Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Raw Zucchini Spaghetti and Walnut Meatballs
I can’t believe how much these little healthy raw walnut balls taste like meatballs and they don’t take all day to cook. My Sicilian grandfather used to wake up at 5:00 AM every Sunday morning to make “sauce”. He’d carefully make his meatballs and then simmer them in tomato sauce for hours. I must admit they were pretty good but on a health scale from one to ten, they were certainly near the bottom and these are pretty close to the top. These also take a fraction of the time to make. As the zucchini and tomatoes start ripening in our gardens this is the perfect way to use them up. You can also put this raw tomato sauce on regular pasta.
My husband and I would often bring this dish to the Bay Area Raw Food Potlucks and it was always a big hit. But you’ll have to make lots of it because it goes quickly!
Walnuts are a very important food in the vegan diet as they depend heavily on nuts to obtain their omega 3 fatty acids. Walnuts are high in Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is a type of omega 3 fatty acid. The most beneficial omega 3s are EPA and DHA, mostly found in fish. People can generally convert ALA into EPA and DHA but you have to eat enough of it. The Vegetarian Society recommends 4 g of ALA per day to ensure that you can produce enough EPA and DHA. This recipe delivers 3.7 g of ALA omega 3 fatty acid.
The optimum balance of omega 6 to omega 3 is 4:1 but unfortunately most people eat a much higher ratio. This can interfere with the body’s ability to convert ALA into DHA and EPA. This recipe provides a beneficial ratio of 4 to 1 omega 6 to omega 3.
Raw zucchini spaghetti and walnut meatballs (serves 4)
4 medium zucchini, peeled
Raw Tomato Sauce
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, soaked in filtered water for 1 hour
1 Medjool date, pitted and soaked in filtered water for 1 hour
1 cup tomatoes, quartered and seeded
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 packed tablespoons fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 chopped pimento stuffed olives (not raw – optional)
Walnut Meatballs [makes 12, 4 servings of 3 meatballs]
1 1/3 cups raw walnuts soaked for several hours
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons Nama Shoyu soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon thinly sliced green onion (white part only)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced plus some for garnish
Peel the zucchini and make spaghetti on a spiral vegetable slice (I prefer Benriner – see my post on April 20, 2009 for an illustration of this). Dry the spaghetti in paper towels (don’t skip this step or your spaghetti will be watery and will not hold the sauce). Place dried spaghetti in a mixing bowl.
While running the food processor with an S blade, run the clove of garlic through the chute. After it is minced, add the drained sun dried tomatoes and date to the food processor along with the fresh tomatoes, basil, salt, cayenne pepper, olive oil and olives. Process until smooth. Place the tomato sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
Wash and dry the food processor. Drain and rinse the walnuts and add them to the food processor along with the nutritional yeast, olive oil, lemon juice, Nama Shoyu and garlic. Process until smooth, stopping now and then to scrape down the sides. Add thinly sliced green onion and minced fresh parsley and pulse several times until combined. Make 12 little round meatballs from the mixture. Dip each one in the sauce until covered and set aside. Take the rest of the sauce and add it to the zucchini. Divide the zucchini and sauce into 4 plates and place 3 sauce covered meatballs on each. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
Per serving: 380 calories, 30.9 g fat, 3.2 g saturated fat, 0 g cholesterol, 10.6 g protein, 23.3 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 3.7 g omega 3 and 15.5 g of omega 6.