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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Turkey and Mushroom Meatball with Olive Cream Sauce over Sweet Potato Pasta



I'm constantly tip-toeing the line between healthy food and food that others actually want to eat. For the record, my friends do like the food I create, but they also crave those classic fatty comfort dishes...especially during these blasted cold months.

In this comfort dinner redo of classic spaghetti and meatballs, swapping sweet potatoes for pasta may seem completely out in left field, but when quickly sauteed in a touch of butter these faux 'noodles' are delightfully chewy and satisfying.  Yes, I did say butter; once in a while a touch of high quality butter really does the trick (though ghee, olive oil or coconut oil would all work as well.)

To take the sweet potato linguine a step further I tossed in a garlic cream sauce made from cashews. I know it sounds weird but if you haven't tried making cashew sauces, you really need to. Cashews are the new bacon ... not quite. But they create an amazing base for desserts, mayos, dips and so much more.  My olive cream sauce has a bite from the raw garlic, but the salty spicy combo shines against the buttery sweetness of the 'spaghetti'.


Let's talk meatballs for a moment. I lightened up the beef by using ground turkey and totally ramped the nutritional value with mushrooms. Then I have the whole blast of Moroccan flavor using ginger, garlic, cilantro and raisins. The meatballs are delish and get even better the next day.

Have your classic comfort foods, just upgrade them. You'll still be warmed from the inside without the heavy part.


Happy Healthy Tips: A spiralizer is key to make noodles out of the sweet potato. If you don't have one, use vegetable peeler to shave off larger noodles or slice the potato into thin layers, then slice into small matchsticks.


Turkey and Mushroom Meatball with Sweet Potato Spaghetti and
Olive Cream Sauce


Turkey Mushroom Meatball
1 tbls coconut oil
1/2 cup minced shallot
2 tbls minced garlic
3 tbls minced ginger
16 oz (roughly 3 - 3 1/2 cups) chopped small mushrooms
~I used  shitakes & baby bellas 
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp coriander
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 lb ground turkey
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
4 tbls chopped raisins
2 eggs

Sweet Potato Pasta and Cashew Olive Cream Sauce
1 sweet potato
1 tbls butter
1/2 cup cashews, soaked
1 cup warm broth
2 garlic cloves
roughly 12 olives
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste



Melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add in the shallot, garlic and ginger, cook to just soften the shallots, about 3 minutes, tossing often. Add in the cinnamon, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper; stir well, add in the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are wilted, about 5 minutes. Set aside and cool.

Spiralize the raw sweet potato while the mushroom turkey mixture is cooling, set aside.

In a large bowl mix together the cooled mushroom mixture, turkey, cilantro, raisins and eggs.

Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Place a foil covered pan in the oven (to hold the meatballs warm while cooking all of them.)

Reheat the mushroom pan to medium and add a bit more coconut oil in. Drop spoonfuls of the turkey meatballs into the hot pan (don't try to form them in your hands), cook until golden on the first side and then flip. Place in the oven pan to keep warm.

Blend the cashew cream: Warm the broth. Add all the ingredients (cashews, broth, garlic, olives, cayenne) to the blender and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste

Cook the sweet potato: Melt the butter over medium high heat, add in the sweet potato noodles, a pinch of salt and pepper and toss well. Continue to toss, 5-10 minutes until the potatoes are just fork tender.
Toss with the cashew cream and serve with the meatballs.

TIP:  Toss the leftovers with a few whipped eggs for a yummy brunch frittata.



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