Eggplant “Meatballs” and Veggie Spaghetti

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Oh, trusty spaghetti and meatballs. Such a comfort food. I have seen so many eggplants around the farmer’s market on weekends that I decided to try using eggplant, spinach and other plant based ingredients to bake delicious “meat”balls paired with spiralized zucchini and yellow squash spaghetti.

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

This vegan recipe is a satisfying and nutritious lower carb option than regular spaghetti and meatballs. It’s filled with prebiotics to promote a healthy gut, like onions, garlic, and white beans. This recipe is also very easy to make gluten-free by just checking the panko bread crumbs used. Eggplants are often overlooked in the market. They are a host to vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Eggplants may be tolerated for those on a FODMAP diet. However, if on a low FODMAP diet, you may want to watch out for the onion, garlic, and beans in this recipe. When picking out an eggplant, look for skins that are smooth and shiny.


By Kathleen Benson, RDN LD

Eggplant “Meatballs” and Veggie Spaghetti

  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 35-45 min
  • Servings: 4

Ingredients

1 large ripe eggplant

1 medium onion (chopped)

1 cup parsley (chopped)

3 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 1/2 cups of spinach (chopped)

1 cup of white beans (1 can rinsed + drained)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup gluten free panko bread crumbs

1 teaspoon himalayan sea salt

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

1 teaspoon italian seasoning or oregano (optional)

1-2 zucchini (spiralized)

1-2 yellow squash (spiralized)

note: serve with tomato sauce of your choice

Instructions

For the meatballs:

  1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Using coconut oil spray/natural cooking spray, prep a large baking sheet.
  3. Chop eggplant into small 1″-2″ pieces and sauté in olive oil until soft.
  4. Place eggplant in food processor.
  5. Next, sauté the chopped garlic cloves, spinach and onion in olive oil until fragrant.
  6. Add these ingredients to food processor.
  7. Add beans and parsley, then blend. Make sure the ingredients are diced/well combined, but not completely pureed.
  8. Transfer to a large bowl, then mix in panko crumbs, salt, red pepper + other seasonings into the mixture.
  9. Roll into 2 inch balls. place on the baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 35-45 minutes.
  10. When the meatballs are finished, heat with your favorite marinara sauce and top the veggie spaghetti.

 

For the zucchini and squash:

  1. As the meatballs are baking, spiralize 1-2 zucchini + 1-2 yellow squash into thin “noodles”.
  2. Sauté for a minute or two to soften, or enjoy raw.
  3. Season with garlic salt, ground black pepper, etc.

 

For the meatballs:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Using coconut oil spray/natural cooking spray, prep a large baking sheet. Chop eggplant into small 1″-2″ pieces and sauté in olive oil until soft. Place eggplant in food processor. Next, sauté the chopped garlic cloves, spinach and onion in olive oil until fragrant. Add these ingredients to food processor. Add beans and parsley, then blend. Make sure the ingredients are diced/well combined, but not completely pureed. Transfer to a large bowl, then mix in panko crumbs, salt, red pepper + other seasonings into the mixture. Roll into 2 inch balls. place on the baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 35-45 minutes. When the meatballs are finished, heat with your favorite marinara sauce and top the veggie spaghetti.   For the zucchini and squash: As the meatballs are baking, spiralize 1-2 zucchini + 1-2 yellow squash into thin “noodles”. Sauté for a minute or two to soften, or enjoy raw. Season with garlic salt, ground black pepper, etc.  

Nutrition Information

Per Serving:  Calories: 288; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 613mg; Potassium: 999mg; Carbohydrate: 49g; Fiber: 9g; Sugar: 9g; Protein: 10g

Nutrition Bonus: Vit C: 78%; Vit A: 51%; Iron: 24%; Calcium: 12%

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