Tag Archives: #healthyswaps

Boats and Meatballs.

Confession: I may or may not have been watching Stepbrothers for the millionth time as I wrote this article and considered naming it Boats and Hoes for obvious reasons. Who else loves that part in the movie? Hopefully not just me!

I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting this past few months with recipes and the concept of going vegan, but it hasn’t stuck yet. It all started a few months ago when I accidentally caught a documentary about the treatment of chickens. After that I decided not omit chickens as a protein source and haven’t had any since. I haven’t given up steak or burgers yet, though I am hoping at some point I get there, too. Baby steps…..your girl is a carnivore, remember?????

I have found some great substitutes for meat that I have been enjoying quite a bit, one of those being the meatless meatballs you can find in the grocery section of Aldi. Last week I had them with spaghetti squash pasta, and this week I decided to make a meatball zucchini boat. We all know how much I love a zucchini boat…they are so versatile and a great way to use veggies as a base!

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This recipe was super simple and delicious so I had to share!

Katie’s Meatball Zucchini Boats

Ingredients:
-Meatballs (you can use the meatless meatballs I used or make your own, it doesn’t matter!)
-Zucchini
-Mozzarella Cheese
-Sauce
-Fresh Parsley

I’m not including an amount because it depends how many you want to make or eat in a serving!

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, then hollow out inside of zucchini. I recommend saving the innards to make zucchini brownies or muffins!

Step 3: Place zucchini in a dish drizzled with olive oil and Italian Seasoning (You can omit this step if you prefer). Bake for 15 minutes until zucchini is mostly tender. Remove from oven, changing settings in oven from BAKE to BROIL.

Step 4: Mix meatballs if making your own or prepare them if purchased store bought. Once fully cooked, place meatballs in hollowed out zucchini boats.

Step 5: Pour sauce or purchased marinara around the meatballs. You can also mix with meatballs before filling boats if you prefer.

Step 6: Top with mozzarella cheese and broil for about 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve!

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It’s an Impasta!

My fellow Italian friends……

Wouldn’t it be so fab if pasta was good for you? One can wish, right?

Since I started making healthier changes and coming to realization that I have a gluten intolerance, I have been on a mission to find as many healthy versions of Italian inspired recipes that I possibly can. There’s one that has been on my radar for awhile, and I FINALLY made it last night: Zucchini Ravioli!

You guys…..these were so delicious! Here’s the recipe!

ZUCCHINI RAVIOLI
Ingredients:
-4 zucchini
-1/4 cup fresh parmesan
-1 cup low fat ricotta
-1 egg
-2 Tbl fresh oregano
-1 clove garlic
-1 1/2 cup marinara (unless you prefer more sauce)
-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

To make:

-Preheat oven to 375, greasing 9×13 baking dish. Spread some marinara on the bottom of the dish.

-To make the “pasta”, cut zucchini in half (lengthwise), then use a vegetable peeler to slice zucchini into thin “noodles”, peeling until you reach the center. It’s okay if they are thin or uneven.

-For the filling, mix the ricotta, egg, oregano, and parmesan in a bowl. You can use other spices if you prefer (many recipes call for basil in place of the oregano).

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-To assemble the ravioli: layer two pieces of zucchini with another two, placed perpendicular. Your zucchini noodles should look like a plus sign. Spoon about a tablespoon of the ricotta mixture into center of zucchini, then fold toward the center, starting with the the vertical pieces, then the horizontal. Once folded, place the ravioli seam side down in the baking dish.

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Your ravioli should look like this:

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Once ravioli have been placed in dish, top with marinara and shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. Top with parmesan if you like and serve!

****A few things to share****

-Don’t go for large zucchini. I made the mistake of trying to use a homegrown one that was ginormous, and because of the size, it was harder to make the noodles. Medium sized work best. Size does matter!

-You can use a mandolin over a vegetable peeler if you want. I personally found the peeler much easier.

-You can change up the filling. Next time I think I will mix in some Italian sausage because I typically do a meat/cheese option in my ravioli. You could also use spinach or veggies.

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This was a fabulous swap, and I highly recommend it. You’ll be seeing this on my meal plan many many times!

Enjoy!

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