Garden produce season is alive and well here in the Midwest, which means since our house is the pit-stop in between my parents house in Iowa and our family’s cabin in Northwest Minnesota, we get regular produce deliveries from my parents. Right now we have yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers and 5 million jalapenos. It’s been pretty hot and humid in Minnesota, so I’ve been eating fresh [cold] cukes a lot. I threw this salad together the other night, it’s really easy and has great flavor. The coconut aminos (soy sauce substitute) adds the perfect sweetness to the nutty sesame flavor.
Sesame Cucumber Salad
- Sesame oil
- Coconut aminos
- Sea salt
- Garlic salt
- Chili flakes
- Sesame seeds
Slice cukes and drizzle oil and coconut aminos over top (more or less depending on how much sauce you prefer, I wanted it to be a light flavor), then sprinkle with sea salt, garlic salt and chili flakes. Toss, and then top with sesame seeds last so they don’t get soggy.
I’ve been buying zoodles of all types to use in cooking lately – a way to eat more vegetables without the blood sugar spike of pasta, and the heaviness that comes with eating grains. I have a spiralizer, but for some reason buying them pre-spiraled just works better for me right now, plus they literally pack them in so tight there are a ton in each container! Currently in the fridge I have butternut squash, zucchini and beet zoodles!
I was wanting something warm and comforting the other night so I decided to make zoodles with marinara – simple, and tasty. I opened up my organic sugar free jar of marinara (good until August 2017), and there was what looked like a giant slimy booger on the inside of it…which later I think I determined was a “mother” that had grown? Still, not 100% sure what it was I tossed it and had to improvise. I ended up with an almost alfredo creamy garlic sauce with Italian flavors, and it was so good. Rich, hearty, full of healthy fats and there was none leftover.
Italian Zoodle Alfredo
- 1/2 stick grassfed butter
- 1 medium white onion, mince
- 2 TBSP minced garlic
- 6 oz heavy whipping cream
- 8oz chicken broth
- Butternut squash zoodles (eyeball it – maybe 2 cups?)
- Zucchini zoodles (same as above, use as many as you’d like!)
- 1 TBSP dried basil
- 1 pkg crespone (or any uncured salami), cut up
- 1 TBSP tapioca starch
- Salt/black pepper
Full disclosure, I had random things in my fridge I wanted to use up which is how this came about (the heavy whipping cream leftover from the holidays – still if I have any dairy in my fridge it’s usually the full fat stuff). Add the 1/2 stick of butter to a pan and melt, saute the diced onion and two TBSP of minced garlic for about five minutes, then add the heavy whipping cream and stir. This thickened pretty quick, which is why I ended up adding the 8oz of broth. Add the butternut squash zoodles and saute for a couple minutes, then add the zucchini zoodles and saute for another five minutes. Sprinkle with the dried basil, cut the crespone with kitchen shears directly into pan, add the TBSP of tapioca starch (it was a little too thin after the 8 oz broth, so I thickened it back up – if you don’t mind more of a soup texture feel free to leave this out or use less broth) and season with salt and black pepper. Continue stirring until everything is well heated, serve!
Typically Seth and I vacation each year over the week of Thanksgiving, it’s always a good time for us both to be away. Last year we had a long vacation to Peru and we’re in the midst of planning another long international trip next May, so this year we decided to stay domestic. Because we had such a wonderful experience staying with Belmond (properties) on our trip through Peru and were so impressed with their organization and handling of our itinerary, we decided to stay with them again in the US. They only have three properties in the US and one happens to be in Charleston, SC…where we decided to vacation this past Thanksgiving. We have close friends that used to live in Charleston, and have always heard wonderful things about the city (food, how walk-able it is, history, etc.).
We had a lot of fun while we were there, and for the most part ate our way through the entire city. We’re huge seafood fans so we consumed copious amounts of all things seafood while in town, including She Crab Soup – goodness that stuff is amazingness in a bowl.
