Zucchini Pasta with Sundried Tomato & Mushroom Cream Sauce

I am obesessed with my new spiralizer. photo 5OBSESSED.  The combo of TJ’s organic zucchini at a great price, my general love of sauces, and my fancy new sub-twenty-dollars gadget is just too good to be true. One of my favorite people came over to cook dinner with me the other night and I was craving sundried tomatoes (weird, I know) so we threw a bunch of yummy things in a skillet and ended up with a recipe that is going to be a staple in my kitchen.

BONUS: This dish comes three ways! What?! I’m out of control.

  1. MEATLY: The first time around I roasted a chicken, carved it (ok, Sam carved it cause it still freaks me out), and added the chopped meat to the sauce. We also used chicken broth from the roast.
  2. VEGGIE: The second time I used veggie broth and no meat. It was still incredibly savory, and Sam actually preferred it this way. Or maybe he just wanted to eat the chicken on its own 🙂
  3. VEGAN: I haven’t vetted this version yet, but when I do I’ll update. In general I’ve had amazing success with cashew cream in lieu of heavy cream, and I think this would be another great recipe to use it. I’d substitute nutritional yeast for the parm, but would probably just sprinkle some over the top of each serving for that extra flavor in lieu of mixing it in to the sauce. The parm isn’t necessary for thickening – the tapioca flour is pretty effective in that department!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. butter or olive oil, divided
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 c. sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 c. chicken or veggie broth
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 2 Tsbp. fresh chopped basil
  • 1/2 c. fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp. tapicoa flour
  • fresh ground salt & pepper
  • 3 to 4 organic zucchini, spiralized

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Directions

  1. Spiralize your zucchini! So fun!!
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add and heat 1 Tbsp. oil/butter.
  3. Sauté shallots until soft, then add garlic and mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms begin to release their juices.
  4. Stir in the sundried tomatoes, cook for 1 min.
  5. Add the broth and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
  6. Whisk in the cream, basil, salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer.
  7. Whisk in the grated parmesan. Keep whisking until it is completely melted into the sauce.
  8. Don’t toss that whisk in the sink yet! Add 1 tsp. of the tapioca flour and whisk until it is mixed in so that it doesn’t clump. If you’d like the sauce to be thicker, add more. Two teaspoons was perfect for me. If you find that you are an overzealous thickener-er, stir in some milk or water 🙂 This may or may not have happened the first time.
  9. Heat another large skillet or pot, add and heat 1 Tbsp. oil, and throw in the zucchini pasta. I cooked it until it was just warmed through so it had an al dente quality – didn’t want it to get too mushy!
  10. Plate a serving of noodles and smother with creamy, savory perfection. Grate a little fresh parm over the top if you’re feeling fancy. Serves 4!

Additional Spiralizer Hints

  • After spiralizing zucchini, put it in a colander and sprinkle with a generous amount of salt. This will sweat the zucchini, pulling out a lot of the juice so the final “pasta” isn’t as watery. Let it sit and drain for about 30 minutes, then pat dry between clean kitchen towels.photo 1
  • Don’t cook the zucchini and the sauce together – the zucchini releases a lot of water and your perfectly thickened sauce is all of a sudden a sad watery puddle 😦
  • Here’s a link to the spiralizer I bought off of Amazon. A lot of the negative reviews for various models were from customers who attempted to spiralize really hard foods like carrots. Sounds like it is safest to stick with the softer stuff like zucchini and summer squash as the blades are not super heavy duty.
  • Use a mix of zucchini pasta with spaghetti squash or summer squash for some variety in texture and “noodle” size.
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Asian Peanut Dressing

My homemade version of peanut dressing! It is free of corn starch, corn syrup, and refined oils. Delicious on Lolo’s Kale Salad or other salads and a great apple or carrot dip. This would be really good with a cabbage & apple slaw – on my short list of recipes to try!

Ingredients

  • 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 5 Tbsp natural peanut butter (I strongly recommend Krema or fresh ground PB!)
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce <– spelled correctly on the first try, YEAH! (Disclaimer: Worcestershire is NOT vegetarian as it does have anchovies in it. I don’t know that there is a great alternative since it is pretty complex, so maybe just omit it if you don’t eat fish.)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar (or 1 1/2 Tbsp agave nectar)
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender or into an immersion blender-safe container.
  2. Blend until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Chill in refrigerator in an airtight container.

