Zoodles & Cheese with Ham and Peas

by Shawnda on March 2, 2015

in Pork,Quick & Easy,The Great Detox of 2015,Veggies & Starches,Zoodles,Zucchini

Zoodles & Cheese with Ham and Peas

Hi. My name is Shawnda and I have the blahs. Can I just put out my Halloween lights (I take back every bad thing I ever said about the suburbs) and start watching Nightmare Before Christmas over and over again?

Because I’d really like to just fast-forward to the fun part of the year. When it’s warm. And there’s sunshine and $350+ electric bills. And football.

Zoodles & Cheese with Ham and Peas

All I wanted to do was chase away the gray-and-sads with a bowl full of spring for lunch.

All I wanted to do was feed the gray-and-sads with a bowl full of cookie dough ice cream for lunch. But there’s no cookie dough or ice cream in the house. Or cookies. Or potato chips. Or anything else starchy and crunchy with which I could self-medicate so vegetables it is.

Zoodles & Cheese with Ham and Peas

Lunch today is courtesy of two of my latest – and still current favorite – kitchen purchases. A spiral vegetable cutter, which turns a pound of zucchini into spaghetti-like strands, and a 1/2 tsp of sodium citrate, which allows shredded havarti cheese to melt without breaking so it can beautifully coat the zucchini noodles.

I sauteed the zucchini noodles, tossed them with chopped ham and leftover peas, and sat down with a bowl of veggies coated in comforting, melty cheese. You won’t quite get the same opiate response that you’d get with a bowl of Blue Bell. But a bowl of Blue Bell wouldn’t have knocked out 2 servings of vegetables on the day either.

Zoodles & Cheese with Ham and Peas

Zucchini noodles with havarti cheese sauce, ham, and green peas.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 407 | Fat: 19g | Fiber 7g | Protein 32g | Carbs 24g

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb zucchini, cut into spirals (I have this tool)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp sodium citrate
  • 4 oz havarti, shredded
  • 1 1/3 cup peas (if frozen, cook them in the microwave)
  • 4 oz ham, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil over high heat and add the zucchini noodles.
  2. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes and then transfer to a strainer/colander in the sink (the zucchini will continue to lose water as it cools - you don't want that extra water in your lunch).
  3. Wipe the pan clean and reduce heat to medium-low.
  4. Stir together the water and sodium citrate in the pan until steaming.
  5. Add the cheese and let heat for a minute, and then begin stirring. As the cheese melts, stir more frequently until uniform.
  6. Heat the peas and ham for 1-2 minutes in the microwave (don't add them cold to the cheese sauce).
  7. Add the zucchini and heated ham and peas to the cheese sauce, tossing to coat.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Notes

Yields: 2 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 20 minutes

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 1 comment }

Salmon & Avocado BLT Bowl

It’s not a low-rung college football game… but rest assured, if I ever stumble onto an orchard of money trees, I shall make it happen.

The SABLTZ is what you get when you cook a Open-Face Salmon & Avocado BLT for your family, but you’re EightySevenPercenting a Whole30 (long live goat cheese and yogurt!) and you don’t eat bread.

This can present problems but I’ve found that the quickest solution to most of those problems is also the simplest: Just put it over a bowl of zucchini noodles.

Salmon & Avocado BLT Bowl

I mentioned a few recipes ago that I treated myself to a fancy schmancy vegetable spiral cutter thingy and I think that it’s still the greatest thing ever.

So instead of eating the BLT in sandwich-form (which, by the way, got seriously rave reviews), this is how I approached it, Whole30 style:

Salmon & Avocado BLT Zoodles

It's a Whole30-friendly BLT in a bowl: seared salmon, avocado, and bacon over zucchini noodles.

Ingredients

  • 2 slices thick bacon
  • 2 3-4oz salmon filets, skin removed
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 medium-large zucchini, cut into spirals (I have this tool)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small handfuls of salad greens
  • 1 roma tomato, sliced
  • Avocado slices
  • Chopped chives

Instructions

  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, crisp the bacon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving behind as much bacon dripping as possible.
  2. Salt and pepper the salmon and sear, covered, for 4 minutes.
  3. Flip and cook another 2 minutes. Transfer to the plate with the bacon.
  4. Discard the renderings and wipe the pan clean.
  5. Heat a drizzle of olive oil over high heat and stir in the garlic.
  6. Season the zucchini with salt and pepper and add to the pan.
  7. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  8. Divide the zoodles between two bowls.
  9. Layer the remaining ingredients on top: a small handful of salad greens, sliced tomatoes, avocado, a slice of bacon, the salmon, and garnish with the chives.
  10. Serve immediately.

Notes

Yields: 2 servings

Inspired by Open-Face Salmon & Avocado BLTs

Estimated time: 30 minutes

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 1 comment }

Open Faced Salmon Avocado BLT Sandwiches

There’s absolutely nothing – and I mean nothing – wrong with the traditional BLT: smooshy preservative-laden white bread, mayo (actually, this is the one place I want Miracle Whip), tomatoes, ice berg lettuce, and copious amounts of crispy bacon and black pepper. Perfection.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t try to make it better.

Open Faced Salmon Avocado BLT Sandwiches

From the bottom up, we have toasted bread slathered with ranch (because this is Texas and we ranch all the things, all the time), topped with a handful of salad greens, sliced roma tomatoes, avocado slices, crispy bacon, and a filet of salmon seared in the drippings from that crispy bacon.