Now that we’re back home and I’m not traveling for work for a while I’m cooking more again, and especially soups since Minnesota is all of a sudden frozen tundra. I put this soup together the other night and it is hearty and rich. It isn’t quite She Crab Soup but it has the flavor! I just wanted to substitute for some cleaner and more nutrient rich ingredients in mine.
Not Quite She Crab Soup
- 2 cans full fat coconut milk
- 32 oz chicken stock
- 1/3 cup sherry cooking wine
- 1 1/2 white onions, diced
- 3 TBSP minced garlic
- 6 drops of Tabasco sauce
- Couple shakes of cayenne pepper
- 1 stick garlic herb Kerrygold butter
- 13 – 16 oz lump crab meat (I used blue crab)
- 2 TBSP tapioca starch mixed with water (gluten-free thickener)
- Sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
Combine everything except the crab meat and bring to a boil, continuing to stir so the onions cook and start to become transparent. Add the crab and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes or so until more crab flavor is incorporated. I drained one can of crab meat, but used the juices in the other can for more flavor.
I shared a picture of what I made for lunch today on my Instagram (@the3llls, those are L’s) and my personal Facebook page, mostly because it was too tasty and pretty not too and I’m obsessed with food. But for those that aren’t a part of either of those communities, I wanted to share here as well. I happen to have an abundance of fresh garden tomatoes from The Tomato Lady (aka, my mom), so I’m using them in all sorts of ways. Here’s a super simple lunch that’s quick, tasty, and filled with nutrients. Plus, the options are endless with avocado smash toast (I don’t eat bread often, but more in the summer for things like this or with radish sandwiches, etc.). Appreciating the last of what summer has to offer!
Avocado Smash Toast
- 2 slices gluten-free bread, toasted/broiled (I use Canyon Bakehouse)
- Grass-fed butter
- 1 avocado, smashed
- Garlic salt
- Sliced tomato
- Sea salt/black pepper
- Olive oil
Pretty simple, really. Toast bread, slather with grass-fed butter while bread is warm so it’s melty. Top with the smashed avocado and sprinkle with garlic salt. Top with sliced tomato and fresh ground sea salt and black pepper. Drizzle lightly with a really good quality olive oil. Holy hell! Enjoy 🙂
Working my way back to blogging (and a whole lot of other things, slow and steady wins the race, right?)…I have a laundry list of so many things I want to write about. Travels, food, life, animals, diabetes, friendships, etc…it’s just finding the time to do so, to where I don’t feel rushed and write just to write.
Over the last year there has been a move, lots of travel and exploring living in a new area – fun, but that means I spend less time in the kitchen because we’re always trying new local restaurants the Twin Cities has to offer (A TON!). Fun to be a foodie here, but I miss the kitchen, cooking, experimenting and writing about it – if it turns out 😉 Anyway, returned home from another brief travel stint and had a hodge podge of ingredients in the fridge that needed to be used – and I’ve really been focusing on being less wasteful and not letting things go bad before we get to them. Here was the result!
Everything Egg Bake
- 3 white onions, diced
- 1 large jalapeno (1/2 deseeded), finely diced
- 2 TBSP minced garlic
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 4 cups spinach
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups diced ham
- 1 dozen eggs
- 1/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese
- Grass-fed butter
Saute the onions, jalapeno, minced garlic in the avocado oil on medium heat until onions start to brown, about seven minutes. Add the saute to a large mixing bowl. Add the spinach, tomatoes, diced ham and season with salt and pepper (to your taste). In a separate bowl break 12 eggs and beat well until whites and yolks are incorporated, add eggs to mixture. Mix together and gently toss the Gorgonzola cheese into the mixture. Pour mixture into a buttered 8×8 glass baking dish. Top with 4-6 small dollops of grass-fed butter. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 for about 30 minutes or until the top is starting to brown and edges are crusting. Make sure the eggs in the middle are solid. It’s a beautiful dish!
Seth’s been eating it for breakfast and I’ve been having it for breakfast and lunch. It reheats quick, is full of nutrients and very filling. Enjoy 🙂