I thought Juli had long recipe names… Ali has her rivaled, ha!
Ali Maffucci is the creative genius behind the Inspiralized blog and cookbook. You may remember her from her guest posts Apple Noodle & Prosciutto Baby Kale Salad with Roasted Hazelnuts, Salmon BLT & Avocado in a Sweet Potato Noodle Bun and Pesto Zuchini Noodle Bacon Frittata with Mushrooms & Kale (see what I mean!). All of her recipes use a spiralizer and her brand new cookbook is the ultimate resource guide for getting the most out of this unique kitchen gadget! I admit I’ve had one for awhile, used it once or twice and it’s been collecting dust ever since, so I was excited to dive into this book and break it back out! (Warning: do NOT dust your spiralizer off with your hand. You will slice your finger. Whoops.) Her recipes are so unique and full of flavor that this gadget is definitely going to be making a more regular appearance in my cooking rotation!
It’s probably safe to assume you’re Paleo(ish?) if you’re visiting Juli’s website, but if you prefer a different label, or no label at all, Ali’s cookbook has something for everyone! Gluten free, low-carb, Paleo, Vegetarian, Vegan (I don’t judge, I did a stint), or just someone who enjoys delicious food – you can all have happy tummies with her recipes. If you are a fan of cheese, and it likes you back, there are a lot of recipes that would be considered Primal. Those same recipes could be modified to a more strict version of Paleo if you just remove the cheese. Some of the Paleo recipes I’m looking forward to trying are Blueberry Sweet Potato Waffles, “Everything Bagel” Breakfast Buns (spiralized potato as the bun – genius!), Lemon Garlic Broccoli with Bacon, Sweet Potato Fried Rice (the sweet potato is the rice!), and Apple Ambrosia Fruit Salad. I just got really hungry.
Her recipes cover breakfast, snacks & sides, soups & salads, sandwiches & wraps, casseroles, rice dishes, noodles and dessert! One of the wonderful things about this cookbook is the “Fruit and Veggies A to Z” section in the back that gives you the run down on how to spiralize each fruit & veggie and the nutritional information of the veggie noodles so you can make swaps for your dietary preferences. You can find out what a chayote is and all about it in that section! Or if you’re impatient and want to know now, you can read about it in this blog post . If you already knew, then I applaud you for being a well rounded foodie. I had to google what it looked like. Which is exactly why this is the recipe we are sharing. I love trying new food.
- For the albondigas
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ¼ cup diced yellow onion
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 2½ tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- Salt & pepper
- For the sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium garlic clove, minced
- ½ cup diced yellow onion
- 2 serrano chiles, stems & seeds removed, diced
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- Salt & pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 chayotes, spiralized with the blade resembling linguine or spaghetti noodles. If you don't have a spiralizer, you can use a julienne peeler or a mandolin slicer.
- Make the albondigas. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the ingredients for the albondigas in a large bowl. Using your hands, form 8 to 10 meatballs about 1 inch in diameter and space them evenly on the baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until browned, flipping them halfway through.
- Prepare the sauce. Add the olive oil to a large saucepan or pot over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the onion and chile, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and crush the tomatoes using a potato masher or the back of a fork. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Add the cilantro, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.
- Add the meatballs to the sauce and continue to simmer, turning to coat them, for 1 to 2 minutes. Scoop out the meatballs and set aside, then add the chayote noodles to the sauce. Toss to combine thoroughly and cook for 3 minutes or until chayote noodles are al dente.
- Serve the noodles warm, topped with the meatballs, and with any extra sauce spooned over.
**You could easily substitute zucchini (or any veggie noodle of your choice) for this recipe