Call them what you like – “Zoodles” a hybrid of the American ‘Zucchini’ and noodles or “Courgetti”, my personal favourite, as it’s a shameless steal; a laugh in the face of a classic. Call me new age but I love it and will be pleased if it’s added to the Oxford English dictionary at some point, unlike the outrage that ensues when words like “vajazzle” are approved. I’ve never been a fan of spaghetti, well except as a kid but who wasn’t?! And from the age of knowledge, which was fairly early on in my house, of the complete nutritional void that pasta, specifically white pasta, offered, I naturally grew to dislike it. However so many delicious dishes contain pasta. Italian food is arguably one of the tastiest cuisines in the world and it breaks my inner nutritionists heart to read descriptions of dishes only to realise the main part of the meal is some sort of pasta or bread (“Basil, yeah? sundried tomato, yeah??, olive oil, yeah?, mozzarella, YEAH?? …on a bed of tagliatelle. Oh”) or in other painfully tasty, tormenting cuisines such as Thai food – rice.
Spiralized vegetables are a good way to replace carbs where they would appear in classic dishes but also an excuse to get creative! Paleo eating is about experimentation, having fun, and enjoying playing around with combinations.
I’m sure you can relate to such anticlimaxes and repeat occurrences of that disappointment resulting in a diminished faith in eating out. I’ve found there is rarely a Paleo substitute available if you are to omit the carb of the meal and many restaurants are still unaware of what Paleo is. This trending and fantastic discovery rightly gives credit to modern food largely owing to the wondrous internet for increased accessibility is so versatile, cheap, and really needs to be celebrated, enjoyed, and shared!
Spiralized vegetables are a good way to replace carbs where they would appear in classic dishes but also an excuse to get creative! Paleo eating is about experimentation, having fun, and enjoying playing around with combinations. I recently made a spiralized cucumber noodle salad with poached eggs, which is a pairing many would deem incompatible due to its unconventional appearance together but believe me it works. Other veg which likes to be spiralized includes: cucumber, beetroot, sweet potato, and carrot.
Meatballs are underrated. They are easy, cheap, and fun! Kids love them because they’re manageable and straightforward – there’s no hidden surprises, some see them as a challenge “How many can I eat?” and only a fork is required. They can be dressed up in a variety of ways or kept simple with just seasoning to let the meatiness take centre stage. Italian-American in origin, meatballs are traditionally served with spaghetti, tomato sauce, and parmesan. This dish would welcome a cheeky sprinkle of parmesan but it’s completely up to you to decide what finish you’d like. I’ve used beef here as it goes so well with tomato but most meat is now available in mince form; lamb, pork, turkey – you could easily dress those up with their respective friends.
You may read this recipe and think ‘woah, 8 cloves of garlic!?’ but relax, it’s not THAT pungent. It adds flavour and depth and garlic is an antiviral which contains many immune boosting properties including high amounts of vitamin C which can easily be destroyed from over-cooking.
Simply seasoned meatballs contrast beautifully against the multi-dimensional tomato sauce – packed with rosemary and other dried herbs. Make the most of the beautiful seasonal tomatoes and courgette whilst they are at their best and have yourself a meal which can easily be modified to make it vegetarian by replacing the meatballs with mozzarella balls and/or closed cup mushrooms.
- 500g Steak mince
- 4 garlic cloves - minced
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 500g organic passata
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 4 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 tsp dried herbs
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- good pinch of sea salt
- 2 Courgettes - spiralized
- Handful of basil - torn
- Zest of half a lemon
- Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees and cover a baking tray with a sheet of foil.
- Make your meatballs by mixing the mince with the garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil (use your hands, it’s super fun, get the kids to help!) and form them into similar sizes before placing onto the baking tray.
- Place in the oven for 10 minutes.
- During this time heat some olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion followed a few minutes later by the garlic for about 5 minutes, or until golden.
- Add the passata and chopped rosemary, bring to a boil and then leave to simmer.
- Steam the courgette over the passata - conserving energy and winning green points!
- Plate up!