So to kick-off our first Simple Sunday meal, we’ve decided to start with a classic: Spaghetti and meatballs!
There are a few very simple steps to make spaghetti and meatballs a very healthy meal. First of all, you can choose whole wheat noodles. When you choose white noodles, you’re really just giving yourself a plate full of refined carbohydrates that contains very little nutritional value, but making the simple switch to whole wheat adds much more fibre, vitamins and minerals. And the thing is, once you add a whole bunch of sauce and other toppings, you really can’t taste any difference between whole wheat and white, so have no fear if you’re a white-pasta lover 🙂
Next up is the sauce. There are just about a million different sauces out there, so this is when you’ve got to start reading labels. Look for sauces that are low in sodium (10% of your daily value or less), and of course you need to watch out for those cream-based sauces because they’re often loaded with unhealthy fats. Our suggestion? Try making your own homemade sauce! Making your own tomato sauce is very simple, and costs a lot less then buying the pre-made stuff. It’s also healthier, and tastes a million times better, too, and you can adjust it to your liking- you can see here we did not blend our sauce, ’cause sometimes you gotta have it chunky! 😉
But now it’s time to get down to the real reason we’re posting today: the meatballs. These traditional spaghetti-toppers pretty much steal the show. Because really, noodles and sauce are yummy, but on their own that’s all they are- noodles and sauce. You throw some meatballs on top of there and you’ve got yourself a meal! The problem is that most store-bought meatballs just don’t cut it. Even the so-called “healthy” ones are full of fillers, and, often contain trans fats! We don’t know how anyone gets by calling something that has trans fats in it healthy, but they do. Which is why we choose to make our own. With just four ingredients (unless you count salt and pepper- in that case there’s six), you can make your own delicious meatballs from scratch that taste a million times better than anything you buy in the store, and are that much healthier, too.
A lot of meatball recipes out there call for eggs and breadcrumbs, but we’re here to tell you that you don’t need them! Just beef and a little seasoning and you’re on your way.
So let’s recap- you start with your base of whole wheat noodles, ladle on some delicious, low sodium (homemade?) spaghetti sauce, and top it off with a few simple 100% beef meatballs (recipe to follow!), a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and, if you’re feeling a little adventurous, some sauteed basil leaves, and badda-boom badda-bing you’ve got yourself a tasty, wholesome, simple meal that’s sure to please a crowd.
And what’s better than that? Nothing, people. Absolutely nothing.
Easy Homemade Meatballs
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
1 lb lean or extra-lean ground beef
2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add all ingredients to a large bowl and using your hands mix everything together until the spices are even distributed throughout the beef. Grab chunks of the beef mixture and roll into golf ball-sized balls. Place them on the baking sheet so they are evenly spaced apart. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn them over and bake for another 10 minutes. If they aren’t fully cooked after 20 minutes (if they are still a bit pink in the middle) continue baking them for 5 minutes at a time until they are brown all the way through and the juices run clear.
Do you like spaghetti and meatballs? What are some of your favourite simple meals to please a crowd?