Vegetarian Spaghetti and Meatballs

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I love this meal so much.  For the past four years, I've been eating meat on and off and currently I am in off mode.  I have my own personal reasons for doing this, but needless to say, I still miss certain dishes.  This is one of them and recently my mom introduced me to vegetarian/vegan meatballs they sell at Trader Joes.  They are in the frozen section and come in a big bag, so they are perfect to have on hand.  They are actually a great addition to many kinds of different dishes, but I love them in the classic spaghetti and meatballs.

I also added a couple of my own twists to the dish to make it a little more healthy as well since that is always on my mind!  The spaghetti is made from organic brown rice, also from Trader Joes.  I used canned tomato sauce, but I added my sauteed shallots that I love so much, along with garlic and a splash of lemon juice which gives it a subtle tartness.  To add some raw veggies to the mix, I chopped up some organic kale which gave the dish some freshness.  Lastly, I grated some fresh parmesan cheese on top, so yummy.  You can also easily make this a vegan dish by eliminating the cheese and it's still delicious.

This recipe is around 4 to 6 servings.  Perfect for leftovers throughout the week.

Ingredients:

  • Organic Brown Rice Spaghetti (from Trader Joes)
  • Meatless Meatballs (from Trader Joes)
  • 4 Small Organic Shallots
  • 2 Organic Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Slice of Organic Lemon
  • 1 Can of Organic Tomato Sauce (2 if you like your spaghetti extra saucy)
  • 4 Leaves of Organic Kale (per serving)
  • Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions:

  • Fill a large pot of water with a lid and put over a high heat.  This will be for the pasta.
  • While the water is heating up, take your shallots and chop them into thin slices.  Place in a pan and drizzle olive oil on top.  Place the top on the pan and start sauteing them on a low heat.
  • After the shallots have been heating up for a couple minutes, add a generous amount of meatballs to the pan.  How many is up to you, but I usually add around 12 to 14.
  • Open the can of sauce and pour in with the shallots and the meatballs.
  • Chop up the 2 cloves of garlic and add to the pan.
  • By now the water should be boiling.  Now is the time to add the spaghetti to the boiling water and make sure to stir them every couple of minutes so they don't stick to the pan or stick together.
  • Let the pasta cook until it is al dente (which means they still have a bite and aren't cooked all the way through, about 8 to 9 minutes). Before you drain the pasta, take a ladle and pour a little bit of the pasta water in the pan with the spaghetti sauce.  The starchiness in the water  helps give the sauce more body and stick to the pasta.
  • After you drain the pasta, pour it in the pan with the sauce.   Cover the pasta with sauce and let it cook for a couple minutes more.
  • While the pasta is cooking, it's time to chop up the kale.  First cut out the stems from the leaves and discard.  The take the leaves and chop them into small pieces.
  • The pasta will be ready by now.  Place some in a bowl with the meatballs.  Add the kale on top and still together. 
  • Lastly, grate some fresh parmesan cheese on top!

This dish is wonderful on a chilly day, so hearty and filling .  Enjoy...

xoxo...Kate