Sriracha Goat Cheese Frittata

One of those magical winning combinations that emerges on “clean out the fridge” day. I love making frittatas – they are basically omelettes for dummies. Seriously, you can’t mess this up. Just saute some veggies, any veggies, pour the eggs over, and smother with cheese. This recipe gets a bit more specific than that, but experimenting is encouraged!

Ingredients

  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped01ba49e4443dc9b3a7e45e2c8bd56aaf758eecbfee
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, diced
  • Goat cheese
  • 6 eggs (I used an 10-inch pan. Scale egg amount up or down based on pan size!)
  • Splash of milk (or water)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Onion powder to taste (about 1/4 tsp)
  • Sprinkle of smoked paprika
  • Sliced avocado
  • Sriracha (we tested Franks and Cholula too, but Sriracha came out the winner, hands down!)
  • 1 Tbsp butter


Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 375° and preheat an oven-safe pan over med-low heat. Stainless steel and cast iron are great!
  2. Melt butter in pan, then sauté onion and jalapeño for about five minutes or until onion is semi-translucent.
  3. While veggies are cooking, whisk up eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and onion powder in a bowl.
  4. Shake the pan a bit to make sure onion and jalapeño cover the bottom of the pan evenly, then slowly pourFrittata the egg mixture over the veggies. Cover the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes.
  5. When the frittata has solid cooked edges and is still runny on the top, add your diced tomatoes and crumbled goat cheese. Grind a little more fresh pepper over the top and sprinkle on some smoked paprika.
  6. Cover with an oven-safe lid (I have to switch to aluminum foil at this point since my pan lids are only rated to 350°) and bake for 5-10 minutes, until you can shake the pan and not see any runny egg jigglin’ on the top.
  7. Remove from oven. Slice in wedges and serve with fresh avocado slices and a generous drizzle of sriracha!

Banana Pancakes

This recipe is the result of a couple years of tweaking. I didn’t like how almond meal pancakes always turned out so dense and I wanted these to be as “normal” as possible. I’ve finally reached a consistent result that I’m really happy with! The batter consistency is exactly what I’m used to in homemade wheat pancakes and they cook up beautifully on a griddle. Of course the main draw is that you get a delicious pancake breakfast that is full of healthy protein-y goodness! They’ll never be as fluffy as buttermilk pancakes, but apples and oranges, right? Or apples and bananas, I suppose 🙂

Ingredients Banana Pancakes

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Mash bananas in a mixing bowl. If you are using frozen ripe bananas, thaw completely and mash.
  2. Mix in the eggs, vanilla, and almond butter.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients: almond meal, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder, and salt. Sometimes I use a sifter for the spices and baking powder to make sure there are no clumps.
  4. Mix dry ingredients in to the wet ingredients.
  5. Heat a pan over medium heat, or heat a griddle to 325°. You want to be able to cook the pancakes for a few minutes on both sides so they get done all the way through. The natural sugars in banana cause these pancakes to get darker than usual, and they can burn easily if the heat is too high.
  6. Grease pan with a little butter, olive oil, or coconut oil, and pancake away!
  7. Serve hot. I highly recommend a little grass-fed butter, some Grade B maple syrup, and a sprinkle of sea salt over the top.

Sweet Potato Jalapeño Biscuits & Coconut Sausage Gravy

Our half-of-a-pig delivery came with some delicious breakfast sausage and Sam found a recipe for biscuits and gravy immediately. He has made this a couple times now and it is our new go-to breakfast recipe for when we have guests. Rave reviews so far! The combination is just decadent, it is hard to believe that it is so healthy. The kick of the fresh jalapeño is the perfect compliment to the sweet biscuits and gravy.

This was another amazing find from PaleOMG.com. Now that we are eating pork and beef, our Google searches always include the keywords “paleo” or “paleomg.” We have yet to not absolutely love one of her recipes.

Biscuit Ingredients

  • 1-2 sweet potatoes (about 2 cups mashed)01c8b0d378e2c72d7fce376d3f4f053763026b9472
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 3 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 4-5 shrimp, cooked, diced small (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp bacon fat or butter, melted
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly diced
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste

Biscuit Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Pork holes in your sweet potato with a fork and wrap in a damp paper towl. Microwave for 8 minutes, turn over, and microwave for 4 minutes or until completely cooked.
  3. Peel sweet potato, place in a bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher.
  4. Add the eggs and mix well with the mashed sweet potato. Then add in the bacon fat or butter and mix well.
  5. Add your dry ingredients: coconut flour, baking powder, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. I sift in the coconut flour as it tends to clump. Mix well.
  6. Finally add your diced cooked shrimp (optional) and jalapeños. Mix well.
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop biscuits on the sheet. Use an ice cream scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup. Try to make them all equal in size so they cook the same.
  8. Place in oven and bake for 22-27 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let rest for five minutes.

