Another Wonderful Pasta Substitute

I’m such a sucker for Trader Joe’s marketing.  I was grocery shopping over the weekend and picked up a bag of their seafood blend in the frozen section.  Right above the price tag, in a bright neon yellow sign says, “Try it with our Arrabiata Sauce!”  Without hesitation, I grab the sauce that is so brilliantly placed right above the seafood blend and go on my merry way.  A few aisles later, I’ve tossed a bunch of other things into my cart (not on my shopping list) and end up spending way more than expected.

So, what else do I need to purchase to serve with this seafood blend and Arrabiata sauce?  Pasta, of course!!  But, how can I make this a more nutritious meal?  Zucchini pasta!  I bought this amazing julienne peeler from Home Goods for only $2.99.  It’s the perfect tool (small and easy to use) to make zucchini pasta instead of spending money on another clunky tool to add to the mix of kitchen appliances.

Tonight’s dinner features 3 main ingredients, with a few additional spices to enhance the flavors.  It does take some time to prepare, so I wouldn’t call it an easy and quick weeknight dinner, but something to try if you have ~45 mins in the kitchen!

Zucchini Pasta with Seafood & Arrabiata Sauce

Serves 2

For the zucchini pasta:

  1. Using the julienne peeler, strip the zucchini down to the seeds.  Place julienned zucchini into a large bowl.  Season with some sea salt and mix well.
  2. Prior to cooking, squeeze the zucchini pasta to get rid of the excess water.
  3. In a medium sized pot, add butter and garlic.  Saute for a few minutes.  Add zucchini pasta and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until cooked through.  Remove from pot and set aside.




For the sauce:

  1. Using the same pot, add butter and garlic.  Saute until the garlic becomes tender.
  2. Add seafood blend and saute for an additional 5 minutes or until cooked through.
  3. Add half a jar of arrabiata sauce.  Add red pepper flakes (optional).
  4. Simmer on low for 10 minutes.
  5. Serve over zucchini pasta.



And here’s a picture of Ziggy, chillin’!!!





A dinner consumed in 5 minutes

I don’t even know where to begin with this post.  I just have too many yummy food thoughts running through my mind.

Okay, let’s backtrack to Sunday where I had a wonderful afternoon with one of my good buddies, Lindsey, out in the city!  She moved there about a month ago and we finally found some time to get together – we had three goals in mind – EAT, SHOP, and GOSSIP.  Perfect girl afternoon, right?  I got into Grand Central and was starving, so my words basically were… “Lindsey, I don’t care what we do today, but we need to eat first.”  Being the awesome foodie she is, she knew exactly where to go.

So, we walked a few blocks downtown to 33rd and cut across a couple of avenues to 3rd and met our destination: Bareburger.  I loved that this place served grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, and organic and natural products.  I had the Bareburger Supreme with beef and I ate it slowly so I could savor every single bite.

I got it on the brioche bun, which was amazing, but what really makes a burger is 1) the meat and 2) the toppings/pairings.  Also, had it with pear cider…. Needless to say, this meal was not Paleo (but maybe semi-Paleo since it was grass-fed beef???) Oh, and we also had side of hand cut fries and onion rings 🙂

Now, fast forward to tonight.  After an awesome and sweaty Zumba class with my friend (and fab instructor), Pamela, I knew exactly what I wanted to make for dinner.  A scrumptious burger with savory toppings (hold the bun!) served with a side of baked sweet potato fries.

Paleo Burger

Makes four 4 oz. burgers


  • 1 lb Organic ground beef (I used Trader Joe’s Organic 85/15 ground beef – $6.49/lb)
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl, mix well.
  2. Form into 4 patties.
  3. In a skillet over medium high, drizzle olive oil and grill patties for 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked to your preference. (I like mine medium rare, so this timing was perfect)
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Add toppings of your choice;  I added sauteed onions, sauteed mushrooms, sliced avocado, bits of uncured bacon, and a fried egg.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries


  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • A few pinches of paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F).
  2. Slice sweet potatoes into fries.
  3. Place sweet potato fries onto baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, and paprika.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes.  It’s also helpful to check in after 10 minutes to give the sweet potatoes a good toss in the olive oil and other seasonings.
  5. Remove from heat and enjoy!

Who doesn’t love ice cream?

I went to Trader Joe’s this weekend to stock up on some Paleo (and non Paleo) goodies.  I freakin’ love Trader Joe’s.  I love going to the one in Fairfield – the people who work there are awesome (as they are in every TJ’s I’ve been to), the store is clean, and they recently expanded so the aisles are very wide.  This is super important because every time I go, even though I go on a weekly basis, I feel like a little kid in a candy store.  I’m in awe and need to walk slowly down the aisles to soak in all of the amazing products that they have to offer.

I bought a bunch of new items to cook with and more importantly, new snacks to try.  After a kick ass hot vinyasa yoga class tonight at Fairfield Hot Yoga, I came home, took a long and relaxing shower and treated myself to a scoop of chocolate coconut ice cream. So…. this isn’t truly Paleo because it’s got some weird ingredients (Dextrose monohydrate, guar gum, and carragenan to name a few…) and has sugar, but man, this ice cream was amazing!!!!!  This ice cream is also soy free, dairy free, gluten free, and a vegan product.  I’ve come across many Paleo coconut ice cream recipes out there, but until I get an ice cream maker, this Trader Joe’s treat will give me that quick fix.  This little pint of goodness costs $3.49.

Paleo Pizza

The thing that I love about this diet is cooking with natural substitutes for the dishes that I love…. cauliflower as a substitute for rice, spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta, cauliflower/almond meal/flaxseed meal for pizza crust.  Yep, you heard me correctly — pizza crust!

After an awesome trip to Trader Joe’s, I got all of my ingredients for the pizza crust.  I love being able to pick up everything in one place and for such an affordable price, too.  The 16 oz bag of almond meal is only $3.99 and the 16 oz bag of Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed meal is only $2.69!  I bought so many other goodies that I’m so excited to try… Kale chips, coconut chips, coconut ice cream; will provide an update on all those treats in a future post!








I was very excited to try making Paleo pizza tonight.  It was surprisingly pretty good!  I think I’m going to add cheese next time.  I know Paleo is dairy free, but I have not cut dairy completely out of my diet.  The pizza turned out tasty, but definitely needed some cheese to complete the true pizza experience!

Bjorn didn’t try this because it was “too healthy”.  He opted for the frozen Digiorno’s in the freezer instead.  🙂

Paleo Pizza



  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, steamed, and chopped in a food processor (same as preparing cauliflower rice)
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Toppings of your choice (I added tomato sauce, red bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, and prosciutto)

1.  In a mixing bowl, add chopped up cauliflower, almond meal, flaxseed meal, eggs, baking soda, and seasonings.  Mix well.

2.  Roll the mixture into a ball and press down onto a greased baking sheet.  Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees (F), or until crust turns golden brown.








3.  While the crust is baking, prepare your toppings of choice.  I sliced my veggies and sautéed them with minced garlic in a skillet (I like my veggies cooked well when on pizza).








4.  Once the crust is done, remove from oven, and add your toppings.  Place back into oven and bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, slice, and enjoy!