Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomato Salsa and Vegan ‘Meatballs’ (vegan, low carb) / Špageti tikva sa šalšom od pečenih rajčica i veganskim ‘mesnim’ okruglicama (vegansko, low carb)

I know, I know. The title itself seems overwhelming and I’m piling on dishes one on top of the other. But this whole meal is actually fairly easy to make. As the majority of work here actually gets done in the oven, you have quite a lot of off time on your hands. If you have a food processor too, preparing this should really be a breeze.

I also have a confession to make here. My ‘meatballs’ totally fell apart while baking and melted into small, thick puddles. Of course, I myself am to blame here and the very generous splash of water I added to the food processor, so my mixture turned out too mushy. Skip the water altogether (or add a tablespoon at the time) and you should be just fine. Oh, and I totally reshaped those things into balls once they were baked. After all, my home isn’t a five star Michelin kitchen and such ingenious deviations are not frowned upon.

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INGREDIENTS:

(Yields 4 servings / 1.08 EUR per serving / 4.32 EUR for all)

For the salsa:

5 tomatoes (1.07 EUR)

Generous pinch of salt (0.01 EUR)

Generous pinch of freshly ground black pepper (0.01 EUR)

1 large onion (0.10 EUR)

3 garlic cloves (0.10 EUR)

2 tbsp olive oil (0.09 EUR)

1 tsp dried oregano (0.07 EUR)

For the squash:

1 spaghetti squash (1.33 EUR)

Generous pinch of salt (0.01 EUR)

Generous pinch of freshly ground black pepper (0.01 EUR)

2 garlic cloves (0.07 EUR)

2 tbsp olive oil (0.09 EUR)

For vegan ‘meatballs’:

2 cups cooked lentils (0.53 EUR)

1 onion, peeled (0.07 EUR)

3 garlic cloves, peeled (0.10 EUR)

2 carrots, peeled (0.13 EUR)

2 tbsp ground flax seed (0.07 EUR)

4 tbsp olive oil (0.18 EUR)

1 tsp dried red pepper flakes (0.07 EUR)

1 tsp salt (0.01 EUR)

1 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika (0.07 EUR)

2 tbsp dried parsley (0.13 EUR)

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METHOD:

We’re gonna start off by making salsa. Preheat oven to 220°C. Halve tomatoes and spread on a baking pan with skins down. Season generously with salt and pepper. Quarter onion with its skin intact and leave the skins on garlic cloves too. Tuck those around tomatoes, then drizzle all with olive oil. Bake for about 45 minutes, until slightly charred. Allow to cool a bit before discarding onion and garlic skins and running everything through a food processor, including all the delicious juices left at the bottom of the pan. Stir in oregano and keep someplace warm until squash and ‘meatballs’ are ready. You can also bring it to a simmer later on, or prepare the salsa the day ahead. Simmering for a bit should also work if your tomatoes are too watery and you feel like the finished salsa isn’t thick enough.

While the tomatoes are roasting, prepare your squash and vegan ‘meatballs’.

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Line two baking trays with aluminum foil for easy cleanup. Wash the whole squash, cut it in half and scoop out and discard seeds. Season generously with salt and pepper, place one unpeeled garlic clove on each half, then drizzle everything with olive oil. Place the squash halves with skins down on one prepared baking sheet.

Place parchment paper on another foil-lined baking sheet (trust me on this). Add ‘meatball’ ingredients to a food processor and blitz to desired consistency. If necessary, add in a splash of water, but be wary not to overdo it, like I have. Taste the mixture and adjust seasoning. Use a spoon or a small ice cream scoop to make balls and spread them on foil and parchment lined baking sheet.

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When ready to bake, preheat oven to 200°C (or reduce heat, if you just finished with the salsa). Squash should be done after 45-50 minutes and ‘meatballs’ after about 25-30 minutes so plan accordingly. Once the squash is done, squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins and use two forks to fluff the squash into strands. Stir thoroughly.

Serve squash with ‘meatballs’ and salsa ladled on top. Boom, there’s your fancy meal.

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Znam, znam, već se i sam naslov čini zastrašujuć, a ja samo nabacujem jela jedno na drugo. Ali cijeli ovaj objed je jako jednostavan za pripremiti. Pošto se skoro sve zbiva u pećnici, zapravo ćete većinu vremena biti slobodni za baviti se drugim stvarima. Ako imate doma i multipraktik, ovo ćete jelo spremiti za čas.

