Zoodles with Chunky Eggplant Sauce

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to fall meals, I crave comforting foods.

Foods that are easy to put together, but taste like they’ve been cooking all day.

You know  – spaghetti, baked ziti, lasagna, chili … all those delicious, hearty meals. Meals to curl up on the couch with, to watch a movie, read a good book or even for game day (go Browns!). I have also begun to enjoy the occasional meatless meal and find that if done right, vegetarian dishes can be great fall comfort meals. That’s why when Silk challenged me to join their Sideline Meat campaign and come up with a Meatless Monday meal, I was excited to participate. And challenged to find a meal that even B (as you know, he has a self-proclaimed “meat tooth”) would enjoy.

Introducing this eggplant “pasta” dish. It should be no surprise that I’m choosing a zucchini pasta dish. I’m a lover of my zoodler (aka spiralizer) and I love making zoodles. Plus, the Silk adds a somewhat creaminess to the sauce and served over zoodles, it’s nearly guilt-free. Enjoy!

Zoodles with Chunky Eggplant Sauce-icrashedtheweb

Zoodles with Chunky Eggplant Sauce 

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced into one-inch pieces
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced
  • Generous sprinkle of hot pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup almond milk – I used Silk Unsweetened Original Almond Milk
  • 2 zucchini, spiralized (this is the zoodler I use)
ingredients

ingredients

Directions

  1. Heat a medium to large size pan over medium high heat. When hot, add olive oil, and then add the chopped eggplant. Cook until brown, about 3-4 minutes, and then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add add the shallot and garlic, and continue cooking until the eggplant and the onions are soft, about 3-6 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato and cook for another 3-4 minutes until it starts to get juicy. Add hot pepper flakes generously over the veggies. I like my food spicy so I added a lot – add as much as you feel comfortable with. Feel free to add salt at this time as well.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium and add the almond milk. Cook until the tomato sauce is a little thick. When everything looks about done, add in the zoodles. Cook for an additional 2 minutes or so, carefully so the zoodles don’t get soggy, and then plate.
  5. Enjoy!
sauce is looking good!

sauce is looking good!

Zoodles with Chunky Eggplant Sauce

ready to eat!

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite fall comfort food?
  • Have you ever cooked with almond milk? What did you make?

Disclosure: While I was not compensated for this post, product was provided to me by Silk. My views and comments are solely my own and do not represent those of WhiteWave and/or Silk.

For more Meatless Monday posts, check out some of my past recipes or visit the linkup below!

Mediterranean Crockpot Chicken For 2

I’m not a seasonal eater. What do I mean by that? I love soups year round. Chili? In July? Why not?! Ice cream in the winter? Of course! B, on the other hand, is very seasonal. We can’t eat soup in the summer. Crockpot? Stash that away from May-Aug (and sometimes September). BUT sometimes I can sneak in a slow cooker recipe in the summer and convince B it’s still seasonal. I didn’t quite do that with this one (there was no sneaking) BUT he did enjoy it. And would eat it again:) At last! A  crock pot meal that even B enjoys in the summer.

Mediterranean Crockpot Chicken

Mediterranean Crockpot Chicken For 2 (with leftover for lunch)

Makes 2 large dinner servings, with a leftover lunch portion

Slightly modified from Family Food on the Table

Ingredients

  • 2 large, skinless chicken breasts (mine weighed a little more than 1/2 lb)
  • 1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, mostly drained and chopped a bit
  • 1 14-oz. cans artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp red curry powder
  • 1 Tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa

Instructions

  1. Combine everything BUT the fresh basil and quinoa in your slow cooker (chicken breasts through dried Italian seasoning).
  2. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Once finished, use two forks to shred the chicken into large chunks.
  4. Serve warm, with fresh basil and over quinoa. NOTE: There will be a decent amount of liquid left – I liked mine almost soupy and used much of it. If you don’t, use a slotted spoon for removing the meal from the crockpot.
Mediterranean Crockpot Chicken

Sittin in the slow cooker …

Mediterranean Crockpot Chicken

Ready to eat!

Alright, your turn. A few questions for you:

  • Any favorite summery slow cooker recipes? Let me know!
  • What’s the best slow cooker meal or snack you’ve ever had?
  • Are you a seasonal eater?

Garlicky Spicy Shrimp and Zoodles

Have I mentioned that I got a spiralizer? I know, I’m behind the times. I had been using my mandolin to make zoodles and even a knife to make thin shreds for salads (like a papaya or apple salad). But guess what – the wait is over. I finally found a spiralizer I love, that meets my needs (is easy-to-use, doesn’t take up a lot of space and doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles) and I tried you out. So beware – there may be an influx of zoodle recipes coming your way!

