My name for this dish is probably a misnomer. It is not spring, nor is the sauce a traditionally light or cream primavera sauce. Regardless, the focus of this dish is the multitude of textures and flavors that the vegetables provide. Call it whatever you want. I’ll call it delicious.
Sauce: (this sauce is very vegetably! Use less if you don’t like that, or if you have picky eaters)
About half a stalk of celery, diced
4 mushrooms, sliced
About a cup of carrot “chips” (carrots cut to look like coins)
1 small to medium onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
About 1 cup of diced tomatoes (packaged or fresh)
About 2 cups of tomato sauce
4 Tbsp tomato paste
About 1/4 lb ground beef (or other meat of choice)
Seasonings to taste: Italian seasonings, pepper, ground onion, ground garlic, sea salt
Fat of choice (optional depending on fat content of your meat)
If using an additional cooking fat (you have a super lean meat), heat your fat in a large pan or pot. Add prepped vegetables.
Sauté. Add meat. If you were not using an extra cooking fat, cook meat with vegetables all at once.
Season liberally. Add diced tomatoes and proceed to add the tomato sauce and tomato paste.
Mix well and season as you go on.
Allow sauce to simmer while you move on.
2 large zucchini
A julienne peeler
Take your peeler to your zucchini. Very simple. If you don’t have a julienne peeler, just use your vegetable peeler. The noodles will look more like elegant little ribbons than spaghetti.
Optional step: heat up zucchini in pan with a little fat. I prefer my zucchini raw, now. It has a more al dente texture.
Wrap it up:
Pour your simmering sauce over your zucchini noodles!
So, I know it has been a while, and I’m I sorry! I say this all the time when my schedule is hectic, but I’ve been living off of paleo “fast food” the past few weeks–salads and frittatas. If anyone tells you that eating paleo on the go is too hard, they’re neglecting to experiment with these two dishes. They’re versatile (frittata and salad combinations are seriously limitless!), easy to pack, and can be eaten cold.
Anyway, enough with my rant, here’s an Italian casserole, almost a lasagna, for you to try!
1 eggplant, peeled and sliced vertically
1 zucchini, peeled (you can leave the skin on if you want) and sliced vertically
1 bunch of spinach leaves
1 bunch of basil leaves
1 bell pepper, diced
1-2 packages of mushrooms, sliced
Meat sauce (recipe here) (I made mine in the slow cooker in advance)
Extras: olive oil, Italian seasoning, pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Prep your eggplant and zucchini. Dry roast them in the oven for about 5-10 minutes, then flip over. Brush with a little olive oil if you want. Remove from oven when dried out, then set oven to 350 degrees F.
Prep your other veggies.
In a casserole dish, place a layer of meat sauce (I should have used a larger dish!)
Begin to layer your roasted eggplant.
Once your eggplant is layered, add more veggies.
Add a layer of meat sauce.
Add a layer of zucchini.
Then finish it off with another layer of meat sauce.
Place dish in oven for 20-30 minutes to cook vegetables.
The finished product is a little liquidy (and not too pretty), but you can drain that out. There are a lot if big flavors in this yummy dish.
I’ve been soooooo busy with school. This means I’ve been eating a lot of salad, odd assortments of veggies and protein, breakfast for dinner and other really simple meals. Oh! And not posting. You guys don’t need recipes for scrambled eggs, right?
Anywho… For prep, throw a can of coconut milk in the fridge or another place that’s kinda chilly (I won’t judge you) so that your cream can separate from the water. My can’s been in the fridge for like a week in anticipation of this recipe. I have no idea how long it takes for it to separate.
Paleo Chicken Alfredo (the recipe makes enough sauce to cover enough chicken for about 2-3 people)
Chicken breast (I fileted mine into smaller pieces)
Garlic (1-2 cloves, minced)
Mushrooms (I think I used like 10, sliced)
Bell pepper (1/2, julienned)
Carrot (1, julienned)
1 Can of Cold Coconut Milk (just the cream part)
Seasonings to taste: Salt, pepper, onion powder, Italian seasonings, paprika, chile powder
Fat of choice
Heat a little of your fat of choice. Season your chicken breast with salt and pepper on both sides. Sear your chicken on both sides them remove from the pan.
