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
Happy first day of July (WHAT)! It’s really feeling like summer lately (although it was 55 here at my house in Minnesota this morning, brrr), so it’s salads of all kinds with grilling and more grilling.
A couple weeks ago my mom and dad were here for the night before we all headed to a weekend at the lake for Summer Solstice. Seth and I cooked up a fabulous dinner for the four of us, grilled steaks, grilled hash browns with peppers/onions and cheese, grilled eggplant and cinnamon fruit salad.
I had three very ripe mangoes that needed to be used before we left for the weekend, so I cut them up into pieces and tossed them in a bowl with fresh blueberries and cantaloupe. I then squeezed the juice of two limes over the fruit, a shake of raw coconut sugar (maybe 1/8 cup?) and a sprinkle of cinnamon (roughly 1 tsp). It really doesn’t take much cinnamon to flavor the salad – I went light because my dad isn’t a huge fan of cinnamon, and I was surprised at how cinnamon-y it still was. There was a small serving leftover, and it kept great in the fridge until it was finished with breakfast the next morning.
You could easily change up the fruits, but it was a nice flavor change from regular fruit salad!
Not sure this qualifies as “lasagna” since I didn’t add cheese, but that’s what it looked and tasted like.
I simply layered thinly sliced eggplant, white onion rings, black olives, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, pepperoncini, and organic marinara. In between each layer I put a couple dollops of grassfed ghee, garlic, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Then I baked for about 40 minutes at 375 degrees.
Eggplant! One of my favorite vegetables, so versatile, meaty and can take on just about any role you need it to (fries, pasta, meat…). One of my favorite ways of making it, is just plain roasted with a little oil, kosher salt/pepp, and that’s it. I typically roast at high heat, usually around 425 degrees, and it tends to brown quicker.
I used to cube it and roast it, but had minimal success. Now, I just slice it real thin, and decide what I’m going to do with it after it’s done. Slicing thin seems to be so much more consistent for me than other methods:Fun Eggplant Ideas:
It keeps really well, so consider chilling it, and serving it at a party with roasted red peppers and fresh mozzarella
Make lasagna, using the thin sliced and roasted eggplant as your pasta
Layer it in a baking dish with fresh herbs and vegetables and roast altogether
Bake it with a little organic or homemade marinara with some chicken
Cut it and toss it in an egg scramble or omelet with garlic and Mediterranean veggies
Heck, cook some bacon and make eggplant bacon wraps (this wouldn’t be a proper post without the mention of bacon)
I am having trouble keeping up with the tomato eating from the garden and I cannot let them spoil, so I decided to try a lasagna with fresh tomatoes from the garden (replacement for the sauce).
I roasted thin sliced eggplant in the oven first, like I normally do. Just drizzled it with a little garlic macadamia oil, kosher salt and pepper. I layered the roasted eggplant slices, fresh sliced garden tomatoes, fresh large basil leaves, sliced onion rings, and thinly sliced garlic cloves in an 8×8 glass baking dish. I’d sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper, and drizzle with garlic macadamia oil every now and then. If I’d had a larger eggplant, I would have made a 9×13 batch, and definitely will next time.
We couldn’t get over how awesome it was, sans the sause, cheese, and pasta. I was tempted to add a little fresh grated parmesan, but thought I’d give it a chance without first, and it in no way needed it. It really is amazing how wonderful things taste when they aren’t drenched in heavy sauces and other unnecessary ingredients. Being able to taste the real flavor of a food is something I’ve come to truly enjoy.
When I took it out of the oven Seth said “that’s all there is?” We ate the entire dish-ooops!