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.


Jade said...

i just made this and i can't thank you enough for the recipe... my favorite raw food meal has always been zucchini spaghetti (i'm fairly new to the raw food lifestyle), but i've never had any meatballs with it before... your walnut meatballs took me over the edge... i can't believe that i'm loving this food SOOOOO much... it's awesome!... AWESOME!!!

Joanne said...

So glad you enjoyed the meatballs. They are one of my favorite raw foods. If you like these,try the taco salad. I think you'll love the taco meat that is also made from walnuts. Enjoy!!

vonteity said...

I just made these meatballs and OMG, they are so good! Unfortunately I didn't have any walnuts on hand, so I used pecans, but it worked just as well. I had to stop myself from eating the mixture out of the food processor!

kidshaus.typepad.com said...

This is most likely going to be dinner tonight! It sounds amaaazing! Thanks for sharing...

Rawfully Tempting B. Kessler said...

OMG, this looks soooo good. I am going to make it for friends this weekend. Can't wait to taste the meatballs. I eat spiralized zucchini all the time, but never with meatballs! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to make this dish! My darling son will be attending Pre-K in September with a vegan friend of his. In order to allow him the joy of trading lunches, I plan on sending only vegan meals. He has already had many vegan meals at his pre-school and is super excited to be a Vegan with his friend!

LOVE LOVE your blog

Unknown said...

Thank you so much. That was so delicious. I will be passing on the recipe,

Missy, Nick, and Ariana said...

Thank you so much for this incredible recipe. It my favorite raw meal BY FAR. The sauce is delicious and the walnutballs are TO DIE FOR!! Soooo yummy!!

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Thanks! So glad you enjoyed the recipe.

hippie girl said...

I'm a little late to the party.. but I want to thank you SO VERY MUCH for making a "neatball" recipe that does NOT require the dehydrator. Sometimes you just don't want to deal with an extra 12+ hours of food prep. I made it this evening, and my "transitioning" kids enjoyed it!

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

True. We don't often have 12 extra hours to make dinner.
You can also use raw walnuts to make taco meat - check out the taco recipes on the index on the right side of the screen.

Unknown said...

Such a fantastic dish! Perfect for the 90 degree today. And the taco meat is just to die for too. Thanks for posting!!!

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Yes indeed, it's too hot to cook today. Raw food hits the spot!

Lidia said...

I made your walnut meatballs - oh holy cow. Fantastico! I will post a link to the blog post I write up and give you credit for this. THANK YOU!

Ps. My blog is called Air Eater.

dawn said...

i made the meatballs this week and served them with my own recipe for raw marinara over regular angel hair pasta. i have also served them over squash pasta. delish! bravo for this easy and tasty recipe.

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Thanks Dawn, glad you enjoyed them!

burner666 said...

Omg delicious