Is it possible to eat good ol’ American comfort food on The 4 Hour Body Diet, AKA The Slow Carb Diet? These amazing Slow Carb Spaghetti and Meatballs are proof that miracles never cease.
Most people say they gain weight over the holidays. I can attest that some years I’ve had one too many Christmas bonbons, and needed to shed a few pounds in January. Yet in reality, summer time is when I ALWAYS gain weight.
Let’s blame it on the kids, shall we?
After all, they are home from school snacking, snacking, snacking at every moment of the day. I’m much more likely to pop handfuls of Cheddar Bunnies when they are around. Due to the summer schedule, I workout less and lay (in the sun) more. To top it all, I tend to have “vacation” mentality every day, which can only lead to trouble.
So you see, I go into bathing suit season comfortable with myself, and leave it feeling lumpy and dumpy.
Renowned author Tim Ferriss offers a solution in his best-selling book, The 4 Hour Body. His famous 4 Hour Body Diet (Slow Carb Diet) consists of: Protein (meat/eggs), Veggies, and Legumes ONLY, six days a week. The seventh day is a “Cheat Day” so you can have your cake and eat it too. Although this may sound rigid or controversial to some, there is a substantial amount of research behind Tim Ferriss’ intentional zigzag method.
My husband and I experimented with the 4 Hour Body Diet several months back and found it quite effective. So it’s time to dust off my copy of The 4 Hour Body, and start the Slow Carb Diet all over again. Although I LOVE my carbs and dairy, I noticed quite a change in my energy level when I cut them out. I hate to admit that, but it’s true.
Now for some amazing meatballs…
Is it possible to make tender, flavorful meatballs without breadcrumbs soaked in milk, and CHEESE? There was a time I would have said HECK NO. But where there’s a will, there’s a way.
These Slow Carb Meatballs are not only packed with flavor, they are light, tender, and melt in your mouth.
I needed to find a filler that could offer what breadcrumbs and milk do for meatballs. The milk-soaked bread breaks up the clumps and tenderizes the meat for a lighter, softer meatball. Meatballs without bread and milk tend to be tough and heavy.
After serious contemplation, I felt that beans might be a decent substitute, able to absorb the juices in the meatballs and break up the meat. A puree of veggies, cannellini beans, and sun-dried tomatoes was added to ground beef and Italian sausage. The result was impressive. Beans have just enough starch to hold in the moisture and flavor; plus they create a velvety texture.
Although these Slow Carb Meatballs are designed to fit within the perimeters of The 4 Hour Body Diet, they are SUBLIME. I will make this recipe again and again, served with fresh tomato sauce and roasted spaghetti squash!
Slow Carb Spaghetti and Meatballs
Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
For the Meatballs:
1 large spaghetti squash
1 lb. Italian sausage
½ lb. lean ground beef
1 cup drained cannellini beans (white)
2 small red onions, roughly chopped and separated
3 large carrots, roughly chopped and separated
9 cloves garlic, peeled and separated
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
2 Tb. pre-minced sun-dried tomatoes, jarred
For the Marinara:
Reserved onion, carrots and garlic from above
½ cup chopped parsley, separated
¼ cup chopped basil
2- 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
1-14 oz. can tomato sauce
1 ½ Tb. balsamic vinegar
3 Tb. olive oil, separated
Salt and Pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut the spaghetti squash in half length-wise and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the squash cut-side-down on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the beans, 1 onion, 1 carrot, and 3 cloves of garlic in a food processor. Puree until completely smooth.
Place the bean puree in a large bowl with the ground meats, red pepper, 1 ½ tsp. salt, eggs and 3 Tb. parsley. Mix by hand until the ground meat is completely blended.
Shape into 8 large meatballs and place on a parchment paper lined, rimmed, cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes.
While the squash and meatballs are baking, add the rest of the onion, carrots and garlic to the food processor. Pulse until chopped well, but not pureed.
Heat 2 Tb. of oil in a large sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped veggies and sauté for 5 minutes to soften. Then add all the canned tomatoes, 1 tsp. salt, ½ tsp. pepper, remaining parsley and basil. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat. Cover (mostly) and continue to simmer until the meatballs are done baking.
Remove the meatballs from the oven and carefully transfer them into the tomato sauce. Add the balsamic vinegar and simmer another 15 minutes so the flavors meld.
When the squash has cooled a bit, use a fork to scrape the flesh into “spaghetti” strands and place on plates. Top each pile of spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and meatballs.
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CAST IRON DUTCH OVEN GIVEAWAY FROM BIGKITCHEN.COM!
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