Zucchini Carbonara

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You know how sometimes you get these food cravings, that just won’t go away until you can fulfill it. Mine is usually Chinese… from a buffet… Hey, everything in moderation, right?? :)

Well, I don’t know what brought it on, but I have been thinking about spaghetti carbonara for months. I knew that I wasn’t gonna cook a big pot of pasta just for me to have a bite of it, although I bet the guys would like it because, Bacon… and Cheese. I mean, come on!

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Growing up, my Mom used to make it with pasta, but since that whole spiralizer and zucchini nonsense I was talking about last week, I just had to give this a try!

If you don’t know about, or have never had spaghetti carbonara, it’s SO SIMPLE and Delicious! Just a few ingredients, that you probably have in your kitchen already.

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Since I still don’t have a “noodle maker”,  for the zucchini “noodles” I used my vegetable peeler and it worked great. A little tricky at the end, but I made due. Started on one side and went all around, peeling it down until I got to the seeds. Sorry I didn’t get pictures of that part.

This whole dish came together in about 10 minutes, and it was SO GOOD! All the flavor, and none of the guilt! :)

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ZUCCHINI CARBONARA

Serves 2

1 Large Zucchini (shaved, noodled, spiraled, chopped, sliced, diced – Any way you want it)

2 slices Bacon (cut in bite size pieces)

1/4 onion (sliced)

1 egg

1 Tbsp Parsley

1/8 cup Parmesan Cheese

Cajun Seasoning or Salt and Pepper

 

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Start by sauteing bacon and onion in a touch of olive oil over medium heat. Cut zucchini while that’s working.

When your bacon is cooked and your onions are softened, add the zucchini to the pan, tossing to combine, turn down the heat to low and cook for just a couple of minutes to heat the zucchini through.

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Next add cajun seasoning (or just salt and pepper) parsley, egg, and parmesan.. stirring between each addition. Turn off the heat when all of that is combined, so you don’t make scrambled eggs.

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As the egg starts to cook and the cheese starts to melt into the warm “noodles”, it creates a thick and silky sauce.

Let it sit for a few seconds, then it’s ready to serve. The zucchini still had a nice bite to them and my craving was totally satisfied.

I hope you try this and enjoy it as much as I did :)

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Skillet Zucchini Lasagna…ish

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These days, how many things start with “So I saw this thing on Pinterest…” A LOT!

That being said, I saw this thing on Pinterest, HA!

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But first….

Zucchini is so plentiful in the summertime, and there are SO many ways to cook it deliciously and healthy. Baked, broiled, sauteed or grilled by itself… Mixed into a stir fry.. or replacing pasta as noodles, AKA zoodles~ .. (Note to Self: Get a spiralizer thingamajig)

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OODLES AND OODLES OF ZOODLES!!! Too far? My bad ;)  But think about it, the possibilities are endless. Zucchini, Yellow squash, cucumbers, carrots, beets… Give me all the veggies!! It would probably be a great way for kids to try new things as well! Fun shapes are always, well, FUN!

Has anybody tried a spiralizer? Brand/Type?

I’ve seen these nifty little things, but I’m quite skeptical as to if they work well. Or well enough to spend money on and not shred my fingers instead.

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Mooooving on…. :)

I initially saw this recipe as a layered lasagna, but I have to play with my food while it’s cooking… Slice and dice, chop and stir… I sometimes think that chopping vegetables is one of my favorite aspects of cooking. We all know how much I love my knives!

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I mean, come on… how beautiful is THAT!

I say a sharp knife and good mise en place is a cooks best friend :)

 

On to the recipe? Sure, why not :)

So, The Hubs has been working nights for a while, so during the week, I can make up any delicious concoction my little heart desires.

ingredients

Simple ingredients that I already had in my fridge and pantry, that I just threw together and VOILA!

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All in one pot, and done in about 20 minutes.

