What better way to kick off the New Year than with a playful and healthy update of Spaghetti and Meatballs! Maggie, one of our blog readers, sent in this fun idea that inspired us. She suggested that traditional spaghetti and meatballs could use a healthy makeover and recommended using spaghetti squash instead of pasta, tempeh instead of meat, and additional veggies in the tomato sauce. All these ideas sounded great to us! Check out the recipe we developed for Italian-Style Spaghetti Squash with Tempeh. Our recipe removes the refined carbohydrates and cholesterol and cuts down on saturated fat in the original by replacing regular pasta with spaghetti squash and meatballs with tempeh. The addition of extra vegetables makes this recipe a great choice; it provides essential vitamins and minerals found in green and yellow vegetables and a great fiber boost from tempeh. Here are the changes we made from traditional spaghetti and meatballs:
- Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans and has a nutty taste and hearty texture. A good source of manganese, protein, copper, phosphorus, vitamin B2 and magnesium, tempeh packs about as much protein as beef without the cholesterol. 4 ounces of tempeh provides 240 calories, 20 g protein, 11 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, and 0 mg cholesterol compared to 4 ounces of 85% lean ground beef which provides 280 calories, 29 g protein, 17 g fat, 6.5 g saturated fat, and 101 mg cholesterol. Also tempeh offers 9 g fiber per 4 ounce serving whereas ground beef contains no fiber.
- Spaghetti squash is an excellent source of vitamin A, a very good source of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and manganese, and a good source of folate, thiamin, copper, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, and niacin.
- The addition of green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach provides fiber as well as vitamins K, C, A, B6, B2, and E, folate, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron, calcium, copper, zinc, niacin, and selenium.