Također vam moram i nešto priznati. Moje su se ‘mesne’ okruglice poraspadale i tijekom pečenja pretvorile u debele lokve. Naravno, tu sam si sama kriva jer sam u multipraktik dodala previše vode pa mi je smjesa ispala premokra. Da se to ne dogodi i vama skroz zaobiđite vodu ili ju po potrebi dodajte žlicu po žlicu. Okruglice sam na kraju ponovno oblikovala kada su se ispekle i stvar je bila spašena. Pošto doma ne vodim Michelinovu kuhinju, takve ingenijozne devijacije su skroz dopuštene.

SASTOJCI:

(Za 4 porcije / 8,03 kn po porciji / 32,12 kn za sve)

Za šalšu:

5 rajčica (8,00 kn)

Dobar prstohvat soli (0,01 kn)

Dobar prstohvat svježe mljevenog crnog papra (0,10 kn)

1 veliki luk (0,75 kn)

3 češnja češnjaka (0,75 kn)

2 žlice maslinovog ulja (0,66 kn)

1 žličica sušenog origana (0,50 kn)

Za tikvu:

1 špageti tikva (10,00 kn)

Dobar prstohvat soli (0,01 kn)

Dobar prstohvat svježe mljevenog crnog papra (0,10 kn)

2 češnja češnjaka (0,50 kn)

2 žlice maslinovog ulja (0,66 kn)

Za veganske ‘mesne’ okruglice:

2 šalice kuhane leće (4,00 kn)

1 luk, oguljeni (0,50 kn)

3 češnja češnjaka, oguljena (0,75 kn)

2 mrkve, oguljene (1,00 kn)

2 žlice mljevenih sjemenki lana (0,50 kn)

4 žlice maslinovog ulja (1,32 kn)

1 žličica sušenog čilija u pahuljicama (0,50 kn)

1 žličica soli (0,01 kn)

1 žlica slatke crvene paprike (0,50 kn)

2 žlice sušenog peršina (1,00 kn)

PRIPREMA:

Prvo ćemo pripremiti šalšu. Zagrijte pećnicu na 220°C. Raspolovite rajčice i raširite ih po posudi za pečenje sa kožom prema dolje. Dobro ih začinite solju i paprom. Raščetvorite luk zajedno sa ljuskom te ostavite ljuske i na češnjaku, pa sve njih rasporedite oko rajčica i još sve skupa pokapajte maslinovim uljem. Pecite oko 45 minuta, dok se ne ulovi lagana korica. Pustite da se malo ohladi prije nego što bacite ljuske sa luka i češnjaka. Sve skupa propasirajte, zajedno sa tekućinom koja se skupila na dnu protvana. Umiješajte origano i držite na toplom dok tikva i okruglice ne budu gotovi. Po potrebi šalšu možete kasnije i zakuhati, ili ju čak pripremiti i dan ranije. Ako su vam rajčice prevodenaste i šalša ispadne prerijetka, također kratko prokuhajte da se sve fino zgusne.

Dok se rajčice peku, pripremite tikvu i okruglice.

Obložite dva protvana aluminijskom folijom za lakše čišćenje. Operite cijelu tikvu te ju onda raspolovite i izvadite i bacite sjemenke. Dobro začinite solju i paprom, stavite po jedan neoguljeni češanj češnjaka u svaku polovicu i pokapajte tikvu maslinovim uljem te sa kožom prema dolje stavite tikvu na jedan pripremljeni protvan.

Na drugi folijom obloženi protvan stavite list papira za pečenje (vjerujte mi). Dodajte sve sastojke za okruglice u multipraktik i propulsirajte do željene konzistencije. Po potrebi ulijte i mrvicu vode, ali pazite da ne pretjerate kao ja. Kušajte smjesu i prilagodite začine. Žlicom ili malom žlicom za sladoled grabite smjesu i oblikujte ju u kuglice. Okruglice raširite po protvanu obloženom folijom i papirom za pečenje.

Kada ste spremni za pečenje zagrijte pećnicu na 200°C, ili smanjite temperaturu ako ste upravo pekli šalšu. Tikva će biti gotova za 45-50 minuta, a okruglice nakon 25-30 minuta, tako da znate planirati. Kada je tikva gotova, istisnite češnjak iz ljuski i sa dvije vilice raščerupajte meso tikve u rezance i sve dobro promiješajte.

Poslužite tikvu i okruglice prelivene sa šalšom. Vaš fensi ručak je spreman.

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Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomato Salsa and Vegan ‘Meatballs’ (vegan, low carb) / Špageti tikva sa šalšom od pečenih rajčica i veganskim ‘mesnim’ okruglicama (vegansko, low carb)

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