Zucchini Noodles with Herb Sauce

Happy Friday! Last night was my weekly zoodle experience. Zoodles are just noodle shaped zucchini slices. You can make them with a julienne peeler or a spiralizer. I use a peeler, but I recently purchased this spiralizer and am waiting patiently for it. Will do a post/tutorial on that when I get it.

This is a great way to eat a "pasta" type of dish without the gluten and with less carbs in general. This recipe is also vegetarian but you can totally sub the beans for ground turkey, chicken breast, or any favorite protein. Salmon would be good too! The sauce in this dish is also amazing. Make it a staple sauce for any meal to top it with extra flavor. It could even be a salad dressing.

Zucchini Noodles with Herb Sauce
This is about 3-4 servings but in my opinion if you workout you can get away with more just by yourself!

3 zucchini or summer squash (pictured here is summer squash)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 pint sliced baby portabello mushrooms
1 can butter beans (or white cannellini beans)
handful fresh italian parsley
handful fresh basil
1-3 peeled garlic cloves (depends on your preference)
1 lemon, just the juice
olive oil
sea salt
ground pepper
red pepper flakes

julienne peeler or spiralizer
blender or nutribullet
large pan

The Herb Sauce:

In a blender or nutribullet (note: the bullet will make a creamier sauce) add in the fresh parsley, basil, lemon juice, garlic cloves, 2 tsp olive oil, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes to taste. Blend up until you get a saucy consistency. In a regular blender it might be a bit leafy but that's ok! Taste test to see if it needs anything to your liking- like more salt/pepper or more basil. Leave off to side.

The Veggies:
In a large pan heat 2 tsp of oil (or use spray if you are watching your fats). Add in the mushrooms and a little sea salt to get them going. When they start to get fragrant and brown, add in the sliced cherry tomatoes. When the liquid from the veggies starts to bubble, add in the beans and stir carefully as canned beans can break apart. Once the beans are heated through, add in your zoodles. Once again, stir carefully and combine all the veggies together. Only cook the zucchini for a few minutes until warmed through... you don't want soggy noodles! Now add in all of your herb sauce and coat the veggies. Let it once again all get warm and you are done. Remember to taste before serving in case you feel it needs anything. You can also top the meal with some extra fresh herbs and parmesan cheese.



Valentine's Day Menu

Staying in tonight and cooking for your love? 
Cooking together? 
Cooking alone?
No matter what, this food=love and you won't waste too much time in the kitchen either!

Other recipes:

(scroll down post for recipe)

A cute V-day touch:
Add edible flowers to jazz up a simple salad for your person.
I got these at a Farmer's Market, and I've seen them in Fairway too.
Have a lovely day.


Recipe: Creole Chicken Shrimp and Okra

Last night we made an amazing spicy dish. It was so simple... just 3 main ingredients and the rest was spices and a little olive oil. Great to keep things warm on a cold night.

Creole Chicken, Shrimp and Okra
(makes enough for about 5 people - if they are not starving)

2 chicken breasts, chopped
1/2 pound large shrimp, shelled
1 cup chopped okra
sea salt
ground pepper
garlic powder
*creole seasoning
olive oil

*Regarding the creole seasoning... we bought this amazing blend in New Orleans 2 years ago at Pepper Palace. This is such an amazing store. You can test a lot of the products there for free. The entire shop is lined with testing stations for dips, sauces, spices, jams etc. You can also purchase items online.

Now for the dish. So simple. Once your proteins are chopped/peeled coat them with the sea salt, pepper, garlic, and creole seasoning. I honestly do not measure spices, I go by eye. Figure for each side of the protein all laid out on a dish: two pinches of salt, about 10 turns of freshly ground pepper, a dusting of garlic powder and creole seasoning.

Heat some olive oil in a large pan. Add the shrimp first and cook on each side until the color is opaque. Then transfer shrimp into a bowl - we don't want to over cook it!

Then add the chopped chicken, and cook each side for about 5-7 minutes until golden brown. Now add the chopped okra. If you are a spice queen like me, add a little more creole seasoning since we've added another element.

Cook and stir the chicken and okra for another 5 minutes or until the okra is a bit tender but not mushy (taste test!). Then add the shrimp back in, juices and all. Cook for another few minutes so everybody gets to know eachother.

Now nosh! Eat this as is for a carb free experience, or place the goodness over some rice. Enjoy!


February Wish List

We all have a wish list. I usually have a couple of them. It's fun to dream about the goodies we'd buy if we had the means right? Right now I'm wishing for hot pink, healthy gadgets, and going on a trip... what about you? And if any fellas are reading... these would make great Valentine's Day gifts!

For the Beauty:

February Wish List: For the Beauty

For the Foodie:
February Wish List: For the Foodie

For the Traveler:
February Wish List: For the Traveler


Finding Motivation

Happy Monday and first week of February! This is always a tough time to stay motivated for me. In this cold dreary weather my appetite gets incredibly reckless, well... I get reckless. I have no desire to get up in the morning, or to exercise. Even though work is not any stressful than it usually is, I feel as though the walls are caving in on me. I just want to crawl under the covers and hibernate. In the winter I feel trapped.

I forget where I read what I am about to talk about, but I recently read an article about how we always focus on the negative stuff first. At first I thought that was a silly concept and then I stopped and realized how I was immediately focusing on negativity.

This morning when the news was bitching about the weather in NYC today I started to dread walking outside in the snow. Ugh, where are my boots, where's my hat, UGH to everything. The negative list just starting flowing and it would not stop.

Then as I walked to the bus, I stopped to take this picture of a church.

I know it's not the best picture, but for once I stopped, saw something pretty and positive, and took it in. When I started walking again I immediately started to think of all the funny commercials I saw last night for the Superbowl, and I looked forward to the coffee I was going to get at work, and all the happy thoughts were pouring in instead of crappy ones. I didn't care that it was slippery out, or that my coat was getting drenched... I actually felt happy for a moment.

So is there really a science to this positive thinking thing? I'm going to have to work on it today as the day goes on. I think if I ever get into a rut I will watch this commercial....

Do you ever have a hard time staying positive?
What are your little tricks to stay happy when things get crappy?