Meatless Monday: Zoodles and [NO] Meatballs

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“No meat in a day?!” That’s what I would have exclaimed if someone tried to suggest a Meatless Monday to me a year ago.

Recently, I’ve been experimenting with reducing how much meat I eat. I have to say, I feel pretty good so far physically and ethically. After going from meat with every meal, down to meat only a few times a week, I feel like my energy is steady and I surprisingly don’t get hungry every 10 minutes. I do eat some more slow burning carbs, such as some legumes, quinoa, or rice, here and there, but in general it’s mostly hearty cooked veggies, nuts, seeds, and some fruit here and there.

This recipe is perfect for anyone wanting to dabble in eating less meat, but doesn’t want to feel like they’re missing out.

A pan of sauteed mushrooms and onions, with zucchini spiralized in the background and Yves Sweet Potato Bites and Mezzetta marinara sauce.

I really love the meat-less meatballs from Yves. And the spaghetti sauce is from Mezzetta and is fantastic because it only uses “real” ingredients that one would expect to find in a pasta sauce. Best of all, they don’t add any sugar (finally)!

I used these pre-packaged additions to keep this meal quick and easy for someone to whip up on a weekday, like, say, a Monday. Meatless Monday anyone?

A pan with pasta sauce in the foreground, zoodles in a green bowl in the background with a package of Yves Sweet Potato and Chia Bites

Without further ado:

Zoodles and [No] Meatballs

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 handful mushrooms sliced
  • 1 jar Mezzetta marinara sauce
  • 1 package Yves Sweet Potato and Chia Bites
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 zucchini spiralized
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Spiralize the zucchini and set aside

  2. In a large pan on medium heat melt 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Throw in garlic, onions, and mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. 

  3. Pour in desired amount of pasta sauce (it's always a judgement call, 1/2 to full jar). Toss in Sweet Potato and Chia Bites and stir into sauce. Leave sauce on medium heat until it starts to boil and pop and then turn down to low, stir and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  4. While the sauce is simmering, heat a skillet up to medium heat and add 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Add spiralized zucchini and stir in the hot oil for about 1 minute. Add water and cook until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 

  5. Divide the zoodles and serve covered in a heaping portion of sauce and [NO]meatballs.

The experience that really inspired this life shift away from so much meat was a 10 day meditation retreat I did over the summer. In Vipassana tradition I didn’t eat any meat for the whole time I was there. I was worried I’d be hungry so quickly and feel really sluggish. Surprisingly, I felt great! I was completely satisfied with the meals that I had and didn’t have any terrible inflammation from the meals.

After that great experience I decided to extend the experiment in my day to day life. I really didn’t mind having less meat! I like killing less animals on a daily basis, reducing my carbon footprint, and still feeling healthy, so I think it’s a change I’ll stick with.

A plate of zoodles and red meat sauce with Yves Sweet Potato and Chia Bites.

How is your relationship with eating meat? Is it something you never do, always do, or are kind of playing with? Let me know!

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