Hey guys! It’s Sarah here! Today’s recipe is Italian Bean Balls with Spaghetti Squash. This is a great substitute for spaghetti and meatballs. It is packed with fresh vegetables, fiber, and is extremely low in calories. One cup of spaghetti squash is only 31 calories, and if you make your marinara sauce at home, you’ll know exactly what is in it (i.e.. no sugar, less salt, fresh ingredients). If you’re short on time, Eden Organic Spaghetti Sauce is a healthy, reliable product. The ingredients for Eden are: Organic Tomatoes, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sea Salt, Organic Basil, Organic Oregano, Organic Black Pepper, Organic Roasted Garlic, Organic Dried Onion, Organic Thyme. You can buy this product at most grocery stores, but Whole Foods will have it for sure.
The reason I like this recipe is because I can eat A LOT of the squash and veggie marinara sauce, with little calories. It fills you up and it’s good for your body. Spaghetti squash is high in potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, and Vitamin C. If your diet needs more calories, you can add some lean turkey by making a meat sauce or eat more of the bean balls with your marinara and squash. So, here you go! Enjoy!
Italian Bean Balls
- 1 1/2 pieces of Ezekiel Bread, processed into course flour,
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- 3-4 finely chopped oil-packed, not dried, sun-dried tomatoes
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans or bean of your choice, drained and rinsed (rinsing beans = sodium reduction)
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water, mixed
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- Black pepper, to taste
- Add Ezekiel Bread into the food processor and process until finely chopped like course flour.
- Add the grated carrots, chopped parsley, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and Ezekiel bread flour into a large bowl. Stir to combine.
- Add the drained and rinsed beans into the food processor and process until finely chopped. Remove 1/3 the beans so that there is some chunks left for the bean balls. Process the rest until it’s a coarse paste, but don’t puree the mixture.
- Stir the processed beans into the bowl with the vegetables and bread flour.
- Whisk together the ground flax and water. Stand for 15 seconds, and then stir into the vegetable bean mixture until fully combined.
- Stir the oil, oregano, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, into the bowl. Mix.
- Shape the mixture into 12 “meat ball” sized balls (the size of golf-balls). Don’t forget to tightly pack them so that they stay together.
- Place each ball onto a baking sheet (sprayed with PAM or other cooking oil) an inch or two apart.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then gently flip the balls and and bake for another 15-20 minutes until golden on both sides.
- After baking, place balls on a cooling rack for 10 minutes to cool slightly (this will help the balls to stay together).
- Serve with spaghetti squash or pasta and tomato sauce (either homemade or store-bought).
Nutritional Stats: Serves 4 (3 bean balls each)
Per serving 220 cal, 33 carbs, 7 fat, 12 protein, 315 sodium, 5 sugar
How to Roast a Spaghetti Squash
- Preheat over to 375
- Slice off the stem
- Place the squash on the flat end down (the part where you just cut off the stem).
- Take a sharp Chef’s knife and cut the squash lengthwise. This can be challenging. Go slowly and in a rocking motion.
- With a spoon or ice cream scoop, scrape all the seeds and guts. (Many people like to roast the seeds later)
- Take a baking sheet and cover the entire bottom with water.
- Place the Spaghetti Squash cut side down onto the baking sheet and so it’s in the water.
- Roast at 375 for 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven and with a fork, scrape out the insides. It should scrap easily. It will be strings, like spaghetti.
- Serve with marinara sauce (homemade or store bought).
Nutritional stats per cup:
31 calories, 7 carbs, 1 fat, 1 protein, 17 sodium, 3 sugar