Add a little more fat to your pan (if necessary). Add your mushrooms and garlic and allow to saute. Add bell peppers and carrots and allow to soften. Season with salt and pepper. Add just the coconut cream from you can (drain off the water or reserve for something else). It will be hard, but the heat will melt it. Add more seasonings to taste. Once your sauce is seasoned according to your desire, add your chicken back to it and allow it all to simmer together.
Serve over zucchini pasta or with veggies. I had mine with roasted brussell sprouts.
*Note, the longer you heat the sauce, the more it will reduce.
To call my day lazy would be a misnomer. I woke woke up at 5:30am, caught the 6:50 am train, got to campus, set up for the class I TA for, went through the class, ran errands, made copies, figured out section, then got on the bus to LA Union Station. For whatever reason, it seemed like everyone and their mother was eating pretzels from the pretzel place in Union Station. It was like they were all mocking me. I would have to say that I’ve been really strong and nothing has tempted me, but every now and then the idea of bread, cheese or cheese covered bread almost makes me cheat. So while everyone was tempting me with their pretzels and cheese dipping sauce, I find solace in hoping that maybe, just maybe, I was making them feel guilty about their choices as I indulged in my crisp salad with leftover rotisserie chicken and homemade vinaigrette.
Once I got home, I argued with myself for about an hour about going to Crossfit. I haven’t been since Monday since my schedule doesn’t allow me to make it on Tuesday, and I will have to start going to the 6am class on Wednesday (I apologize to Ivan and Mando in advance). The wod seemed really hard and relaxing sounded so much better. Regardless, I got ready and made it to the 5:30pm class. So glad I ended up making it. I got through the workout and felt so much better after I did it.
Once I got home, it was time for my next challenge. Dinner. What to make? What to make?
This is a super quick and easy dish for those days when you’re feeling lazy. It’s delicious and versatile. Enjoy.
Zucchini Pasta (mine made 2-4 servings)
2 large zucchinis
Tiny bit of your cooking fat of choice
This couldn’t be any simpler. All you do is wash your zucchini and cut the weird little ends off. Then, using your Titan Peeler or other julienne peeler (what?? you don’t have one yet??!!), just work at making your zucchini look like beautiful ribbons of linguine. Salt the zucchini and pat with a paper towel to get off as much of the excess moisture as you can.
Just before serving, heat a wok or skillet with a little fat. Toss in the zucchini, just until it’s warm, then remove from the heat (so it doesn’t overcook and get soggy). If you just heat the zucchini to get it a little warm, it will have a nice little bite, almost reminiscent of al dente pasta. Almost. Toss with your sauce just before serving.
A jar of your favorite paleo marinara sauce (I used White Linen Collection Gourmet Pasta Sauce by Victoria’s All Natural Marinara Sauce. If my memory serves me well, it’s available at Costco. The ingredients: tomatoes, olive oil, onions, basil, garlic, sea salt and spices). If you don’t have a sauce you like, just refer back to my eggplant recipe for my sauce.
Seasonings to taste: Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, salt, pepper
Tomato sauce and/or tomato paste to adjust the consistency (optional)
My mother never served anything out of a can or jar without doing something to it. I believe I’ve inherited that tradition. Saute your mushrooms with some seasonings. Once they’ve sweated a bit, add your jar of marinara sauce and the other ingredients if you choose. Let this simmer in the background until your zucchini is done. Then, just toss with your zucchini and this dish is done!
If you’re serving this on the side of some protein, I would leave meat out of the sauce. If this dish is your main dish, add some meat to your sauce to make it a little heartier. I served this with an herb-crusted pan seared chicken.
This is very simple, and is often a recipe I fall back on. For variations, just change the sauce. Tired of marinara? Try a coconut milk “alfredo” sauce (I can post that recipe another day).
So for the weekend–I foresee less chicken recipes (you guys are probably sick of them… but they’re soooo easy, so expect many Monday-Friday), and an experimental and hopefully delicious recipe for your slow-cooker.