There is no title that will give this recipe justice….seriously. The first time I made it I decided to try it simply because I needed some easy to chew, easier to digest proteins for my FIL to eat while he was doing an elimination diet (so it also had to be gluten free, soy free, dairy free, lactose free, nut free, egg free, citrus free, nightshade free, yeast free & more). My FIL loves spaghetti squash, onions, and mushrooms and I personally was determined to get him to eat some greens (which he doesn’t like but I SWEAR THEY GROW ON YOU! SO KEEP EATING THEM)! I’ve personally never really been a fan of ground turkey – it’s always been just ok BUT I tried ONE meatball and was astonished – how on earth could these turkey meatballs taste so good!?!?!?!? Could it be because it’s kosher turkey? Why do I never use fresh oregano (seriously – I even had it growing in my garden in Chicago and hardly ever used it)!?!?!? OMG these are delicious and I’m making them at home ASAP! And I did, and I keep doing, because they’re healthy, and delicious, and my 15 month old loves them too! So here it is, my gluten free, dairy free, lactose free, soy free, peanut free, treenut free, citrus free, yeast free, egg free, night shade free recipe for Turkey and Oregano Meatballs with Sauteed Mushrooms, Spinach & Spaghetti Squash. Quite possibly the best elimination diet recipe I’ve ever had 🙂 This was inspired by Martha Stewart’s version which can be found here, although it’s been changed quite a bit.
Turkey & Oregano Meatballs with Sauteed Mushrooms, Spinach and Spaghetti Squash
1 spaghetti squash (medium sized, around 3 lbs)
2 medium onions, finely chopped, about 3 cups (small, 1/4″ chop – I actually use a chopping tool for this, works amazing and gives me concise chopped onions quickly!)
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon pre-minced garlic)
8 oz package of button mushrooms, sliced and washed
2+ cups fresh baby spinach (or more, I personally do like 4)
2 tbsp avocado oil or high quality extra virgin olive oil
1 20 oz package of ground turkey breast (go with Kosher if they have it – I’m not kidding, it makes a HUGE difference! Organic is best too but it’s hard for me to find)
Kosher salt & ground black pepper
3 teaspoons fresh oregano
Special Tools – These aren’t necessary but make this recipe way easier
– Onion chopper like the Vidalia Chop Wizard (this thing is seriously great, bought on a whim & love it!)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare your spaghetti squash to be cooked. Personally, I like to just cook it whole. To do this, give it a rinse and remove any stickers, etc. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and pop it in the oven for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, flipping it half way through. While this is cooking start working on everything else. When it’s done cooking be sure to get it out of the oven to let it cool a bit before you cut it open! Once slightly cooled, cut it open, scoop out the seeds and use a fork to scrape out the flesh. Put in a bowl and set aside.
In a medium skillet, heat avocado or olive oil over medium heat, add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally for 8 or 9 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent. Make sure not to turn up the heat, we don’t want to brown the onions. When the onions are done, add 3 tsp of the fresh oregano and stir, cooking until fragrant (for about 30 seconds or so). Turn off the heat but leave half of the onion mixture in the pan (you’ll come back to that later)
Take half of the onion mixture from the skillet and place in a large mixing bowl for the meatballs. Add the ground turkey, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper and mix thoroughly. Form the turkey mixture into 1- 1 1/2″ meatballs using your hands or the 1″ cookie dough scoop and arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in the 375 degree oven (where your squash may or may not still be cooking) for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
Heat your skillet back up to medium and add the sliced mushrooms to your onion mixture. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Once the mushrooms are done toss in the spinach and cook until just wilted (about 1 minute). Toss the onion and mushroom mixture with the spaghetti squash.
Serve meatballs over a heaping scoop of spaghetti squash – YUM!
****This meal freezes like a dream! Cooking spaghetti squash whole is so easy! I like to make extra meatballs to freeze and cook the spaghetti squash on demand. To make things really easy you could even cook extra of the onion and oregano mixture and have little containers of that frozen too – then this fabulous healthy feast of a dinner is really easy peasy! Vaccuum seal the meatballs after they’re cooled to prevent frostbite and they’ll be good for months (I use and recommend the one below)!****