Another Tribute to Meatless Mondays

Vegetables are amazing.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my meat, but sometimes a vegetarian meal can be so satisfying.  Here’s another tribute to meatless Mondays…

Zucchini Pasta with Tomato Sauce and Mushrooms

Serves 2

  • 2 medium sized zucchini, julienned into “pasta”
  • 6 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 roasted red pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 2 oz. sundried tomatoes
  • 6 oz. marinara sauce (I used Rao’s)
  • 4 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  1. In a large skillet, over medium heat, drizzle olive oil and saute half the garlic and half the onions.  Saute for 3-5 minutes until golden in color.
  2. Add mushrooms.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until cooked through.  Remove garlic, onions, and mushrooms and set aside in a separate bowl.
  3. Using the same skillet, over medium heat, drizzle olive oil and add remaining garlic and onion.  Saute for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Turn to low heat.  Add zucchini pasta and saute for an additional 5 minutes.  Constantly stir the zucchini pasta to ensure it does not stick to the skillet.  Remove from pan and set aside.
  5. With the same skillet, over low heat, add roasted red peppers, sundried tomatoes, basil, and marinara sauce.  Simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  6. To plate, place the zucchini pasta first, then layer with marinara sauce, and top with sauteed mushrooms.

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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.

 

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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.

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

 

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Yam Flour Pasta? Worth a try, I guess!

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.

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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!

Meat Sauce with Veggies

Ingredients

  • 1 lb organic ground beef
  • 1/2 zucchini, sliced
  • 6 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 package of Nooodle pasta (or spaghetti squash)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Directions

  1. Drizzle olive oil in a large skillet over medium to high heat.
  2. Add in onions and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add ground beef and brown for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through.
  4. Toss in the zucchini and mushrooms.  Cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, until veggies are tender.  Season with sea salt and black pepper.
  5. Add tomato sauce.  Turn the heat to low and simmer for a few minutes.
  6. Prepare the Nooodle pasta separetely (follow directions on package).  Once complete, mix in well with the meat sauce and enjoy!

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Zucchini Lasagna… Hold the pasta and hold the cheese!

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!

Zucchini Lasagna

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 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
  • Olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. In a skillet over medium to high heat, drizzle olive oil and saute onions and garlic for a few minutes, until onions become translucent.
  3. Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, or until cooked through.
  4. Add chopped red bell pepper and tomotoes.  Mix well and cook for about 3 minutes.
  5. 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.
  6. In a baking pan, coat the bottom with olive oil.
  7. Scoop the ground beef sauce into the pan and spread to create one layer.
  8. Layer with the sliced zucchini, then add another layer using the sliced mushrooms.
  9. Repeat steps 7 &8 until all ingredients are used up.
  10. 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!