While those bad boys are baking, whip up your delicious gravy!

Gravy Ingredients
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  • 1 (14 ounce) can of coconut milk
  • 1 pound pork breakfast sausage
  • 3 Tbsp coconut flour (or arrowroot powder)
  • ½ tsp dried parsley
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp dried sage
  • ⅛ tsp smoke paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Gravy Directions

  1. Preheat a cast iron pan. Add the breakfast sausage to the pan and cook until you no longer see any pink, breaking up the sausage as it cooks.
  2. Once meat is cooked through, remove with slotted spoon and set to the side.
  3. Pour the coconut milk into the pan and whisk for a minute while it heats up.
  4. Slowly add in the coconut powder, whisking constantly to break up lumps, until the gravy has your desired consistency.
  5. Whisk in the parsley, garlic powder, sage, smoked paprika and salt and pepper. Mix well.
  6. Add breakfast sausage back in. Taste and salt and pepper as needed.
  7. Plate two biscuits and smother in a generous scoop of gravy. Grind a little fresh pepper over the top and sprinkle with parsley for a splash of color!

For my vegan/vegetarian friends, I’ve made the gravy with Morningstar breakfast sausage and it turned out great! And also for my vegan friends, obviously the gravy can be used with any vegan biscuits, and I also found this recipe for Vegan Sweet Potato Biscuits that looks pretty promising. If you try it (or a different one), let me know how they turn out!

Recipe credit: PaleOMG.com

Swedish Pancakes

Time to throw your diet out the window. Swedish pancakes are one of those magical foods that you can go on eating forever. They are crispy and buttery on the edges, and the insides are just pillows of crepe-like goodness. You can top them with anything delicious and they are even awesome to watch while they bake.

My dad made these for our family while I was growing up, and I think they must be one of the most beloved of our childhood dining memories. Imagine waking up on a Saturday morning, you realize you don’t have to go to school, Saturday morning cartoons await you. Suddenly you think you hear something…yes! The sound of John Phillip Sousa marches drifts up from the kitchen, and you know. It’s pancake day. The anticipation of Swedish pancakes is the only thing you can think about and your tummy starts to grumble before you’re even fully conscious. Who even cares that this is the day we get to dig the television out of the basement and watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? (Just kidding, we cared a lot.)

Swedish Pancakes

Not my photo – I need to find one of the several that I’ve taken over the years!

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a 9×13 pan VERY well with cooking or olive oil spray.
  2. Mix first three ingredients on high in a blender for at least a minute, until fluffy.
  3. Slowly add the salt and flour while while mixing.
  4. Add the butter while mixing. You don’t want the hot butter to cook the batter at all, so make sure the butter has cooled for a bit (I put it in the freezer for a few minutes after I melt it) and that you pour it in VERY slowly.
  5. Pour pancake batter over a spatula or spoon into the pan so that the oil/spray isn’t disturbed too much.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes. Make sure there is enough room above the pan – the pancakes will become very puffy!
  7. Loosen with a spatula and dump upside-down on to a cutting board. Cut into squares.
  8. Serve hot with butter, syrup, jam, fruit, whipped cream, honey, whatever!

Sam’s Zucchini Benedict

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This is Sam’s favorite breakfast of all time (so far), and since I get a recipe named after me, I supposed my primary tester should get one too. This is a pretty hearty breakfast for having no bread – lots of egg and butter, fresh organic zucchini, and a potentially fantastic bacon vessel. Yes, bacon. Some day when we are eating meat again (which sounds like will not be that far off) I am going to put so much bacon on this. Responsibly-farmed, lived-a-happy-life bacon of course 🙂

BACON UPDATE: Can confirm – this is excellent with bacon. As if there was any doubt that it would be.

