Sausage Zoodle Marinara on Roasted Eggplant

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

  • ZoodlesĀ (I used zuchinni)
  • Sausage sliced (of choice)
  • One white onion, loosely diced
  • 1 stick Kerrygold garlic herb butter
  • Dried basil
  • Sugar free marinara sauce
  • 1 eggplant
  • Avocado oil
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper

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

Italian Zoodle Alfredo

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!

Garlic and Gouda Cauli Mash

I am always making some sort of dish with riced cauliflower. I know Trader Joe’s has it back in stock now (so popular it disappeared quick and they couldn’t keep up with demand), but we don’t have a TJ’s conveniently close to us so for the most part I buy Green Giant Cauliflower Bits from Super Target. The only ingredient is cauliflower, and they seem to have a steady supply of it. Each time I go I buy 3-4 bags. Cauli is one of the most versatile vegetables out there and full of nutrients.

One of the simplest things you can do with it is steam it, mash it and add whatever ingredients you choose for a “mashed potato” texture and varying flavors. The Green Giant bags can be steamed right in the microwave if you want in about 4 minutes. I recently made a garlic and gouda cauli mash, and then added ham to the leftovers the next day and it was like a creamy ham and cheese casserole!

Garlic and Gouda Cauli Mash

  • 1 pkg Green Giant Cauli bits (or TJs riced cauli)
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup dry aged Gouda (we call it crunchy gouda)
  • Salt and pepper

Steam cauli bits in the microwave for about 5 minutes, remove and mash in a bowl. Add rosemary leaves, garlic powder, gouda and generously season with salt and pepper. Continue mashing until all ingredients are incorporated. Feel free to microwave again if the gouda isn’t melting quite enough.

So Good!FullSizeRender

 

Crab Cakes!

Craving crab cakes – not something I typically crave, and especially not my preferred seafood. You know, like the good crab cakes made with quality crab that you find at say, a restaurant in the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. I will never forget the vacation Seth and I took to Baltimore shortly after moving to Virginia. I think it was one of our first East Coast trips. Talk about good seafood. I can’t remember the exact name of the place we ate, but between the two of us, we literally had a table full to ourselves, of all sorts of awesome local seafood yumminess. GET IN MAH BELLY.

Anyway, mixed up some crab cakes a couple weeks ago to satisfy the craving, and boy did it. We followed the recipe from Primal Palate, in large part, because it’s super easy and just what we were looking for (soy/dairy/gluten/grain free). I modified it slightly, but let’s just say, we devoured them and now we must make again.

The only modifications I made included: adding 1 additional TBSP of mayo, juice of 1 lemon, double the amount of parsley and about 1 TBSP fresh minced garlic.

Highly recommend!! Even my Dad liked them, and he does not like a lot of seafood taste and/or textures.

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Baked Scallops in Garlic Herb Butter with Smoked Paprika

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)
  • Smoked paprika
  • Garlic salt
  • Pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Sea salt
  • 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).IMG_9779[1] IMG_9783[1] IMG_9784[1] IMG_9786[1] IMG_9777[1]