What is vegetti?
Vegetti is our nickname for vegetables that are cut into a spaghetti shape. Buy the cutter online or buy the them in the produce section of most grocery stores and Whole Foods stores. You can get them in different varieties such as zucchini squash, as pictured here (our favorite) or in sweet potato, too. If you can’t find them, don’t worry you can use any spaghetti but the calorie content will be higher. In this case we suggest using real spaghetti and steamed veggies under the meatballs and sauce.
How do you cook vegetti?
Don’t overcook the spaghetti shaped vegetable noodles. They are thin and only need to be lightly steamed. You can steam them for 1-2 minutes in a covered container in the microwave or you can steam them in a shallow pan on the stove or in a vegetable steamer. They are done when they taste tender.
Vegetti and Meatballs
1 pound lean ground turkey, very cold
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup Panko or plain bread crumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
3 cups marinara sauce (low in sodium)
4 cups zucchini noodles (1 pound)
Combine the turkey, eggs, tomato paste, bread crumbs and seasonings in a large mixing bowl and mix well together.
Bring the sauce to a simmer. Form meatballs that are about the size of golf balls and drop them into the sauce. Cover and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve the cooked meatballs and the sauce over hot over steamed vegetable spaghetti.
Serves 4. Each 2 cups or 1 plate per person serving: 297 calories,
4g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 179 mg cholesterol, 188 mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 12g sugars, 42g protein.
—- By Judy Doherty, BS, AOS, PC II
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Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. But after learning that the quality of a croissant directly varies with how much butter it has, Judy sought to challenge herself by coming up with recipes that were as healthy as they were tasty.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.