Pesto Zoodles

Hey all!

So excited to have another video!  My sound quality was really bad on other videos so after some mic hunting I think we’re back in business!  I picked a simple, fresh & fast recipe!  I am so over winter and ready for some light ‘n tasty recipes.  This recipe is similar to one I posted in the past but replaced rotini noodles for zoodles!

Pesto Pasta Recipe (old post if you’d like the carb-a-rific version)

Enjoy!

Pesto Zoodles

  • 1/2-1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 2 bunches of Basil, stems removed
  • 1/4 cup blanched unsalted almonds
  • splash of vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2-3 zucchini, spiralized
  • Sun-dried tomato, optional garnish

Spiralize zucchini and set aside.  Add all ingredients to a food processor and turn on low, drizzle in olive oil slowly until it forms a thin/medium consistency sauce.  Not too runny but not too solid.  Toss pesto over zoodles and sprinkle with sun-dried tomato slices.  This will pair well with chicken & seafood.

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Nom nom nom!

Saving Time With Meal Prep

“Meal prep takes too much time”

“I don’t have the time for that”

“I don’t have the patience for that”

Excuses no longer!

Yes, I am a firm believer in meal prep being the answer to success but I do understand it’s a time suck.  I choose to do full meal prep since the time it takes during my weekend I gain back during the week days.  After waking up for 5:30am crossfit + full day at work + long commute times, I have no desire to cook when I get home.  When it’s fully done for me I find myself less stressed and less likely to go through a drive-thru.

However I am realistic and know this doesn’t work for everyone.  The answer is partial meal prep!

Since I have been fairly content with my schedule lately I thought I would give this a whirl.  There’s times where eating out of tupperware gets old so I wanted to partial meal prep so the brunt of the work is done for me and I can finish up when I get off work.

First things first…Meal plan. (my favorite part)

I’m a list person almost to a fault..

Breakfast

Pork belly Hash w/ poached eggs

Leftovers

Lunch

Trail Mix Tuna Salad (Down South Paleo)

Chicken Cacciatore (for the boyfriend)

Blueberry Beef Roast (Adapted from Down South Paleo)

Bone Broth

Dinner

Southwest Pulled Pork Salads

Fish & Veggies (Swordfish + Tuna)

Crab Stuffed Beef Roulade

Snacks

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

Marinated Chicken Breast + Bone Broth

Nuts

RX Bars

So from this list I had to see what can be made or prepped now to make my life easier.

This meant –

  • Starting bone broth
  • Pork roast in the slow cooker
  • Cut all veggies
  • Make crab salad for roulade
  • Make Breakfast Hash
  • Complete Cacciatore for boyfriends work lunches (easy recipe might as well bang it out)

By doing this partial prep it cut my usual meal prep time in half but also allowed me to save time during the week so I did not have to prep the veggies, make the crab salad or worry about the most difficult meal to worry about – breakfast!

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Mushrooms & Peppers for Cacciatore, Carrots for Bone Broth, Chives for Crab Salad, Potatoes for Hash

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Delicious pork belly for breakfast hash!

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Sweet potato hash for me – Regular potato for the boyfriend

I really wanted this to be corned beef hash but the store didn’t have corned beef.  Pork belly is a great substitute in anything, right?

I seared the pork belly on both sides until a nice golden color and since they were pretty thick slices I just tossed them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10-15 min to cook through.  For the potatoes I small diced them and tossed in olive oil, salt & pepper and roasted them at 400 degrees for about 25 min.  Dice up the pork belly and mix together.  Saute for breakfast and top with a poached egg.  Yum!

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For more on bone broth be sure to check out my past post!

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One of my quick go-to favorites, Southwest Pulled Pork Salad

Just added a boneless pork roast with my favorite bbq rub and let it go until you can easily pull away the meat with a fork.  Timing will definitely depend on the size of the roast.

Lettuce, tomato, red onion, pulled pork, Annes BBQ sauce & chipotle mayo.  Always a winner!  My pulled pork is ready to go for the yummiest salad ever.  Also great with chicken thighs.

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Chicken Cacciatore with Brown Rice for the boyfriend.

Sauteed mushrooms, peppers, garlic then added chicken breast and tomato sauce to the pan once the veggies are soft.  Serve with rice and I added some chopped olives for fun!

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Meal prep will normally take me about 4 hours to finish for the week but all this only took about 2.  Especially since 2 of them are slow cooker recipes so it didn’t require much work.  Now during the week I only have to worry about rolling up my crab stuffed beef, tossing another roast in the crockpot and assembling salads!

Did that seem so bad?

If meal prep still intimidates you don’t ever hesitate to shoot me a message on my Contact Me page!

Also to view fully completed meals follow me on instagram @piggytummy or follow my facebook page!

