I honestly wouldn't mind eating this meal or similar variations of it everyday of the week :) Ok, I'm being a bit dramatic, but in all honesty this is a scrumptious meal & it's "fancy" enough to serve to friends which is exactly what I did! Also, to clear up any confusion about the title, I understand that a leaner protein would make this meal healthier, but I'm banking off the fact that instead of eating a pound of pasta I'm taking in some veggies .. therefore it's healthy .. now back to your regularly scheduled programming :) Last year I posted a meatball recipe which I thought was pretty tasty, but O-M-G those meatballs are nothing compared to THESE ones!! Both times that I've made the new meatballs I've followed the recipe pretty closely (except that the parm cheese I use is really salty so I exclude the salt) & both times these little babies turned out amaaaaazing!! You're literally not going to shut up once you've tried these meatballs unless you're eating one of course, but other than that you're going to be singing this recipe from the mountain tops. Yeah, that was a little random .. anywho THIS is the magical recipe for the meatballs so have at it :) Also, they're baked & not fried which means you can pop them in the oven & forget about them, but don't forget about them for too long .. they won't be good if they're burnt to a crisp .. duhh ( I just ate a large chocolate bar really fast & it's making me a bit hyper, but bare with me because this dinner is worth it)!
While the meatballs are baking you can start preparing your "noodles". To prep the "pasta" I had my lovely husband peel 3 zucchinis with a vegetable peeler & then I cut them again lengthwise to make them appear more like spaghetti noodles, but that was a pain so they turned out more like fettuccine. I used the same technique to cook the noodles as I mentioned here from a previous zucchini pasta recipe. After preparing the Zucchini just add the sauce & mix it all together until the sauce is warmed up .. the sauce that I used on this occasion was Trader Joe's Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce.
Once the meatballs are finished baking I turned the oven off & let them sit in there for another minute or two while I whipped up the salad! I completely stole this Salad idea from Sweet Green because it was literally one of the best salads I'd ever eaten & they say imitation is the biggest form of flattery so SWEET GREEN you're the BEST!! Back to the salad, I just used mixed greens, chopped basil, goat cheese, a fresh peach, & balsamic glaze from Trader Joes to make this fresh & delicious salad :)
Yes I stood on my chair to get this epic shot & YES everyone was scared for their lives lol. Shelby was our special guest for the evening & let me tell you there's nothing better than good food & great company! We literally devoured the whole thing in record time with with the exception of one meatball. I'm going to make the peach salad again later this week (much larger portions) with some grilled chicken & call it a day. I hope that you all had a great Labor Day & that you like the recipes :) Let me know if you try making either of them & I'd love to hear about any quick weeknight dinner favorites if you have any!