Here’s the first recipe I tried out. Good news – even B enjoyed it!

DISCLAIMER: I am in no way shape or form giving up pasta. I am Italian and pasta holds a special place in my heart, especially homemade pasta. So yes, to answer your question (I knew you were going to ask) – I will still be making homemade pasta. BUT this is great for a quick, easy, healthy weeknight dish. The following meal took less than 30 minutes to make!

Garlicky Spicy Shrimp and Zoodles

Garlicky Spicy Shrimp and Zoodles 

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 medium-to-large zucchini (mine were each about 8-10 inches in length and 3 inches in width about)
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. divided
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 2 shallots
  • 1/4 c. chicken or vegetable stock
  • 14 large peeled and deveined cocktail shrimp (note: you can use raw shrimp, just cook them a little bit first before anything else – I just didn’t want to handle raw shrimp)
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • salt, to taste

Here’s what you do:

  1. Use your spiralizer to make zoodles! I have this spiralizer (iPerfect Kitchen Envy Spiral Slicer Bundle – Vegetable Spiralizer – Zucchini Spaghetti Pasta Maker)  and LOVE it because it’s perfect for my needs – its simple, easy to use and easy to clean and takes up practically no space in my kitchen. I used the larger size zoodler setting for this recipe (my spiralizer only has two settings which is perfect for me). I chopped the zoodles in about half so they weren’t super long. Set zoodles aside.
  2. In a large nonstick pan, add 1/2 of extra virgin olive oil. Add chopped shallots and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until start to become translucent. Add in garlic and continue to sauté until fragrant.
  3. Add in shrimp and be careful not to overcook- toss with oil, shallots and garlic until just warm.
  4. Add in zoodles, broth and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Do not overcook the zoodles – I like mine just a little bit softened – if you prefer yours al dente, definitely don’t cook more than 2-3 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and toss with rest of olive oil, basil and hot pepper flakes. Serve while warm.

Enjoy!

Garlicky Spicy Shrimp and Zoodles

Some questions for you:

  • What noodle dish should I try with zoodles next? Spaghetti and meatballs? Chicken lomein? Pasta puttanesca? Spaghetti and clam sauce? Another?
  • What’s your favorite pasta dish? Not talking with zoodles, but talking REAL DEAL PASTA! I love any pasta with seafood, especially spicy dishes. I also love B’s homemade turkey meatballs 🙂

Meatless Monday: Sweet Potato Zucchini Hash

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I posted a recent Meatless Monday blog post. I’ve been eating plenty of meatfree meals (I give up meat for Lent every year) but I guess I haven’t been blogging about them! For example, here are some photos of the meals I’ve been enjoying: (these were originally from my Instagram account – feel free to follow me there @koskim for more gratuitous food shots)

Curried lentils with sweet potato and cauliflower

Curried lentils with sweet potato and cauliflower

breakfast for dinner! egg white omelets with potatoes, peppers, onions and avocado

breakfast for dinner! egg white omelets with potatoes, peppers, onions and avocado

veggie burger with a side of  - veggies!

veggie burger with a side of – veggies!

cabbage and papaya salad with peanuts

cabbage and papaya salad with peanuts

spaghetti squash with homemade spicy tomato sauce and tofu

spaghetti squash with homemade spicy tomato sauce and tofu

Anyway, finally, I’m sharing a recipe with you so that you can eat meatless on Monday (or any day!). I LOVE making this recipe and have made it or a variation of it probably too many times in the past month to count – but it’s so simple and so delicious and healthy that you should try it too! Leftovers are great as well – I typically have four 2-cup size servings with this recipe and then have enough leftover for 2 lunches.

