It’s Monday. We should all be out of our food coma’s by now and back in our routine’s. It’s never fun coming back from a 3 or 4-day weekend, but before we know it Christmas will be here and we’ll have more time off. In the meantime, we definitely have a solid 2-3 weeks of eating well and exercising that we can get in. I believe in balance. I worked out every day last week (even on Thanksgiving) so I could enjoy both of my Turkey Day meals I went to. And I even lost weight! (I’m not questioning the Thanksgiving gods on that one). Either way, no matter how your turkey day went, every day is a new day to start over!
I’m back on the healthy eating route after a fun weekend away, and last night I set out to try another spiralized recipe – Healthy Zucchini Noodle Carbonara from the Inspiralized food blog. At this point I’m fairly certain that I’m going to like most zucchini noodle recipes, and this one was no exception.
This particular recipe had me at the picture of the egg on top. Runny yolks are soooo yummy on foods, and eggs are such a great source of protein!
This recipe also called for cubed pancetta, however when I did my grocery shopping for the week, last night, my local grocery store I frequent only had pancetta slices, so I had to cut up the pancetta. For the record, Target carries cubed pancetta. I saw it last week and thought to myself that I should buy it for this particular recipe, and am kicking myself that I didn’t. But none-the-less, it was still delicious!
Light, but filling on flavor, I was very impressed with this dish. The pancetta, onion and garlic gave it a great, light flavor, which was perfect for me after a weekend of eating unhealthy and filling food.
Also, a big timesaver that I’ve got a lot better at is going through the ingredients and getting everything out, and everything prepped that I can (i.e. dicing the onions, spiralizing the vegetable, etc.). It makes cooking go so fast and easy, instead of running around the kitchen trying to get things out and ready in the middle of cooking.
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/4 c. diced red onion
- 1/2 c. cubed pancetta
- 2 large eggs
- 2 zucchini’s, Blade C
- 1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
I swear that with each new spiralizing recipe I try, I fall more in love with spiralizing. I feel like a broken record – constantly proclaiming that I’ve ‘found the best recipe yet!’ as we’re eating dinner. Things get even more interesting on the evenings that I spiralize a new vegetable for the first time, and it’s successful. Last night was no exception!
I have many recipes on deck to try from my main go-to food blog, Inspiralized, but I pulled this one to the front of the mix when a girlfriend of mine cooked it and couldn’t stop singing it’s praises – Chicken and Chickpea Broccoli Salad. I have been having a chickpea craving, so this was a perfect light dish to make before I head out of town for the weekend, where I will inevitably eat and drink way too much.
I had never spiralized broccoli before so I made sure to read through not only the recipe, but the section of the Inspiralized blog that talks about how-to spiralize broccoli. It seemed pretty common sense since I’ve been spiralizing for a few months now, but why wouldn’t I read what the expert has to say, and make sure that I’m doing it right?
Side note: I am a BIG fan of creating your own recipes, or variations of your favorites, however I consider myself wise enough to know it’s important to make sure you know what you’re doing first, then have fun!
I listed the recipe below and linked to the original, as I usually do, but wanted to note a few differences from my experience:
– I grilled the chicken for this recipe since the weather was still so nice out, but however you prefer to cook your chicken is fine.
– I had two big broccoli stems and didn’t feel it gave me quite enough noodles for two people, so I spiralized a small zucchini I had and tossed it in with the broccoli and peas to cook for 2-3 minutes (See step 2 below). It worked great, gave me a little more ‘noodles’, and is great filler if you don’t think you have quite enough broccoli.
– The original recipe called for shallots, which I did not have, so I used 1/2 cup of green onion instead. The dressing was AMAZING!
– I cooked all of these things simultaneously so that the meal was warm. I have this thing that a cold pasta salad = side dish, and can’t quite wrap head around it being the whole meal.
Chicken & Chickpea Broccoli Noodles with Feta & Lemon Dressing (Recipe adapted from Inspiralized)
- 1 boneless chicken breast (approximately 1 lb)
- 3-4 big broccoli stems, spiralized using Blade C
- 3/4 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3/4 cup cooked green peas
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the dressing…
- 2 tbsp basil, chopped
- 1/3 cup feta cheese
- 1/2 shallot or 1/2 c green onions
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
In my quest to meal plan and eat healthy I am constantly combing through numerous food blogs, and last week I was on a salmon kick. I think I ended up with around 12-15 salmon recipes to try, and last night we tried the first one – Baked Lemon Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce. I had most of the ingredients at home, and with us traveling this weekend I was eager to use up what I already had at home.
- 4, 6 oz salmon fillets
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
Creamy Dill Sauce
- 1/3 c fat free plain Greek yogurt
- 3 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 2-3 tsp milk
- 1/2 tsp honey
- Green beans, trimmed
- Garlic salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Parmesan cheese, grated
I know what you’re thinking – cauliflower as mashed potatoes – gross! Well, do yourself a favor and hold that thought, and have an open mind, because it’s actually quite delicious!
Now I’m not going to lie to you and say that it tastes the exact same, because of course it doesn’t. But with the right amount of seasoning you can come damn close!
The base recipe I use is from the food blog Eat Yourself Skinny. Her recipe is Rosemary & Garlic Cauliflower Mash, but you can make this recipe anything you want! Consider it your template. I typically use a mix of cheeses – blue cheese and the garlic and herb cheese that she recommends, as well as WAY more garlic than recommended.
I also started my own garden this last spring and I grew chives, so I was always using freshly chopped chives, but you can use whatever you favorite is – rosemary, chive, green onions, bacon – anything!
Go ahead and give it a try – you might be surprised, and your waistline will thank you!
Cheese & Garlic Cauliflower Mash ( Recipe adapted from Eat Yourself Skinny)
Serving: 4 Servings
- 1 head of cauliflower, chopped
- 1/4 c. chicken stock
- 1 tbsp. plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 tbsp. blue cheese
- 1 wedge Laughing Cow cheese (Garlic & Herb)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Chopped chives
1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add your chopped cauliflower. Boil for about 10 minutes, until cauliflower is soft. Drain and pat dry with a towel.
2. Add cauliflower to your food processor and add chicken stock, Greek yogurt, olive oil, garlic and cheese; process until completely smooth. NOTE: Feel free to add more Greek yogurt as needed for creaminess.
3. Stir in salt, pepper and chives to taste. Enjoy!
Serving Size: 1/2 cup