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!
No pasta on the Paleo diet so I’ve had to find substitutes. I’ve cooked with spaghetti squash which is pretty good. I want to make zucchini spaghetti next, but I have to purchase one of these first! A few months ago, I came across this deal on Groupon for a product called Nooodle. It’s a pasta made out of yam flour – gluten free, soy free, guilt free! Thought I’d give it a try.
It’s an interesting consistency… Kind of chewy, kind of soft, kind of strange at first, but you get used to it. 🙂 For comparison purposes, I’d say it’s pretty close to a rice vermicelli (like the noodles they use in the Vietnamese dish, Pho). I’ve made this in a few different ways – chicken “nooodle” soup and in a meat sauce. I think I’m going to try some sort of stir fry next!
I bought a 16 oz pack of frozen grass fed 85/15 Angus ground beef from Trader Joe’s last week ($5.99/lb). I was kind of hesitant about getting frozen beef, but the price was great and it sounded good, so I thought I’d give it a try. Since I’m pretty sure we’re going to lose power tonight (and for the next few days, thanks to Hurricane Sandy), I decided to whip up dinner with ingredients that I already had in the fridge/freezer.
I’ve never made a traditional lasagna before, but I love eating it. I’m a huge fan of any layering technique. It’s awesome because you get a taste of everything in one bite (see picture below!). Tonight’s dinner was a zucchini lasagna dish. Lots of layering of the ground beef sauce, slices of zucchini, slices of baby bella mushrooms – and hold the cheese!
1 lb of grass fed ground beef
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
8 oz tomato sauce
Sea salt and black pepper
A few pinches of dried oregano, basil, parsley (optional)
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
In a skillet over medium to high heat, drizzle olive oil and saute onions and garlic for a few minutes, until onions become translucent.
Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, or until cooked through.
Add chopped red bell pepper and tomotoes. Mix well and cook for about 3 minutes.
Pour tomato sauce into the skillet and add a pinch of sea salt, black pepper, and dried herbs. Stir for an additional 3 minutes. Set ground beef sauce aside.
In a baking pan, coat the bottom with olive oil.
Scoop the ground beef sauce into the pan and spread to create one layer.
Layer with the sliced zucchini, then add another layer using the sliced mushrooms.
Repeat steps 7 &8 until all ingredients are used up.
Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 25 minutes.
As you can see from the pics, it’s pretty messy when serving because it doesn’t have any cheese to hold it together. Doesn’t really matter; it’s all going to the same place anyway, right? Get in my belly!