I have a serious addiction to eggs Benedict, and I am extremely picky when it comes to Hollandaise. A great Hollandaise seems to be a diamond in the rough, and I could count for you on one hand the restaurants that have actually impressed me. Every time I see eggs Benedict on a breakfast menu I want to order it, and every time Sam says no, reminding me that I am disappointed every time. Then I get mad at him, because I’m probably hangry by this point, and all I really want is some delish eggs Benedict. Then someone else orders it, I try a bite, and…damn. He’s right again. I secretly breathe a sigh of relief that I did not order it, then maaaaybe I’ll admit it to Sam a couple days later.  Anywho, I made a pretty legit version of Hollandaise a couple years ago with a double boiler, and it is time-intensive and difficult to get just the right thing. This discouraged me from using it at home. Then recently I discovered that – and stay with me here – making Hollandaise with a blender is a thing. Yes, it sounds sketchy! Yes, I was SUPER skeptical. And yes, it is super delicious. It takes about three minutes to make and even keeps well in the fridge.

Next roadblock: We don’t eat bread at home! English muffins out the window. How do you have a delish Benedict with no bread? Zucchini to the rescue! This recipe for zucchini fritters is very savory and takes advantage of the leftover egg whites from making the Hollandaise sauce. Fun fact: Zucchini and yellow squash are some of the most highly modified GMO products on the market, so going organic is especially important to us.

Finally, a word about time management. This three to four part recipe (depending on the bacon!) is time and labor instensive. I would highly recommend an assistant (promise them extra bacon). If you don’t have an assistant, then follow this order: Make the Hollandaise. Leave sitting in blender. Mix up the zucchini cakes. Warm up griddle, and throw on your first batch. While those are cooking, warm up egg poaching water. Poach eggs. Just before plating, whip up the Hollandaise one more time with the blender and you’re good to go!

Hollandaise Ingredients

  • 3 egg yolks (save those whites for the zucchini fritters!)
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-3 dashes hot sauce (Franks & Cholula work great)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Hollandaise Directions

  1. In a blender, add the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice, and hot sauce,  then cover and blend well.
  2. Turn the blender down to medium and remove the small center part of the cover.
  3. While the blender is running, slowly pour in the melted butter. The sauce will thicken immediately.
  4. Next verrry carefully pour the sau- oh wait – you’re already done. YUP, it’s that easy.

Store leftover sauce in a sealed container in the fridge. Don’t ever directly re-heat it in the microwave or in a saucepan as it will start to cook and harden. Instead, either sandwich between two hot food items to melt it down, or place the container it is in into a bowl of hot water to heat it ambiently.

Zucchini Fritter Ingredients

  • 2-3 organic zucchini
  • 2 green onions, thinly slicedZucchini Cakes
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter

Zucchini Fritter Directions

  1. Cut off ends of zucchini, wash, and grate. I use the grating attachment on my food processor, gets the job done in about ten seconds! Get rid of excess moisture by putting in a cheesecloth and squeezing. Alternatively, lay grated zucchini out on paper towel or a kitchen towel, and using another towel over the top squeeze out as much moisture as you can.
  2. Put the zucchini in a large mixing bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, and stir together.
  3. Heat butter over medium heat in a cast iron skillet, or other pan/griddle. If you are using bacon, cook the bacon first and use the grease instead of butter!
  4. Using a large fork or slotted spoon, scoop the zucchini mixture on to the skillet in 3-4 inch pancakes. Allow to cook for 4-5 minutes, flip, and cook for another 4-5 minutes. You want both sides to be nice and brown and crispy!

And now, for the scary part…

Click here for egg poaching directions. It’s not really scary. I followed this the first time I attempted a poached egg, and it turned out perfectly! There are shortcuts like using muffin tins in an oven, but you can’t get exactly the right texture and done-ness without doing it the right way 😉 If you’ve never poached an egg, this will make you feel very fancy! 4 minutes on the dot for a runny yolk, or flip it over in the water and leave in for another thirty seconds if you prefer it a little more done.

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My first poached egg! This was just after the water stopped swirling, right about when it started looking extra weird.

When everything is ready and you’ve perfectly poached your eggs (I believe in you!) put two zucchini cakes on a plate, top each with a poached egg, spoon some Hollandaise over everything, and top with a little fresh ground pepper. If you’re adding bacon, I imagine that I’d stick a couple crispy slices right between the zucchini and the egg 🙂 BACON UPDATE: I did. It was amazing. If you have enough leftovers for the next day, it works really well to make a Benedict sandwich with the zucchini cakes to warm up your Hollandaise. Bon appétit!

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Mmm, benny sandwich!

Recipe Credit: chellebelle @ AllRecipes.com for the Hollandaise, Deb @ smittenkitchen.com for the egg poaching directions.