Recipe: Spaghetti & Meatballs, with Linda Gassenheimer + Books & Books

Every 4th Wednesday of the month, Jackson Hall partners with Books & Books for “Wellness Wednesday.”  On May 23rd, we welcomed author, food critic, and radio personality, Linda Gassenheimer, to showcase and discuss one of her many health-focused cookbooks, The 12 Weeks Diabetes Cookbook.

Books & Books, the highly regarded independent bookstore, collaborates with Jackson Hall in the positivity library, and brings in featured authors once a month, or more.  Established in Coral Gables, the locally owned bookstores are so special due to their mission stating that “our stores are dedicated to building a community of writers and readers, issues and ideas,” making them a perfect partner for Jackson Hall.   

Our featured local author in May, Linda Gassenheimer, is not only a bestselling author, but she also hosts a food segment on Tropical Current while writing a food column in the Miami Herald. Gassenheimer has published 16 cookbooks, and the majority of her work is to show that anyone can live a healthy, manageable life style.  Some of her books involve cooking for diabetics which were published by the American Diabetes Association.

If you are looking for a way to organize all your meals for a week, use her “Budget-Conscious Diabetes Meal Planner.”  With the help of this book, weeknight meals will be healthy, quick and easy. It’s a plan for one-stop shopping with recipes for the week to create great dinners your whole family is sure to love.

Here is a healthy, delicious recipe from Linda’s book: Spaghetti and Meatballs

From The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook published by the American Diabetes Association

Tasty, light meatballs in a rich pasta sauce are an American favorite.  The meatballs in this recipe are made with lower-fat ground bison (buffalo).  The addition of bread makes the meatballs light and fluffy.

Helpful Hints:

  • Any type of salad greens can be used for the salad.
  • A food processor can be used to combine the ingredients.  Try not to over process them. The meat will become too compact.
  • A quick way to chop sage is to snip the leaves with a scissors.
  • Use a flat spatula to turn the meatballs.  A spoon might break the meatballs.


  •         Place large pot of water for pasta on to boil.
  •         Make the meatballs.
  •         Cook the spaghetti.
  •         Complete the dish.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

1 slice whole-meal, multi-grain bread

1 1/2-pounds lean ground buffalo

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 teaspoons dried sage

1 cup chopped onion

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups low-sodium pasta sauce

1 1/2-cups water

1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti

Soak the bread in 1 cup water until soft.  Combine ground meat, garlic, sage, onion and egg in a bowl or food processor.  Remove bread from water and squeeze out excess water. Blend into meat mixture.  Add salt and pepper. Form into balls about 2 1/2-inches in diameter. It should make 8 meatballs.

Heat olive oil in a medium-size nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Brown the meatballs on all sides, about 5 minutes. Mix the pasta sauce and water together. Lower the heat to medium and add the sauce and water mixture.  Simmer gently 15 minutes, carefully turning the meatballs once. A meat thermometer should read 160 degrees. Serve over a bed of spaghetti.

While meatballs simmer, add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook 9 minutes or according to package instructions.  Drain and divide among 4 dinner plates. Serve meatballs and sauce over the spaghetti.


8 cups salad greens

4 tablespoons reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing

Place lettuce in a salad bowl and toss with the dressing.  Divide among 4 plates.

Number of servings 4

Per serving:

Serving size: 5 ounces meatballs, 3/4 cup tomato sauce, 3/4 cup whole wheat pasts, 2 cups salad

Total Calories 559 / Total Fat 12.7 g/ Saturated Fat 3.1 g / Monounsaturated Fat 4.7 g/ Sodium 481 mg/ Cholesterol 204 mg / Total Carbohydrate 59.6 g / Fiber 10.2 g / Sugars 10.1 g / Protein 51.4 g / Potassium 1489 mg/ Phosphorus 654 mg

Join us every Wednesday around lunchtime for “Wellness Wednesdays” at Jackson Hall, and every 4th Wednesday for our Books & Books collaboration.


Comments are closed