Alina's Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Veggies and Lentil Meatballs

I told Adam I'm going to start calling this dish Peter Pan Pasta because it's so good it can't be real. Oh wait. It isn't real. It's pretend pasta. It's pretend meatballs. And it's really unbelievably delicious.
Stringy spaghetti squash is the base of this dish, replacing noodles. I've never cooked with spaghetti squash before, so I found a spaghetti squash for dummies recipe on the Healthy for Two blog. I thought it would be difficult, but all I had to do was nuke the squash for 2-3 minutes per pound of squash and then dig out the insides. Piece of cake... er, forkful of squash!

For the pasta sauce, I just roasted a bunch of veggies (onions, carrots, green pepper, red potato, and mushrooms) and then added them to a can of plain ol' pasta sauce. Simple and delicious. I also added a little minced garlic to finish it off.

I subbed a lentil meatball recipe for meatballs. This recipe comes from Post Punk Kitchen. According to Marissa's Lentil Soup post, lentils were dubbed one of the five healthiest foods by Health magazine. I do like health, so getting more lentils in our diet can't hurt. Adam and I both thought these were tasty, although Adam thought he liked the pasta better without the meatballs. He said the meatballs were a 3 out of 5 ladles, which brought his overall taste rating down.

Approximate cost: $12. Makes 6 servings. 263 calories per serving.
Prep time: 1 hour Total time: 2 hours
  • Approximately 5-6 lbs spaghetti squash
  • 2 medium red potatoes
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 green pepper
  • 8 ounces whole mushrooms, stems removed
  • Cooked lentils (1 cup dry)
  • About 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp szechuan sauce (the original recipe called for 2 tbsp soy sauce, but I didn't have any)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • Several cloves of garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp of minced garlic
  • 16 ounce can of pasta sauce
Pasta Sauce
 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Chop the potatoes, onions, carrots, and pepper. Prepare the mushrooms. (For the perfect consistency I like to stick the chopped potatoes in the microwave for about 1 minute before I roast them with the other veggies)
3. Toss the carrots and onions in 1 tbsp olive oil along with a little salt and pepper.
4. Transfer the carrots and onions to a baking sheet and place them in the pre-heated oven.
5. Let them roast for 35 minutes, shaking them occasionally to keep them from sticking.
6. Toss the potatoes, peppers, and mushrooms in 1 tbsp olive oil, add them to the carrots and onions, and roast them for another 15 minutes, shaking the baking sheet halfway to keep them from sticking.
7. When the veggies are done, turn the heat down to 350 degrees (so that it's ready for the lentil meatballs) and set them aside.
8. Heat the can of pasta sauce, and add the veggies to the sauce. Add a tsp of minced garlic. Wasn't that simple?

Lentil "Meatballs"
1. Start by cooking the lentils. When they are done, remove them from the heat and set them aside.
2. Put 1 onion and the garlic cloves in a food processor. Pulse until minced. Remove them from the food processor and set them aside.
3. Add the cooked lentils, 2 tbsp olive oil, water, tomato paste, flour and szechuan sauce to the food processor. Liquefy it!
4. When it's nice and creamy, remove it from the food processor and mix the minced onion and garlic in by hand. Add the breadcrumbs as well. Mixing this takes about two minutes.
(Here's a tip: If you're cold, put on a hat.)
5. Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a skillet. Roll the lentil mix into 1 inch balls and place them in the skillet. Roll them around to get them lightly browned.

6. Place the browned lentil balls on a baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees, shaking them every 5 minutes to help them bake evenly and to keep them from sticking.

Spaghetti Squash
I followed the directions found here to make the spaghetti squash.

Put it all together, and here's what you get:

Adam’s taste rating: 4 ladles
Brad’s taste rating: 4 ladles
Healthy rating: 4 ladles
Ease of prep rating: 3 ladles
Overall average: 3.75 ladles


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