Cooking · Dinner · Health

Turkey Meatballs, Tomato Sauce and Spaghetti Squash

We had quite the comfort food meal for our Sunday night dinner. We have been working on some home improvement projects, and for a couple of hours today that meant being without heat on a really cold day… so I thought what better excuse to whip up some real heart warming comfort food.

I was lucky enough to escape our fringed house for a while thanks to errands to Trader Joe’s and a few other places around town. I came back mostly empty handed, but with two paper bags full of groceries (and a few snacks thrown in too, because Trader Joe’s just has the best snacks ever.) Once I got home I threw on my scarf (it was cold!) and apron and got to work in the kitchen.

On the menu tonight – homemade turkey meatballs. I was going to do our favorite bison / turkey meatballs, but TJ’s does not seem to carry ground bison anymore. I did not fret when I found this out and just got a pound of all natural and very lean turkey. Making your own meatballs involves getting your hands dirty. Seriously gewy. It is not the most photo friendly thing to make. I washed my hands probably seven or eight times during this process – and I wasn’t even taking photos of what I was doing (and I am sorry for this – it just was not going to happen today!) For the record, I did stare at my camera and tripod for a moment, trying to think about setting everything up and just decided against it.

Once you have mixed all of your ingredients together, you can heat up some olive oil in a non-stick pan and sear the meatballs before putting them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper…

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One pound of ground turkey, two eggs, onions, garlic, tomato paste, spices, the zest of an orange, 3/4 cup of panko bread crumbs, all came together to make a lot of meatballs!

I cooked the meatballs in the oven for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. They were nice and browned when they came out of the oven. I had half of one to make sure they were ok. Were they ever!

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Once the protein was out of the oven, I cut a spaghetti squash in half and took out the seeds and membrane. I sprinkled it with kosher salt and put it in the oven for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees.

Once it came out of the oven, I prepared the squash and I was so happy with how much “spaghetti” there was to eat! Plenty for dinner and two more meals (at least!) I just love healthy leftovers – especially when I haven’t thought ahead far enough to think about lunches for the week. A plate full of squash:

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During this process, I had also been making my homemade tomato sauce. I chopped up an onion, 1 stalk of celery, 1 carrot, 3 cloves of garlic and sautéed it all in olive oil. While the vegetables are cooking, add a sprinkle of salt (maybe a teaspoon) because that helps the vegetables “sweat it out”. The kitchen always smells amazing while this is happening. I just love sautéed onions, celery & carrots together. Every so often I think “I could eat this for dinner”… but normally I stop myself before that is the case.

The tomato sauce eventually came together, and after a couple of hours of cooking we had a complete meal – and it was healthy and delicious. On my plate: about a cup of spaghetti squash, half a cup of sauce, 3 meatballs and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese as a garnish:

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This was such a great dinner and I have leftovers for tomorrow – my idea of a productive Sunday afternoon. See you soon!


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