Pap’s Harvest Sketti

My grandfather’s garden has always been a staple in my life. Some of my happiest childhood memories involve cooking under my grandmother’s careful direction while we waited for my grandfather to return for dinner from a day spent working hard in his garden. Year after year after year, he’s worked the land, he’s planted the seeds, he’s harvested the crops, and he’s always shared the benefits of his hard work with everyone— friends, family, neighbors. It’s been a tradition in our family for years! So I wasn’t exactly surprised with the bounty of freshly-picked goodies awaiting me at my pap’s house this Labor Day weekend!

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Spaghetti squash, yellow tomatoes, red tomatoes, eggplant, acorn squash, cabbage, and garlic. All home grown with hard work and lots of love from my very own grandfather! My brain immediately started cycling through ideas of what to cook with my harvest haul— but I finally landed on revamping the classic, old-fashioned, homestyle spaghetti and meatballs recipe! Substituting spaghetti squash in lieu of traditional pasta, this recipe presents a lower cal and lower carb option. On top of it, this recipe uses low acidic yellow tomatoes for an unconventionally delicious golden spaghetti sauce. Lastly, the turkey meatballs sneak in a bit of grated zucchini along with some wonderful spices for a savory yet healthy touch to the meal. Enjoy!

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Serves 4

Non-Spaghetti Sketti
2 spaghetti squashes, halved, cooked, and forked
Golden Spaghetti Sauce
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
8 yellow tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon basil
1/2 tablespoon oregano
1/2 tablespoon sage
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 bay leaves
2 packets Truvia/Stevia
2 tablespoons roasted garlic vinegar
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup chicken broth
Turkey-Zucchini Meatballs
1 zucchini, grated (use paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible!)
1 lb 99% fat free ground turkey
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons parsley
1/2 tablespoon basil
1/4 tablespoon oregano
1/4 tablespoon sage
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice both spaghetti squashes longways. Remove seeds with a spoon, and microwave (2 halves at a time) for 10 minutes. Remove from the microwave, and let cool before using a fork to create strands. Set aside. In a bowl, combine all meatball ingredients. Form into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch meatballs, and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until thoroughly cooked. Meanwhile, sauté onion and garlic in a lightly oiled pan until fragrant. Add in mushrooms; cook until softened. Lastly, add in the remaining ingredients. Simmer on low to medium heat until the majority of the moisture has been evaporated, and the sauce becomes a thick and chunky consistency. Be sure to remove the bay leaves! Top the spaghetti squash with the golden spaghetti sauce along with some turkey-zucchini meatballs. Enjoy!

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