We’re on a zoodle kick, can you tell? Several weeks ago a friend of mine (via snapchat) asked if I was cooking dinner one particular evening and I replied and said, probably? Nothing specific planned though. He replied and said, oh well you should cook dinner and snap it, I always like to see what you create. So, I did and here is what I ended up with that evening.
Sausage Zoodle Marinara on Roasted Eggplant
Zoodles (I used zuchinni)
Sausage sliced (of choice)
One white onion, loosely diced
1 stick Kerrygold garlic herb butter
Sugar free marinara sauce
Start by getting the eggplant roasting so it’s finished at the same time as the zoodle marinara. This is my favorite method for roasting eggplant as it gets a little more crisp, rather than being more spongey/mushy. Wash and thinly slice your eggplant. Place slices on a lightly greased and foiled cookie sheet (if you don’t grease the foil it will stick really bad). Generously drizzle avocado oil on the slices and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees while preparing the rest of the dish.
Start by melting the stick of butter in a saute pan, then add the diced white onion and cook for about 4 minutes. Add marinara sauce, cut sausage and dried basil. Saute for about 10 minutes until the sausage is heated through. Add the zoodles, and saute another 5 minutes or, until done to your preference (I prefer al dente). Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Place roasted eggplant slices on a plate and top with sausage zoodle marinara! Reheated really well.
*side notes: I use avocado oil because it has a higher smoke point and doesn’t create carcinogens when heated at high heat. I use Bilinski’s brand sausages (pre-cooked) and for this recipe I used their wild mushroom with Italian herbs – they’re my favorite chicken sausages, super clean ingredients from pastured chickens. Sugar free marinara-getting easier to find! Super Target is where I buy mine, and they now carry 3-4 different brands that have zero added sugar. Last, I don’t really measure things, I just kind of eyeball and taste-test, if I think there should be more of something I add it, but I start with less and then add more since I can’t take ingredients back out
Created a new recipe last night in the kitchen completely by accident using up ingredients I had on hand and needed to be used. Lately we’ve been craving Thai and curry flavors for the warmth, comfort and health benefits they provide so I decided to use the package of ground chicken I had in the fridge and create something with curry. I ended up creating a chicken curry bowl that I will definitely make again! It was very quick, hearty and flavorful.
Coconut Curry Chicken Celery Bowl
1 lb ground chicken
1 1/2 TBSP curry powder
2 TBSP minced garlic
2 medium yellow onions, diced
1 package sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
Saute the onion and garlic in a saute pan in a little bit of avocado oil on medium heat, once the onions are almost transparent turn to low heat to keep warm. Meanwhile, brown the ground chicken with the curry powder in a separate pan in a little bit of avocado oil so it doesn’t stick and burn. Try to mince the chicken as small as you can with a spatula (makes for a nicer texture while eating). Once the chicken is browned reduce to low heat to keep warm. Turn the vegetables back up to medium heat and add the mushrooms and a drizzle of avocado oil, sauteing until mushrooms start to soften and then add the celery. Season with salt and pepper. Toss for about 10 minutes to make sure the mushrooms are cooked but not mushy and the celery is thoroughly heated through.
Put the curry chicken in a bowl, and top with the vegetable mixture (as much as you want with both!). Top with coconut milk and coconut aminos. Stir to coat and enjoy!
Side note: I initially didn’t add the coconut milk and aminos, was just going to eat the bowl as is. Still plenty of flavor, but my husband said it seemed like it needed a sauce…and like always, I had a half a can of opened coconut milk in the fridge that needed to be used so I warmed it up, dumped some on, sprinkled with coconut aminos and voila!
I only recently learned about harissa, and I’m thinking its better late than never because it is jam packed full of flavor from fresh ingredients. It can be made many different ways, spicy, as a paste, sauce, etc. but the kind I use is a mild Moroccan red pepper sauce, the brand is Mina. I actually found it at Target and was curious so I bought some – amazing!
I had a bag of riced cauliflower that needed to be used so I decided to make a new cauli fried rice recipe with what I had on hand, the result is a new recipe I’ll be making again and again. Warm, comforting, and important for me super low-glycemic! Little impact on blood sugar is a major win.
Harissa Garlic Cauli Fried Rice
1 bag of riced cauliflower
1 large red onion, diced
3 TBSP minced garlic
Fresh ground black pepper
Crushed red pepper
1/2 cup black olives, halved
1/4 cup harissa sauce
I started with a drizzle of avocado oil in a large saute pan, adding the diced red onion, minced garlic, sea salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper. I let the onion and garlic cook down until the onions were transparent, then added a dash of coconut aminos (gluten free soy sauce alternative) and the bag of riced cauliflower. I continued stirring to incorporate the moisture into the cauliflower so it’d start to “fry” a little bit – feel free to add additional avocado oil for the frying aspect being careful not to add too much or you’ll have an oily mess. I let all of the ingredients cook for about 20 minutes stirring constantly and then added the black olives and harissa sauce. I cooked about five minutes more just to distribute heat to the olives but preventing mushiness.
I ate two bowls with coconut aminos sprinkled on them – very flavorful and filling. Harissa, my NEW FAVORITE!
I decided to make use of what vegetables I had on hand after coming home from our holiday trip to Iowa as well as use some of my Penzey’s spices (I love them!) I’d been gifted to add a different flavor than the typical salt/pepper/oil roast.
I had 3/4 of a red onion in the fridge, 1/2 a container of cherry tomatoes on the counter, some open artichoke hearts, and a couple different kinds of mushrooms waiting patiently.
Artichoke and Tomato Vegetable Bake
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Artichoke hearts, water squeezed out
3/4 large red onion, diced
1/2 package crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 package button mushrooms, sliced
1 TBSP minced garlic
Penzey’s Northwoods Spice
Add a little avocado oil (high smoke point) to a large saute pan and add onion and minced garlic, sauteing until onions start to turn transparent. Add mushrooms and artichoke hearts and continue sauteing until vegetables are warm all the way through. Drench in Penzey’s Northwoods Spice (I used the rest that I had, roughly 3 TBSP) and toss to mix. Dump the vegetable saute in a large glass baking dish and add halved cherry tomatoes. Gently toss everything together and put in a preheated 400 degree oven. Roast until done to your liking – I left mine in for about 40 minutes until they were starting to brown and the tomatoes were shriveling – that’s how I prefer my vegetables.
Side note: I didn’t measure the cherry tomatoes or artichoke hearts. I’d say roughly about 2-3 cups of halved cherry tomatoes, I used the rest of what I had in a large Costco clamshell container. Similar with the artichoke hearts, I had an open large 33oz size jar from Costco in the fridge that needed to be used, probably 3/4 full. Best tip I’ve received when squeezing water out of artichoke hearts? Literally squeeze them to death with your hand (make a fist), I don’t even cut them anymore because they come apart so easily. Kind of like a mash.
I’ve scrambled some of the leftovers with eggs for breakfast, reheated some last night for dinner with coconut aminos, etc.!