easily make for my weekly meal preps!
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do and keep following. I will be posting more meal prep ideas soon! Buon appetito! 🙂