Zucchini Noodle Carbonara with Pancetta & Egg

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.

 

 

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Zucchini Noodle Carbonara with Crispy Pancetta & Egg (Recipe adapted from Inspiralized)
INGREDIENTS:
  • 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

 

DIRECTIONS:
1. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Once the oil heats, add in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook the garlic for 30 seconds, add in the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion softens.
2. Add in the pancetta, stirring often, until cooking through – about 5 minutes.
3. Once the pancetta is done cooking, add a medium skillet over heat and crack two eggs. Let them cook until the egg whites set.
4. While your eggs are cooking, add the zucchini noodles to the pancetta, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
5. Stirring frequently, let cook for 2-3 minutes and then add in the Parmesan cheese. Toss the noodles with the cheese and then plate into bowls. Top each bowl with one of the eggs.
Cheers!
Heather
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Chicken & Chickpea Broccoli Noodle Salad with Feta & Lemon Dressing

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.

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Chicken & Chickpea Broccoli Noodles with Feta & Lemon Dressing (Recipe adapted from Inspiralized)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 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
DIRECTIONS:
1. Season chicken with salt and pepper and grill until chicken is cooked through, dice, and set aside.
2. Place a medium pot filled halfway with water over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in the broccoli noodles, peas, and chickpeas and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the broccoli noodles are softened and cooked al dente. Drain and set aside.
3. Place all of the ingredients for the feta dressing into a food processor and pulse until creamy.
4. Place the noodles, peas and chicken in a big bowl, then add in the dressing. Toss to combine and enjoy!

Cheers!
Heather

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Baked Lemon Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce & Roasted Parmesan Green Beans

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.

I stopped by the grocery store and picked up two ‘fresh’ salmon fillets (as fresh as you can get in Iowa, that is), and home I went to make dinner.
This recipe was incredible, and SO EASY! It definitely is now a staple in my house, along with the Parmesan green beans. I probably made too much of the creamy dill sauce; I’m a bit obsessed with condiments, but any leftover sauce can easily be used on most other meats.
I found the recipe on the food blog ‘Cooking Classy‘ – a blog I have not got to fully explore, but am looking forward to delving in to!
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Baked Lemon Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce (Recipe from ‘Cooking Classy‘)
INGREDIENTS:
  • 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
DIRECTIONS: 
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
3. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish and place salmon fillets in the dish. Season the top of salmon with salt and pepper, then rotate to opposite side. Drizzle the top of salmon with the oil and lemon mixture, then season the top with salt and pepper.
4. Let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes, then bake for 15 minutes, or until salmon has cooked through.
5. Serve warm topped with Creamy Dill Sauce.
For the sauce…
1. In a bowl mix together Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, garlic, dill, and honey. Add just enough milk to reach your desired consistency.
2. Taste test! If needed, add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Allow to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.
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Roasted Parmesan Green Beans
INGREDIENTS:
  • Green beans, trimmed
  • Garlic salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. For easy cleanup, place aluminum foil on a baking sheet, and place green beans on sheet.
3. Drizzle with olive oil, and then season with garlic salt and pepper, shaking the pan to keep coating all sides of the green beans.
4. Cook for 10 minutes, then shake the pan around to rotate the beans.
5. Cook for 5 more minutes, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve!
Cheers!
Heather
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Easy Provencal Lamb

 

I LOVE the Barefoot Contessa – Ina Garten. Her meals are elegant, yet simple and attainable to any home cook, and that was exactly the way I felt when I decided that I wanted to take the step from someone who loves to eat lamb, to someone that wants to cook lamb.

I first saw the recipe for Easy Provencal Lamb on Chrissy Teigan’s blog So Delushious, and within a week I had contacted a local meat guy from our year around Farmers Market and ordered my leg of lamb.
I had most of the ingredients already stocked in my house, so I knew this was going to be even easier than I had originally thought. The hardest part of this recipe was simply just dicing the tomatoes and onions – and let’s be honest, that’s not difficult at all. Once the fruit and vegetables were diced, it was as simple as preparing the dish for the oven!

A couple hours in the oven, and wha-la! Lamb perfection!

Once done, I sliced up the medium rare juiciness, topped it with the tomatoes and onions, and served to a very eager audience!
I will say that having never made lamb, I followed Ina’s recipe to a tee just to make sure that I did it correctly. Lamb is not an inexpensive meat, so it was important to me, to get it right.  You can link to the recipe here, or print the below page!
Cheers!
Heather
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Easy Provencal Lamb (Recipe from Ina Garten)
Servings: 8
INGREDIENTS: 
 
  • 1 (6-7 pound) bone-in leg of lamb, trimmed and tied
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp chopped garlic (9 cloves, divided)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 pounds ripe red tomatoes, 1-inch diced
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 1/2 c honey, divided
  • 1 large Spanish onion, sliced
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. Place the leg of lamb in a large roasting pan, fat side up and pat it dry with paper towels.
3. Combine the mustard, 1 tablespoon of garlic, the rosemary, balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper in a mini food processor and pulse until the garlic and rosemary are minced. Spread the mixture on the lamb.
4. Place the tomatoes, olive 1/4 cup of the honey, the onion, the remaining 1 tablespoons garlic, 2 tablespoons salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper in a bowl and toss well. Pour the tomato mixture around the lamb and tuck in the thyme and rosemary sprigs. Drizzle the lamb with the remaining 1/4 cup of honey.
4. Roast for 20 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees and roast for another 1 – 1 1/4 hours, until a meat thermometer registers 130-135 for medium-rare. Place the leg of lamb on a cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
5. Discard the herb stems and return the tomatoes to the oven to keep warm. Slice the lamb, arrange on a platter, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve with the tomatoes and pan juices spooned on top.
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Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

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!

Cheers!
Heather

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Cheese & Garlic Cauliflower Mash ( Recipe adapted from Eat Yourself  Skinny

Serving: 4 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 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

DIRECTIONS:

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!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Calories: 106
Fat: 4.2g
Carbs: 11.4g
Fiber: 4.3g
Protein: 6.2g

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