Sesame Zucchini Noodles with Chicken

by Laura

I know you have all been checking the blog eagerly every day for the last three plus months hoping there would be something new, and I am sorry we've kept you waiting so long! Katherine had a baby, I got married, and Elissa continues to be a super star mom, lawyer, etc. But we will be better!

After spending the last month or so indulging at every possible occasion, I wanted to make something healthy to snack on and take for lunch this week. I added some grilled chicken to this recipe to make it a bit more substantial but it would be good on its own too! I also like that it can be served hot or cold, which is especially nice given our current heat wave.

IMG_2671.jpg

Ingredients

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

5 medium-large zucchini 

1 tsp olive oil

Dressing

Pack em in there - they will get smaller!!

Pack em in there - they will get smaller!!

2 tbsp peanut butter (I used crunchy but smooth works too) - heated in the microwave for 20 seconds

1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp chili garlic sauce (I like this one)

1 tsp minced garlic

2 tsp sesame seeds

Preheat a grill on medium high heat. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and brush with olive oil. Grill on each side for about 5 minutes until cooked through. Set aside. Using a spiralizer (I have this one and it works great) make zucchini noodles. Heat olive oil over medium heat and cook noodles for 3-4 minutes. You will notice the zucchini releases a lot of water as it cooks and you definitely want to drain them before adding them to the dressing!

In a microwave safe bowl, heat the peanut butter for about 20 seconds so it combines well with the rest of the dressing ingredients. Add the rest of the ingredients to the peanut butter and whisk to combine. Slice the chicken into bite sized pieces and add to the noodles in a large bowl. Pour dressing over and combine well. Top with sesame seeds. You can eat it right away or refrigerate and eat it cold.




Celery Soup

by Laura

My roommate (now he could also be called my fiance - woohoo!) is generally very easy to please when it comes to food and complimentary of my cooking. However, there are a just a couple of foods he really doesn't like that I enjoy, so every once in a while I try to sneak it into my cooking and convince him he actually does like whatever it is. If my dad hates cheese but can love lasagna, I thought surely I could get John to like celery if combined with the right ingredients. Well, I was wrong. Because this celery soup was so good and not even all that healthy, and still...not for John. 

I thought it was delicious but second guessed myself without a second opinion. So, I took leftovers to work and got confirmation that it is, in fact, very tasty to anyone who doesn't hate celery. Also, easy to throw together and could be made much healthier by reducing both cream and butter quantities (which I already did from the original recipe).

Just one photo - sorry. Working on it!

Just one photo - sorry. Working on it!

Celery Soup

adapted from Bon Appetit

1 head of celery, chopped

1 potato (I used russet), peeled and chopped

1/2 of a large onion, chopped

1/2 stick butter

1 tbsp olive oil

3 cups low sodium broth (chicken or vegetable)

1/4 cup fresh dill plus extra for garnish

1/3 cup heavy cream

Olive Oil and flaky sea salt for serving

Heat butter and olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add celery, potato and onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook stirring until the onion softens, about 10 minutes. Add the broth and simmer until the potato is tender, another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the dill and puree with an emersion blender (or transfer to a blender and puree).  Stir in cream and serve right away with drizzled olive oil and flaky sea salt. Garnish with fresh dill or celery leaves.

Sausage Orecchiette

by Laura

Orecchiette! One of the best underused pasta shapes and it is ear-shaped -- is there anything more appetizing?! Sometimes they can be tough to find at a smaller market or Trader Joe's, but they hold a not to saucy sauce perfectly so next time you see a bag/box in the pasta aisle, do yourself a favor and grab one. This recipe requires just a few basic ingredients and can easily be thrown together on a weeknight. Adapted from The Food Network.

Ingredients:

Chop all this up while the water is boiling for the pasta...

1/2 package (6 oz) orecchiette

2-3 pork or chicken sausages, casings removed

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 scallions

1 clove garlic sliced

1/2 carton (4 oz) crimini mushrooms, sliced

1/2 carton mini heirloom tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes), sliced in half

1/2 cup grated parmesan

2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

Red pepper flakes to taste

 

Bring salted pot of water to boil to cook pasta. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan and add sausage, breaking it up as it browns. Once cooked through, add garlic and onions and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook three minutes then add mushrooms. Add cherry tomatoes. Once the pasta is cooked through, use a slotted spoon to transfer it into the sauce pan with all of the other ingredients (bringing a little bit of the pasta water along with it to smooth out the sauce). Give it a few stirs, add parmesan, fresh basil and red pepper flakes if desired and serve!

Maybe even better as leftovers!


Asian (Mayo-Free!) Slaw

by Laura

I've always wondered how much coleslaw is thrown away on an annual basis since it has to be the most poorly made and unsolicited side dish provided at restaurants. The mayo-drenched, soggy type that has become widely known really is terrible, but I've come across quite a few delicious ones that are fresh and healthy and even make you want to eat cabbage. This is one version I adapted from Dave Lieberman. As with most salads, you can modify this to include any veggies you love or get rid of those you aren't so fond of.

 

Ingredients:

For the slaw:

3 cups cabbage (red, purple or a combination), sliced thin

1 cup shredded carrots

Served on top of and on the side of a salmon burger (salmon marinated in Trader Joe's Soyaki for 20 minutes then grilled for 8 minutes flipping once), with avocado and Sriracha mayo.

Served on top of and on the side of a salmon burger (salmon marinated in Trader Joe's Soyaki for 20 minutes then grilled for 8 minutes flipping once), with avocado and Sriracha mayo.

1 cup sugar snap peas cut into 1 inch pieces on the diagonal

1/2 cup red onion sliced thin

Sesame seeds sprinkled on top if desired

For the dressing:

1/8 cup soy sauce

Juice of 2 limes

1/8 cup vegetable oil

1 tbsp ginger, peeled and minced or grated

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp sesame oil

salt and pepper to taste