sweet potato zucchini hash-icrashedtheweb

Sweet Potato Zucchini Hash

Serves 4

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 TB olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 2 tsp. cumin, divided
  • 2 tsp. ground paprika, divided
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder, divided
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, divided (or more if you like it spicy! Note – if you have fresh hot pepper – like chili peppers or jalapeño, feel free to substitute with this)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional toppings: avocado, cilantro, hot sauce, tofu, sunny side up egg (not vegan)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 and finely dice all your veggies. If you’re like me, this may take a little while.
  2. Place diced sweet potato on a prepared baking sheet (I spray mine with Pam or olive oil spray). Sprinkle generously with 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper. Cook in preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Check often so not to burn and toss potatoes halfway through.
  3. While potato is cooking, heat half of olive oil in a large pan. Sautee onion for a few minutes or until translucent. Add in remaining chopped up veggies – peppers and zucchini. Add in remaining cumin, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne pepper and cook for about 7-10 minutes  or until veggies are browned and softened.
  4. When potatoes are done, add to pan with rest of veggies. Toss to incorporate. Finish until cooked but not mushy!
  5. Enjoy! I like mine topped with cilantro and tofu. Other fun toppings include avocado, hot sauce and/or a sunny side up egg. I’ve also served it over spinach for an extra nutritional boost. The one pictured (above and below) has tofu crumbles in it.
So many veggies!

So many veggies!

sweet potato zucchini hash-icrashedtheweb

Linking to my first MM linkup!

Question for you:

What meatless meal should I add to my repertoire?

Tuscan Gnocchi, Kale and Spicy Sausage Soup

It’s soup season. Don’t get me wrong, I love soup year-round, but B is much more likely to eat soup when it’s cold out. So we’ve been eating a lot of soup lately. When I was home, I had my mom’s minestrone soup (she makes it with butternut squash! so good) and her chicken noodle soup. When B and I get takeout, we’ve been pretty consistent about getting our favorite place – Souper Market. Give me soup, a hunk of bread and maybe some cheese and I’m good to go.

So needless to say, I was inspired to make some soup the other day. Of course it ended up being a 50 degree fall day (not 20s or 30s) but soup was still the perfect dinner. Paired with a hunk of Italian bread and brie, and this soup made a perfect dinner for B and I.

Tuscan Gnocchi, Kale and; Spicy Sausage Soup - i crashed the web

Tuscan Gnocchi, Kale and Spicy Sausage Soup

(a somewhat lightened version of a recipe from Gimme Some Oven)

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 pound ground hot Italian chicken sausage
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 12-ounce jar of roasted red peppers, drained and diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1-2 tsp. crushed red pepper (use more if you like heat!)
  • 1 pound potato gnocchi
  • 1 bunch kale, with stems removed and chopped
  • Freshly shaved Parmesan cheese

Here’s what you do:

  1. Add Italian sausage, carrot and diced onion to a large Dutch oven or pot. Break up sausage with a spoon and cook on medium-high heat until sausage is browned. Drain out some of the excess grease if possible. (I didn’t have as much grease because I used chicken as opposed to traditional sausage)
  2. Add in the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, diced roasted red peppers, Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper. Keep on medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  3. When the soup starts to simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and stir in the gnocchi and kale.  Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, or until the gnocchi are cooked through and tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add more crushed red pepper if needed. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve warm.

For another kale and sausage recipe (apparently I like the combo) that can be made in your crockpot, check out Healthy Crockpot Recipe: Tuscan Chicken Sausage, Kale and Vegetable Soup.

Tuscan Gnocchi, Kale and Spicy Sausage Soup - i crashed the web

Tuscan Gnocchi, Kale and Spicy Sausage Soup - i crashed the web

Meatless Monday: Quinoa Hummus Patties

I may have a hummus problem. The other day I realized I’d eaten hummus, as part of a meal, 4 days in a row.  I know there are worse things to claim, but 4 days in a row? That’s nearly a week. Wonder if I can keep the streak going (I’ve also eaten chocolate about 40 days in a row) …

Anyway, I digress. The other night for dinner I was happy to have enough time to put together something vegetarian-friendly, flavorful and also that would serve as a side dish for B. I’d seem some recipes for hummus/quinoa tabbouleh and quinoa burgers and decided to combine both. They are somewhat crumbly but mine held together pretty well and were pretty flavorful without too many spices.

Warning – I took these pictures with my phone, per usual. They came out pretty gnarly (yes, worse than some of the other food pics I take) but the recipe was so delicious I had to post it. B asked I could make these again so I declare that a success 🙂

QUINOA HUMMUS PATTIES i crashed the web

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 c quinoa (cooked)
  • ½ c hummus
  • ½ c finely diced red pepper
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 TBS flaxseed
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1-2 TBS olive oil

Here’s what you do:

  1. Combine quinoa, hummus, red pepper, garlic and green onions in a bowl. Mix well.
  2. Add in flaxseed to help bind the mixture. Add in crushed red pepper flakes (optional if you like heat).
  3. Form mixture into four to five even sized patties and place on a well-greased plate. Store in refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour. (I put it in the freezer for about 20 minutes) This will help the patties harden.
  4. Heat a pan with olive oil over medium to medium-high heat and add olive oil once heated. Carefully add patties to pan and brown each side for about 4-6 minutes. Be careful when flipping – patties are crumbly and you may need to reshape them if they start to come apart.
  5. Enjoy!
  6. Serving suggestion: I had 2 as a main meal and served with spinach, roasted red pepper, more hummus, tomato, and hot sauce. They’d also be delicious with a garlic yogurt sauce. B had his as a side dish to some chicken with Greek spices. I’ll be doubling the recipe next time!
I swear it tastes better than it looks

I swear it tastes better than it looks

Some questions for you:

  • Are you on any food-eating streaks?
  • Are you a hummus fan? Yes! I also really love baba ghanoush, its smoky eggplant cousin. 
  • Do you make your own hummus? Actually, most of the time I find it easier and just as tasty to just buy it. If you find a brand you like – stick to it! The hummus from the recipe above was from a stand at the West Side Market and it was delicious.
  • Favorite veggie burger recipe? Come on, I’m looking for a new one!

Super Easy One-Dish Roasted Chicken

I have decided to give up eating meat for Lent. I know it will be a challenge, but it’s one that I think I can do and one that will also broaden my cooking horizons. Will B give up meat? No. But he has said he’ll try whatever recipes I come up with, so I’ve already started looking for new vegetarian recipes to try and even taken some books out of the library.

So, during the countdown to Lent, I enjoyed some of my favorite meaty dishes, mainly pepperoni pizza and pepperoni bread. And believe it or not, I’ll also miss chicken! That’s why this weekend I decided it was time to make this recipe (pictured below – picture is not mine)  that I’ve had for a little while, before my meat-free months begin.

I'm leading with the image FROM  Jamie Oliver because it looks much better than mine and maybe you'll actually make it if you think it looks like this

I’m leading with the image FROM Jamie Oliver because it looks much better than mine and maybe you’ll actually make it if you think it looks like this

If you want an easy, hearty and relatively healthy dish that takes about 5 minutes prep time (but 1 hr 15 min to cook), I highly recommend this. Plus, think of all you can accomplish in the 1 hour and 15 minutes you spend waiting for this dish? You could clean your kitchen, read a book, do some exercises in your living room (I wouldn’t recommend going to the gym while this is in the oven), and more! Think of how productive you can be! At least that’s what I was thinking … B and I ended up just snacking (on pepperoni bread obviously) and catching up on our DVR. Watching episodes of The Office and Walking Dead count as being productive, right?

Anyway, the meal turned out delicious and B took the leftovers (I only had one thigh) for lunch today. I don’t usually like dark meat but with the crusty ciabatta bread, olive oil sauce and other ingredients, I managed to eat it, and enjoy it!

Super Easy One-Dish Roasted Chicken

(slightly adapted from Jamie Oliver)

The recipe below is what I made and it serves 2-3 depending on how hungry you are. The original serves 4-6.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 thick slices of ciabatta bread
  • 2 full chicken legs (each leg is one thigh and drumstick) 
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • Bunch of basil leaves
  • 1 garlic bulb, broken into cloves 
  • ½ c of black seedless mediterranean olives
  • 1 red chili pepper, chopped
  • Healthy drizzle of olive oil
  • 4 slices of pancetta

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Get a deep roasting tray big enough to fit all the chicken in one layer.
  3. Rip the ciabatta into medium-sized chunks and place in the tray with the chicken, tomatoes, basil, garlic cloves, olives, chopped red chili pepper.
  4. Add a generous drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and the chili. Toss to mix up well, then reposition the chicken on top. Bake in the oven, turning the chicken after 30 minutes.
  5. Cook for another 30 minutes and then add the pancetta on top of the chicken.
  6. Return to the oven and cook for an additional 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked and falling off the bone.
  7. Serve with a side salad and perhaps some more ciabatta bread!
One Dish Roasted Chicken With Pancetta, Olives, Tomato and Garlic

All the ingredients ready to be roasted! The recipe says to put the chicken on top before roasting but I couldn’t leave you with a photo of ugly naked chicken so I adapted it slightly.

One Dish Roasted Chicken With Pancetta, Olives, Tomato and Garlic

Fresh from the oven after 1 hr 15 min

One Dish Roasted Chicken With Pancetta, Olives, Tomato and Garlic

Served with a side arugula salad and some more ciabatta bread (not pictured)