You have never seen spaghetti and meatballs like this! Tender, spicy lentil meatballs are perfectly paired with fresh garlic zucchini “noodles” and homemade marinara, creating a spin on a classic comfort dish that is usually rich in carbs and fat. This is one vegan meal that will even please the meat-eaters!
My husband left me for Vegas–well, just for the weekend, but I had to get your attention!
For those of you who know my husband, you may be thinking this is the LAST place you would expect the man to want to go–he does not like to see a single penny wasted!!
But the truth of it is, that he has been asking for straight cash for years for holidays and saving up to go to Vegas during March Madness. And now he is there and I hope and pray he is having a great time despite the fact he keeps telling me he is too chicken to even gamble with $10!
I would love to go to Vegas myself.
But for COMPLETELY different reasons than my husband. He gets a thrill just being in the Casino watching people gamble and watching intense sporting events with a group of people who are completely into every play of every game. That sounds like torture to me!!
I want to go to Vegas for the food and shows. I know you are thinking, you want to go to Vegas because of the FOOD?! You guys, I am here to tell you that Vegas is one of the hottest places out there for top notch cuisine. It seems that every chef who is anybody has opened a restaurant in Vegas. So competition is fierce–making the food that much better!
And since my husband did NOT take me along on this trip, I thought the kids and I would take a little culinary trip to Vegas ourselves.
We found our inspiration from the award winning Wynn Resort and famous vegan Chef Tai Ronnen–and since my husband prefers his meat and potatoes, it seemed fitting we would give a go at a completely vegan meal while he was not at home with us. To me, this is the type of food I love to experience when I am out at a new restaurant.
Taking a look at the Vegetarian/Vegan Cuisine that the Wynn offers, it was a hard choice to pick just one–but the kids won out and wanted to do Spaghetti and Meatballs.
Vegan Spaghetti and Meatballs. Hmm, why not make them gluten free as well, so that more people with food allergies would be able to experience them? I had made vegetarian meatballs and served them with spaghetti many times and I had made fresh zucchini “noodles” plenty of time as well. This seemed like the perfect dish to marry the two together.
So the kids and I got to work.
Step One: Make the meatballs
.Step 2: Bake the Meatballs
Step 3: Make the Zucchini “Noodles”
It seems spiralized veggies are all the rage right now. They are a great way for anybody to get more vegetables into their diet and perfect alternative for gluten-free diets. I have yet to buy a spiralizer, but this frugal mama made the best of it by using her food processor grater! It worked! The zucchini and yellow squash were shorter noodles than a spiralizer makes, but they turned out great.
Step 4: Cook the “Noodles”
I sauteed the “noodles” in a bit of olive oil and minced garlic just to warm through (I didn’t want the squash to give off all it’s liquid making a soggy noodle.)
Step 5: Serve
I placed a large heaping mound of “noodles” on each plate and topped with meatballs. Then I smothered the dish in my homemade marinara sauce.
My son, daughter and I all licked the bowl clean. They were awesome! I actually may have even teared up when the dish was gone.
In fact, we will be making these again for my husband. It won’t be the Vegas he will likely experience, but one that once he tastes this dish, he will wish that he had.
You should take a culinary trip to Vegas as well. It is one trip you won’t regret!
Lentil Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles
- 1 cup dry lentils
- 1 cup gluten free oats
- 1 flax egg 1 tablespoon flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 1/2 tablespoon garlic minced and divided
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt divided
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 4 large zucchini and/or yellow squash
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- marinara sauce
Prepare lentils according to package directions and allow to slightly cool.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly brush sheet pan with olive oil or cooking spray.
Process lentils, oats, flax egg, red pepper flakes, oregano, parsley, onion powder, pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon garlic together in food processor until just combined.
Shape mixture into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until just browned.
Grate the zucchini by hand or using a food processor.
Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add "noodles" and toss for 1-3 minutes, or until just warmed through.
To serve, place "noodles" on dish and top with meatballs and ladle over the marinara sauce.