SKILLET ZUCCHINI LASAGNA

1 lb Ground Turkey (feel free to use beef or even chicken if you like) – I seasoned mine with a bit of Tony Chachere’s and Italian herb seasoning

2 Large Zucchini – sliced into rounds

1 Onion – diced

1 Green Bell Pepper – diced

1 Stalk Celery – diced

3-4 Mushrooms (any kind you prefer – I had theses baby portabellas leftover from stroganoff a few nights before) – sliced

1 Can Diced Tomatoes

Salt/Pepper/Italian Seasoning/Parsley/Parmesan Cheese

 

First, season ground meat and allow to brown over med-high heat, while chopping up your vegetables

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Once meat is cooked through, remove from pan and set aside while you saute your veg in a touch of olive oil over medium heat. I like to start with the trinity (onion, bell pepper and celery, first, since they take a little longer to soften) then add the zucchini and mushrooms, then tomatoes (seasoning to taste as you go…. ALWAYS season every “layer”)

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Stir it all up and add your meat back to the pan to incorporate it all together.

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Here’s where you can add any seasonings, herbs, cheese.. whatever floats your boat. That’s what makes cooking fun, making things your own :)

Cover the pan and let simmer for about 15 minutes, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until your zucchini is softened to your liking.

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I topped mine with a bit of parmesan cheese and parsley. This was amazing, and great as leftovers for lunch the next day!

For all you carb lovers out there, I’m sure this would be fabulous and a crowd pleaser if you mixed in you favorite pasta and served with a crusty piece of garlic bread!

Enjoy, my friends :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

W.I.B.E.L. (What I’ve Been Eating Lately) / Paleo 30 day challenge

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So, as much as I would love to have a recipe everyday to share with all of you beautiful people, it’s been a lot of eating like a carnivorous rabbit for the last couple of weeks….

Allow me to explain. On July 1st, I started the Paleo 30 day challenge. While normally a healthy eater, I thought it might be fun (or torture) to push myself a little further. While I’m not a sweets kind of girl (I don’t even remember the last time I ate cookies or cake) I had felt like I may have been slacking off a bit and was starting to feel a little… full?? So I figured.. what’s 30 days out of my life? Give my body a bit of a reset and see how far I can go.

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The only real guidelines I set for myself was that I would eat mostly veggies, with lean protein and minimal fruits thrown in here and there. No carbs no dairy (p.s. I LOVE CHEESE!!) and no sugar. I’m halfway in, and I have to say, It has been surprisingly easy (ish).  I had about an ounce of cheese last weekend, but I’ve stuck to it like glue otherwise.

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Curried Cauliflower with shrimp saute’ and cucumbers ……… Filet Mignon with roasted Asparagus

When I have dinner with this much flavor and deliciouness, I don’t miss anything.

Here’s a few other plates from the last couple of weeks. Remember.. Healthy doesn’t have to be boring :)

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Turkey and Zuchinni Burgers… Blackened Salmon… Grilled Pork Chops…. Ain’t nothin wrong with that!

And apparently I’m a fan of fanning my cucumbers and tomatoes, HA! Presentation is key, my friends ;)

The only real condiment that I’ve allowed myself to have is creole mustard. No salad dressings, BBQ sauces or anything with too much sugar.

And to prove that you can still eat out while watching what you eat….  The Hubster and I went to I <3 Sushi for lunch last week.

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If you look at the menu before hand and see that there are a couple of things that you can have, you can go in knowing that and not be tempted to stray from your plan.

I settled on the Sumomono Salad (Cucumbers and seaweed lightly dressed in  rice wine/mirin) and Chicken Yakitori, dressing on the side. Hubster had a couple of sushi rolls that he said were delish!

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This was our first time trying the restaurant out and we will definitely be back!

 

What have you been eating lately??

 

 

Not potato “potato” salad and other ramblings

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Well, hello again world! I’ve been on a little hiatus from blogging. No reason in particular, just running through the motions of life, and then whaddaya know, a year has already passed by.

Just a quick little catch up on what’s going on around these parts… I recently started a new job at my old job, ha. I’m at a place that I used to work a year or so ago, but know I’m the head honcho. Running the building and keeping everybody happy… I hope ;)   Married life is FABULOUS! AND, I’ll have a 2nd grader in just over a month! I can’t believe it y’all. He’s becoming such the little gentleman!

 

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Aaaaanyway… who wants to talk about food??!!

This recipe is perfect for this time of year, especially with the 4th of July just around the corner.

