A Healthy Twist on Pasta and Meat Sauce!

2015

2015

Since it is the new year I figured a bunch of us will be trying to get rid of the 5 extra pounds from the Holidays or trying out new diets so I thought I’d share my new favorite way to enjoy many of my favorite Italian dishes, but without all the extra calories and/or carbs! I have been obsessed with making zucchini noodles using my spiralizer for a few months now.

What is a spiralizer you ask? It is a contraption that turns your veggies into long spirals that can be substituted for pasta, a fun way to eat veggies or make fries. I ordered mine off of Amazon for cheap. There are all sorts of them out there. Mine looks like this:

Spiralizer

Spiralizer

Spiralizer

Spiralizer

You can make all sorts of different noodles with it using different types of veggies. I really haven’t ventured out from using zucchini, but I have friends that have used sweet potatoes, potatoes and yellow squash. It is just a great way to enjoy some of your favorite Italian comfort foods without all the carbs.

My son loves to help me make my zucchini noodles. So this is a great way to get your kids involved in cooking. It involves mine, but they still won’t try it! ARGH! Maybe someday!

Kids Helping

Kids Helping

My favorite thing to make using the zucchini noodles is a version of the Pioneer Woman’s meat sauce. It is so good! I made some to freeze recently for my sister in-law who is about to have her second baby. When I got home I had to make some for ourselves because we were craving it after smelling it all morning at my sister in-laws house.

zucchini noodles

zucchini noodles

Here is the Meat Sauce recipe adapted from the Pioneer Woman:

Meat Sauce

Meat Sauce

2.5 lbs of ground beef

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

1 green pepper, diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup of beef broth

28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes

14 ounce can of diced Italian tomatoes

Half a can of tomato paste

1 jar of pasta sauce ( I always buy a jar that is tomato and basil, but that is my preference)

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp thyme

2 bay leaves

1 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese

1.5 Tbsp parsley flakes or 1/8 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1. Brown your ground beef in a large pan or stock pot. I season mine with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Once it is browned transfer it to a bowl and drain out the grease.

2. Using the same pan from browning your ground beef add the olive oil. Once it is heated add the chopped onion and green pepper. After it starts to soften add your garlic and cook for a few minutes. Then add in you beef broth and allow to bubble for a few more minutes.

3. Add in all your tomatoes and seasonings and stir. Then add the ground beef and stir to combine. Allow the sauce to simmer on low heat for 1 hour.

4. After simmering for 1 hour add in your grated parmesan cheese and allow to simmer for 30 more minutes.

Once the sauce is done you can start on your zucchini noodles. I usually use 2-3 large zucchinis for my hubby and myself. I wash the zucchini and then cut off the ends and cut them in half. I put a pan under the spiralizer to catch my zucchini. Once it is all spiralized I add a little bit of olive oil to the pan and then saute it on the stove for a few minutes until it is hot. Then I dish out the zucchini noodles and top it with a big spoonful of meat sauce and some Parmesan cheese. I think I need to go make a bowl right now! Yum!

Zucchini prep

Zucchini prep

Ready to spiralize

Ready to spiralize

Here they come

Here they come

Zucchini noodles

Zucchini noodles

Saute noodles

Saute noodles

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

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