Veggies & Starches

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

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Chicken Zoodle Soup

Hi, my name is Shawnda and I am on day 20-ish of my Whole30-ish.

I’m alive. Ish.

Chicken Zoodle Soup

Actually, I’m completely alive. Totally fine. Skin looks ah-mazing. And am at that point where I’m like Bring on the glitter, the cape, and the leggings, bitches, because I am super woman and I can do anything!!!

Well, anything but pull-off leggings as pants. But really, who among us can?

Chicken Zoodle Soup

A couple of weeks ago, I waved my magic laptop and turned a Christmas giftcard into a Spiralizer. I eagerly awaited the arrival of a trendy kitchen gadget that I couldn’t wait to use four times and then shove it in the back of a cabinet. But I have since turned countless zucchini into countless yards of zucchini noodles – zoodles! – for fake pastas and it still sits on my counter.

Zucchini noodles from the spiralizer

I love that thing. But I also really love zucchini (and that’s the extent of plants that I’ve tested on the spiralizer thus far). I grow zucchini every year, until the vine borers get it, mostly because I like coating it in bacon and cheesy goodness. And this will happen with zoodles. Very soon.

It’s already made it into mac & cheese. I’ll have to show you that one soon.

Chicken Zoodle Soup

But for soup & sandwich night (or for me, soup and soup night), I simmered some chicken stock from the freezer with sliced onions, carrots, and minced garlic. During the last 5 minutes, I dropped zoodles and shredded rotisserie chicken into the broth to heat.

Each serving has 3 oz of chicken, an entire zucchini, and 1.5 cups of soup. Hearty, filling, and simple. And another couple of servings of plants checked off for the day!

Chicken Zoodle Soup

Homemade hearty chicken "zoodle" soup made with zucchini noodles.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 2 medium onions, sliced in very thin half-rounds
  • Handful of baby carrots, sliced into ~1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Handful of chopped parsley
  • 2 Chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I aim for ~3 oz per serving)
  • 4 medium zucchini, ends trimmed and cut in half vertically

Instructions

  1. Heat chicken stock over medium heat with onions, carrots, and garlic for ~30 minutes, or until the veggies are fork-tender.
  2. Season soup with salt and pepper and parsley.
  3. Run the zucchini halves through the spiralizer to make "noodles." Then give the pile of noodles a couple of chops with a knife so they aren't all 4 feet long.
  4. Add chicken and zucchini to the broth and heat through.

Notes

Yields: 4 generous servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 45 minutes

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We don’t eat a lot of white potatoes around here. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve made mashed potatoes as an adult. And when it came time to make them during the holidays, I actually had to get pointers from a friend.

So when a photo of these tiny smashed, crispy potatoes popped up in my Facebook feed a couple of weeks ago, I thought, “Why the &^$# not?”

The “why not” from the past has always had an easy enough answer. White potatoes have always been the enemy in the form of chips (gloriously crunchy potato chips!) and fries (gloriously crispy waffle fries!). It’s not the potato’s fault that I haven’t ever been able to control myself around them after they’ve made a trip through a giant vat of frying oil.

So now I – we – eat potatoes, but minus the vat of boiling oil.

I bought a bag of fingerling potatoes. I boiled them. I smashed them with Landry (she calls them “Splat Potatoes”) because nothing delights a 4-year-old than getting to whack the heck out of something with the poultry mallet from her play kitchen without me yelling, “We don’t hammer anything but play-doh!”

And then I high-heat roasted them on a pan with some olive oil, black pepper, and rosemary until they were crispy.

While Landry declared them to be “just like Chick-fil-A but without any holes,” they actually fall somewhere in between an oven-baked fry and a tiny baked potato. Light crisp on the outside, soft and baked potato-like in the middle.

They’re a delicious starch side dish all on their own. But go ahead, top it with a dollop of greek yogurt and a crumble of bacon :)

I will say that the ~50 minutes it took me to make them meant that it would be difficult to squeeze these in on a busy weeknight. So that led me down two paths:
1) I made a larger batch with the purpose of having leftovers but we instantly found that day 2 potatoes aren’t nearly as good as day 1 potatoes.
2) I split the preparation over 2 days – boil and drain the potatoes while I was making something else for dinner and then toss them in the fridge during kitchen clean-up. Pick up the process of splat-and-roast on day 2, 3, and beyond.

The latter has been a huge time-saver. I can splat a dozen or so, roast, and then suddenly I’m looking at a 25-minute side dish, which is well within my “45-minute weeknight dinner” rule.

Flat-Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary and Black Pepper

Crispy, flat-roasted fingerling potatoes with rosemary and black pepper.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb bag of fingerling potatoes (the size will vary greatly so cut the overly large ones in half)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for smashing
  • 4-inch sprig of rosemary
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 and place 2 Tbsp olive oil on a large baking sheet.
  2. Put potatoes in a pot covered with 1-inch of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Cook for ~15 minutes, until fork tender and then drain.
  4. Lightly oil a piece of wax or parchment paper. Place potatoes on the bottom half of the paper and fold the top of the paper over.
  5. Using your hand, flatten the potatoes and transfer to the baking sheet.
  6. Using a brush or the sprig of rosemary, coat the potatoes with olive oil from the sheet.
  7. Season with salt, pepper, and break up the rosemary over top.
  8. Roast for 15 minutes, flip, and then roast for ~5 minutes more until golden brown around the edges.

Notes

Yields: 4-6 servings

Adapted from Fine Cooking

Estimated time: 50 minutes

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