Spaghetti and Meatballs


Three weeks ago, I started a fitness and diet plan.  It has been 3 and 1/2 years since my son was born and 3 years since returning to work full time.  Like many parents with young children who work full time, time is extremely precious and just keeping up with the ‘must-do’s’ presents a challenge.  My husband and I both enjoy cooking and believe it is important to include time for shopping and preparing good meals and have steadily managed to do so.  However, time for exercise and fitness has been a challenge,  Other than playing outside with our son and cycling on weekends when the weather is warm and dry, we have not been nearly as active as we should be.

After a recent discussion with a friend regarding dietary changes she was making, I got inspired to make some adjustments to our lifestyle.  I briefly reviewed the diet trends du jour and decided (as always) that they were rubbish fads and nothing for me.  So what to do?  I decided to go for old fashioned calorie counting and to loosely follow the principles from the diet I had to follow when I had gestational diabetes, i.e. cut out sugar, potatoes, fast carbs and eat 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day.  I say loosely because it was a very strict diet and I want to be able to have some flexibility and variety within a reasonable number of calories per day but I know too much of those kinds of foods tends to make me feel more and more hungry and gives me the occasional dreaded sugar crash.

Even on that diet, pasta was allowed and there is no way this household would ever go pasta free.  My son adores all things noodle and yesterday I felt like whipping up a favorite for him – spaghetti and meatballs!  I use a recipe for the meatballs from allrecipes.com (aptly titled Meatball Nirvana) and like to pair that with a relatively basic tomato sauce.  It’s a little bit of work but this one never fails to please!

Basic Tomato Sauce

Yield: 6-8 servings

Calories per serving: 100

Basic Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion minced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can tomato purée
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 T beef broth granules
  • 2-3 t sugar
  • 2 t dried oregano
  • 2 t dried parsley
  • 1 T dried basil
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Fry onion and garlic on medium high heat until softened but not brown.
  2. Add seasonings to oil and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients to pot, bring to a gentle boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.
  4. Add salt, pepper and sugar to taste.
  5. Simmer for 20-30 mins on low heat.
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