Thai Inspired Meatballs on Spaghetti Squash

Makes: 5 Servings

“Thai

Prep time:

Cook time:

Meatball Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs raw ground turkey (90% lean or better)
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1 Tbs fish sauce
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • 2 Tbs fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tsp red curry paste
  • 2 Tbs light canned coconut milk
  • Red pepper flakes (to taste)

Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1.5 cups light canned coconut milk
  • 3 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tsp red curry sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • Salt to taste
  • You will also need 1 spaghetti squash

Instructions:
  1. Cook the spaghetti squash in one of 2 ways: 1) Cut in half and bake @ 375 F cut side down on a baking sheet until soft (about 45 mins) OR 2) Cut in half and place cut side down with 1/4 cup water in glass baking dish in microwave. Cover and seal with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 7-10 mins until soft. After the squash is cooked, use a fork to separate the strands into a bowl. Note: if you are using the microwave method, there will be extra water in the squash. Separate strands into a colander and let strain before use.
  2. Mix all meatball ingredients together in a large bowl and mix (using your hands is the best way!)
  3. Divide mixture into 5 equal parts and roll each of the parts into 4 equally sized meatballs. Place all 20 meatballs on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  4. Place meatballs in a preheated 375 F oven. Bake for about 20 mins or until cooked through.
  5. Combine all sauce ingredients into a saucepan on medium-low heat. Whisk to combine completely. Cook on a simmer until slightly reduced and thickened.
  6. Serve meatballs on a base of spaghetti squash and drizzle with sauce. Enjoy!

Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum verum) has been used for centuries as a medicine as well as a delicious way to spice up a meal. Documented evidence indicates the use of cinnamon for many ailments. It is extremely high in antioxidants - in fact, in a study that compared 26 different medicinal herbs, cinnamon had the highest antioxidant activity of them all (Shan, Cai, Sun & Corke, 2005). Cinnamon and it’s extracts also have claims of anti-inflammatory effects, heart disease lowering effects, the ability to improve insulin sensitivity, lowering blood sugar, and possible protective effects on cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. 

Cinnamon has been popular recently because of it’s ability to help in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic issues. Cinnamon supplementation of 120mg/d to 6g/d (that's about 2 teaspoons) show significant decreasing effects on fasting blood glucose, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol levels, and an increase in HDL in 10 different studies (Allen, Schwartzman, Baker, Coleman & Phung, 2013).

Cinnamon-Bark-EO-736.jpg

 

A delicious way to include cinnamon in your day is to drink it! I found a recipe for a cinnamon turmeric latte that sounds amazing, and packs an anti-inflammatory punch with both cinnamon and turmeric. 

Cinnamon Turmeric Latte Recipe (adapted from http://portandfin.com/turmeric-cinnamon-latte/)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1.5 cups milk of choice
  • Honey or other sweetener, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat milk on stovetop over low heat, or steam using steamer wand
  2. Measure cinnamon, turmeric, and pepper into a blender, and pour hot milk over spices
  3. Add sweetener if desired
  4. Blend in high powered blender for 30 seconds or until frothy ***
  5. Pour into a mug and enjoy!

*** Alternatively, if you don’t have a blender, you can vigorously shake the spice mixture and milk together in a mason jar or other vessel to mix, and heat the whole mixture on low heat in a saucepan until desired drinking temperature is reached. DO NOT BOIL.

 

References

Allen, R. W., Schwartzman, E., Baker, W. L., Coleman, C. I., & Phung, O. J. (2013). Cinnamon use in type 2 diabetes: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. The Annals of Family Medicine, 11(5), 452-459. 

Shan, B., Cai, Y. Z., Sun, M., & Corke, H. (2005). Antioxidant capacity of 26 spice extracts and characterization of their phenolic constituents. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 53(20), 7749-7759.