Saturday, August 18, 2012

Squash and Zucchini "noodles" with Meat Sauce

My mom used to make delicious spaghetti and meat sauce - on a day when I crave comfort foods, this is a good one - but not so good for me since I stopped eating grains. I decided that I had lots of squash and zucchini so I would make my "noodles" from these veggies.   Turned out to be SOOo delicious!

I used a medium size squash and zucchini, 1 tbsp of coconut oil, salt and pepper, about 1/3 pound of ground beef (grass-fed) and a jar of tomato basil simmer sauce that I canned last summer.  I canned my own tomato basil simmer sauce (from this recipe) because the sauce that is pre-made and available in the grocery almost always has added sugar and chemicals to preserve it.  This is all natural and tastes like fresh tomatoes in the summer!  When you make it yourself you can control the ingredients (no sugar!)

First, cut the zucchini and squash into  long narrow strips.  Remove the seeds before you cut them into strips to make it easier.  Drizzle with a TBSP of coconut oil and sprinkle with crushed salt and pepper. Bake on a cookie sheet (lined with foil for easy clean up) at 400 for 15 minutes, stir/flip the strips and bake for another 10 minutes. 

 While the veggies are baking, start your sauce.   In a non-stick pan, crumble up 1/3 lb ground beef.  Check out the color of this beef - fresh from the market!
 Brown the beef gently - cooking it through and making sure it's all broken into little bits.   Then stir in the jar of sauce - I had about 2/3 of a pint of sauce that was that's how much I used!  Cover and let it simmer and thicken a bit while you finish baking your veggies.

Now it is time to assemble the delicious meal!  Start with the strips of squash and zucchini, top with the sauce!     Enjoy!!   It is so delicious....and very "noodle-ish" without putting grains into  your diet.

When I do this again, I need to figure out a better method for cutting my squash and zucchini - I'd like to make the strips more uniform....
Anyone have suggestions how I can make them smaller and the same size?  A tool to recommend?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Zucchini Boats

I've been seeing these zucchini boats/mini zucchini pizzas all over Pinterest lately....AND we found great summer squash and zucchini at the Farmer's Market the last two Fridays, so I decided to give it a try!

Deliciousness, right??

So this all started with these cherry tomatoes I found... Look at the choices this farmer had!  I chose a mixed quart of all these different kinds.   My favorites are the Sun Sweet (orange on the end) and the Sprite Grape Tomatoes (second from the left) and the Black Cherry tomatoes (center).   YUmmo!

Here's what you need - I can't wait to try this with some meat as a topping:
1 zucchini
tomatoes - a handful of these cherry tomatoes sliced in half and fourths.
cheese - I used Raw Milk Sharp Cheddar from an Amish Farmer that I got at the market as well.
tomato basil simmer sauce that we canned last year.  Yum!

Slice the zucchini in half and scoop out the seeds - I used a spoon to scoop it out. 
Place on a baking sheet of some sort - I used my stone bar pan from Pampered Chef that fits perfectly in my toaster oven.   If they rock a little, cut the bottom of the zucchini so it has a flat surface to sit on.  Be careful to not cut all the way through to the center that is scooped out.
Fill the scooped out centers with tomato basil sauce.
Cover with thinly sliced cheese (I used a peeler to slice it thinly)
 Top with your toppings - meat would be delicious!  I used the cherry tomatoes.
Bake at 400 for about 12-15 minutes.   Then top with a bit more cheese and switch to broil for about 5 minutes till it is bubbly and browned on the edges.