Potato salad is a BBQ staple, but who really wants all those carbs anyway? Cauliflower is all over the place these days, taking the place of rice, or in mashed form, roasted and here as a guilt free potato substitute!  Here’s a fantastic way to have your “potato” salad and eat it too :)

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INGREDIENTS:

1 head of cauliflower – cut into florets and steamed

2 boiled eggs – cut into small pieces

1-2 stalks of celery – diced

about a heaping TBSP of light mayo and a tsp of yellow mustard (add more or less according to your taste)

salt and pepper to season.

 

 

THAT’S IT!

 

 

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Combine everything in a bowl, stir it up and voila!!

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Everything you love about potato salad, without any of the guilt.

Great with any BBQ’d meat

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and especially wonderful with a good bowl of gumbo ;)  (If you don’t know about potato salad and gumbo, you have GOT to try it out!)

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Hope to see you again real soon :)

New Orleans “BBQ” Shrimp

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There’s nothing really BBQ about this. No sauce, no grill, don’t really know why it’s called that, just is ;) I kind of made up this version, based on a bunch of different recipes that I saw.

BBQ SHRIMP

2 lbs fresh shrimp (head off/tail on)
1/2 c melted butter
1/2 c Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Hot Sauce
2 Bay Leaves
Cajun Seasoning (Tony Cachere’s)
1 lemon, sliced

Place cleaned shrimp in oven safe casserole or pyrex dish and season with Tony’s. Mix together next 5 ingredients and pour over shrimp. Put sliced lemon in dish and mix all together.
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Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, stirring a few times, until all shrimp are pink and cooked through.
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Now it’s time do get down and dirty. Make sure you have a roll of paper towels handy and a loaf of french bread to sop up all that glorious juice.

Thai Inspired Pork and Peppers

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As we all know, I’m always looking for a new sauce, marinade, condiment or flavor to add to my culinary repertoire. I think that the condiment aisle is my favorite in any store. Seriously, I could get lost there. There’s just so many different possibilities to ponder.

As I was perusing said favorite aisle at Target, recently, I came across a Thai Inspired grilling sauce.

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The first dinner date that the Hubs and I went on, was to a Thai restaurant. His favorite dish there is called “Pad Prik Pork”. It’s pork and peppers simmered in a red curry sauce. So I knew that when I saw this bottle, I could make something scrumptious that he would love.

Turns out, he fancies this recipe over my red coconut curry, so I’d call it a winner!

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I started off with lean, boneless pork chops… green and yellow bell peppers… onion.. and celery (all cut into bite sized pieces).

Cut the pork into small strips and Marinate with grilling sauce.

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Cook the pork in large skillet, then add all veggies once pork is no longer pink.

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Stir it all up, cover, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, until the veggies are tender.

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Serve over rice, if you like… and top with Sriracha for a spicy kick of goodness!

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If you haven’t tried Sriracha before.. For the love of all things spicy, Just Do It! It’s good on just about anything and everything :)

How do you eat enough, when you’re never hungry??

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So I have this dilemma… I know that I need to eat, but 20 hours out of the day, I’m not hungry. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have the occasional hunger pains, but usually by the time I’m done fixing my meal, they have passed. I think the meals I DO eat are Le-Git, but am I getting enough??

I’m SO not a breakfast eater! Never have been, probably never will be.

I Like lunch, it’s my big meal of the day, even though it’s usually around 2 or 3 o’clock, at the earliest, but better late than never, right? It’s the time that I get to be the most creative with what goes in my bowl or on my plate.

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So if a huge salad is consumed at 3……… or 4.. are you still hungry for dinner at 7 or 8:00??? Cause I’m not.

But since I’m a vampire, and can’t fall asleep before 2am… There I go into the kitchen around midnight wanting a wee snack.

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I’ve heard that you are supposed to eat at least 1200 and up to 2000 calories a day…. Confession, I can’t do that! If all I eat is vegetables and lean protein, there is NO Way, that I can hit that number, unless I stuff my ever.loving face with food.

So I ask myself…

Is it hurting my weight loss goal because I don’t eat ENOUGH?? It seems so contradictory to me!