Because go big or go home, right?

Open Faced Salmon Avocado BLT Sandwiches

(And then when you get home, go ahead and make a breadless version for the EightySevenPercent Whole30er in the house. Later this week, the EightySevenPercent Whole30er in this house will show you how.)

Open Faced Salmon Avocado BLT Sandwiches

Open-Faced Salmon Avocado BLTs

It's the ultimate (SA)BLT: crispy bacon, salmon seared in bacon drippings, sliced avocado, and ranch.

Ingredients

  • 4 slices crusty white bread, sliced on the diagonal
  • 4 slices thick bacon
  • 4 3-4oz salmon filets, skin removed
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Ranch dressing
  • Salad greens
  • 2 roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 large avocado, sliced thinly
  • Chopped chives

Instructions

  1. Toast the bread slices under the broiler until browned on both sides.
  2. In a skillet over medium-high heat, crisp the bacon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving behind as much bacon dripping as possible.
  3. Salt and pepper the salmon and sear, covered, for 4 minutes.
  4. Flip and cook another 2 minutes. Transfer to the plate with the bacon.
  5. Build the sandwiches from the bottom up: bread, ranch, salad greens, tomato slices, avocado slices, bacon, and salmon.
  6. Top with chives, grab a fork and knife, and dig in.

Notes

Yields: 4 servings

Slightly adapted from Cooking Light

Estimated time: 30 minutes

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 4 comments }

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya with Cauliflower

Let the good times roll, y’all!

It’s not Fat Tuesday yet but don’t let that stop you. I sure as heck didn’t let it stop me from whipping up a monster pot of chicken and sausage jambalaya. I found it to be the perfect opportunity to try out cauliflower “rice” on the family.

Their verdict? Well, they did let me live to share the recipe. Soo…

Mom: MMMMmmmm
Jason: It’s a little different. And it doesn’t taste much like cauliflower. [That is a win from him.]
Landry: I NEED SOME MILK! [I’ll return my Mother of the Year trophy, stat.]

I never know where to draw the line with her. Because this is the same little girl who took snagged a serrano pepper straight off the plant and took a bite out of it and had absolutely no reaction. None. ZERO.

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya with Cauliflower

So cauliflower rice is not rice at all. It’s fresh cauliflower florets that have taken a ~15 second low-speed spin through the food processor so that the size and appearance looks rice-ish. But the flavor? All cauliflower.

I happen to adore cauliflower (Exhibits A and B. And C.). I can actually remember the first time I ever ate raw cauliflower: it was the summer after my freshman year in high school (because cauliflower didn’t come in a can), and it was served like we serve every other veggie down here in Texas: with half a squeeze bottle of ranch dressing.

Raw cauliflower can be pretty strong and cooking it will really help reign-in the flavor. And cooking it in a big pot with caramelized vegetables, sausage, chicken, garlic, and bay leaves? The cauliflower is mostly masked by the stronger flavors of the jambalaya.

Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya with Cauliflower

The one real difference between the original recipe and the cauliflower version is the amount of liquid you’ll use at the end of the recipe. The original recipe adds a bunch of chicken stock and water, which the rice would then absorb. With the cauliflower, you’ll only add as much chicken stock as you need to reach the consistency you’re looking for. Where I’m from, the jambalaya isn’t overly soupy so I tried to add as little as possible but as you can see, I did have some standing liquid.

Enjoy it. We sure did. It is a little different but it is every bit as delicious as a more traditional rice version.

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya with Cauliflower "Rice"

Hearty chicken and sausage jambalaya made with cauliflower "rice."

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive or your cooking oil of choice
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 bunch chopped green onions, dark green parts reserved for garnish
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne/red pepper
  • 1lb smoked sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 tsp Tony Chachere Original Creole Seasoning*
  • 1 1/2lb chicken, cut into 1-in cubes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 medium cauliflower head, sliced into florets (will make 3-4 rounded cups of "rice")
  • 1-2 cups chicken stock
  • *Tony's has salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic, onion, and at least oregano. If you can't find it, season the chicken with at least salt and pepper before adding it.

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, white and light green parts of the bunch of green onions, salt, and cayenne. Stirring often and keeping the lid ajar, brown the vegetables for about 20 minutes.
  3. Scrape the bottom and sides to loosen any browned particles. Add the sausage and cook, stirring often and keeping the lid ajar for 10 to 15 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides to loosen any browned particles.
  4. Season the chicken with Tony Chachere's.
  5. Add the chicken and the bay leaves to the pot. Brown the chicken for 8 to 10 minutes, scrapping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned particles.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, add the florets to the bowl of a food processor. Chop on low for 15-20 seconds, until the cauliflower is small and resembles rice.
  7. Add the cauliflower and 1 cup chicken stock.
  8. Cook and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring a few times, until all of the cauliflower has softened. If necessary, add additional chicken stock (I tried to add as little as possible so I wouldn't have a ton of standing liquid).
  9. Remove the pot from the heat and let stand, covered for 2 to 3 minutes.
  10. Remove the bay leaves. Stir in the dark green onions and serve.

Notes

Yields: 8 servings

Adapted from Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya

Estimated time: 1 hour

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 2 comments }