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
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.
That sounds kind of like a fancy name, it’s not a fancy recipe. I think many assume that seafood is difficult to cook, but it really isn’t. I’m not sure where this thought or stereotype was founded, but it’s a giant lie. In fact, cooking seafood is about the easiest meal idea I’ve found, unless it’s leftovers from the weekend. Honestly meat is just as “difficult” as seafood. Seriously, so little time required.
I bought some wild caught Mexican baby scallops a couple weeks ago, thawed them, and baked them. Took about 5 minutes!
Baked Scallops in Garlic Herb Butter with Smoked Paprika
16 oz scallops (baby is preferred)
1/2 stick garlic herb butter (I used Kerrygold)
Herbs de Provence
Pour the bag of scallops into a colander, rinse, then pat dry. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once warm, take an 8×8 glass baking dish with half the stick of garlic herb butter and place it in the oven to warm the dish and melt the butter. Once melted, take the dish out, add scallops, and sprinkle with all seasonings moderately, except for the smoked paprika. Place back in the oven and bake for about 5 minutes – tossing once at about the 3 minute mark. You’ll know if the scallops are over done, as they’re like chewy rubber. Feel free to taste test if you’re fearful, and if they melt in your mouth, they’re done.
I paired the scallops with some roasted vegetables (mushrooms/purple cabbage/red onion/white onion) tossed in black truffle oil and Costoc’s organic salt free 21 seasoning (LOVE THAT STUFF).
Yup, I just used pizza and brussels sprouts in the same sentence-don’t hate me. I stumbled upon this easy dish last night, and had to share. Initially, it was just going to be shredded sprouts sautéed in grass-fed butter with garlic, because I wanted something tasty and quick. Then I thought I might add something else for flavor, and decided to cut some sun-dried tomatoes I had and let them cook in the butter to soften:
THEN it really smelled like pizza-so I tried a tomato, and sure enough, it tasted like tomato sauce/buttery crust pizza-ish. I almost, ALMOST added the rest of the tomatoes and just ate those, but then decided to stick to the original plan, and added the sprouts.
THEN, it tasted like a veggie pizza. What?! Must make again.
Pizza Brussels Sprouts
grass-fed butter (a decent chunk from a large bar, don’t be afraid)
1/2 a bag of sun-dried tomatoes, cut into pieces (I use Melissa’s)
1 bag of shredded brussels sprouts
Sea salt/black pepper
Start by melting the butter in a sauté pan, then cut (with kitchen shears, directly over the pan), the sun-dried tomatoes into the butter. Saute for about 10 minutes over low-medium heat, adding a good amount of garlic powder and oregano. It will smell heavenly. Then dump the bag of sprouts in and continue sautéing over medium heat until the sprouts start to brown. Season with a little salt and pepper! I ate it all by myself. Ooops.
Seth and I typically go out for breakfast at least once on the weekends, it’s our catch-up/talky time, and we enjoy getting out early and having the rest of the day. A couple of weekends ago on a Sunday, I slept in for much-needed Zzzzs and Seth went for a run. When he got back, he made this excellent brunch and I’m patiently waiting for him to make it again.
His and Hers Brunch
Steaks (hers: filet w/grass-fed butter, his: NY Strip w/Worcestershire), one over-medium egg, sweet potato and pepper hash (that’s the first time he’s added bell pepper to his sweet potato hash, nomnomnom), and oven-burst campari tomatoes.
The steaks were marinated in Worcestershire, garlic powder, salt and pepper, then grilled. The hash is diced sweet potatoes cooked in reserved bacon fat with fresh garlic, diced mini tri-color peppers, salt and pepper. The tomatoes, super simple and fabulous (we’ll be doing this once we have more tomatoes than we know what to do with); simply toss the whole tomatoes in a little oil (of your choice), sprinkle with salt and pepper, and oregano (remember when I had more oregano than I knew what to do with, so I dried it in the dehydrator? Well, that’s what we’ve been using!), and roast at 450 degrees until they burst. The over-medium egg, well, he cooked them like we normally do, in bacon fat 🙂
Have some friends over and wow them with a super easy, flavorful and fulfilling brunch. Also be jealous my hubs cooks like this while I’m catching up on sleep 😀