Healthy Picnic (mommas day special)

First I would like to start off by thanking all the Moms out there for your hard work, sleepless nights, and unconditional love.  You have the hardest job out there!  I couldn’t even imagine the hard work you put in day in and day out.  I hope to one day be a mother myself but for now I will praise all of you!

Now for a shout out to my own Momma 😀

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My mom is without a doubt my best friend in the whole world.  I have always been close to her and I am totally not ashamed to be a Mommas Girl.  She was very sick while I was growing up and I definitely stood by her side from the time I was old enough to do so.  She is doing very well now for all of you who do not know me personally and know the long journey that was.  She then returned the favor and was there for me through my rough teenage years with severe depression/agoraphobia.  She knew what was right for me and fought so many battles in my healing process.  Without her I don’t know where I would be.  But because of her I am who I am today and I could never thank her enough for that.  Thank you mom for always being there for me in the past, in the present, and without a doubt in the future.  Also thanks for talking to me on the phone everyday on my long commute from work!

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To thank my mom for all she does I prepared a picnic for her.  She absolutely loves my chicken salad so I made that but with a twist.  I saw in SELF magazine this month this blueberry Waldorf salad and decided to give that a try.  To go along with that I made french style green beans and chopped fresh fruit.  We enjoyed our picnic at a beautiful walking path around a lake.  It was the perfect day for a walk outside!

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Super refreshing and delicious!

Chicken Waldorf Salad

  • 1 lb chicken, cooked, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, finely sliced
  • small bunch of green onions, finely sliced
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup fat free plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • splash of white wine vinegar
  • salt & pepper to taste

Toss everything together and chill overnight

French Style Green Beans

  • 1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed/cleaned
  • 1 shallot
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • pinch of sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

bring a pot of water to a boil, add green beans and only cook for a short period of time to keep them slightly crunchy.  Chop up shallot and garlic and saute lightly in oil (i used coconut).  Mix shallot, garlic, olive oil, mustard, vinegar and make a dressing.  Toss with the green beans and add salt and pepper to taste.  Chill overnight.

Also I have to share what a corny person my mom is (which is what I love about her…and..well she made me corny too)

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She had this gift waiting for me and said its from all my dogs.  Hanna, Molly, Sasha & Azi..for being a loving ani-mommy.

Happy Mothers Day!

Lighten Up! Skrimps & Corms

I don’t know about you, but I will admit that sometimes I put way too much thought into what I want to make for dinner.  There are times where I will think about it days or even weeks in advance.  I get a flavor profile stuck in my head and can’t wait to try it out.  This entire week I have been wanting to make a dish that incorporates shrimp and fennel.  I have been craving shrimp lately, but I didn’t want a usual dish.  Scampi was out, didn’t want a heavy Alfredo, garlic is too cliche. . .  I decided I wanted to make a refreshing cold shrimp salad.  That is when fennel popped into my head.  I even googled “shrimp and fennel” to make sure I wasn’t the only one wishing to do this combo.  Surely enough, i’m not the only one, so the plan was on!

Shrimp and Fennel Salad (SKRIMPS!)

  • 1 lb 16-20 sized shrimp, uncooked, peeled, grilled
  • Ancho chile powder
  • Paprika
  • Sea Salt & Pepper
  • Thyme, ground
  • Fennel Seed, ground
  • Mustard Sauce (mustard mixed with a vinegar base and spices, I used Duce’s Wild, a sauce from Sweet Baby Rays)
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard

I grilled up my shrimps on wooden skewers with a mix of paprika, ancho powder, ground thyme,ground fennel seed, fresh pepper, sea salt and a vinegar mustard sauce.  I also tossed big cuts of fennel on the grill to roast off until soft, but still have a slight crunch to it.  After cooling, I mixed up plain Greek yogurt with dry mustard, ancho chili powder, salt and pepper to taste, and finish off with fresh dill.  I am a sucker for freshly baked bread, so I got a Tuscan baguette from the store, cut into thick slices and toasted lightly on the grill.

I let this mixture sit in the fridge overnight to let the flavors blend together.  I spent my day wondering what would go well as a side.  I remembered this amazing simple side dish I had at Texas De Brazil.  It was a creamy blend of red seedless grapes and gorgonzola cheese crumbles.  I was unsure of what the creamy was, but I ended up using Greek yogurt to assure my meal stayed light.

Grape & Gorgonzola Salad

  • 1 bag red seedless grapes
  • 1 small container of gorgonzola crumbles
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • dash of salt and pepper

Mix well. Enjoy Often.

To tie the whole dish together, I decided to go with a corn cobbettes.  It’s simple, it’s tasty, and it certainly adds a pretty bright color to my plate.  This meal was so refreshing and certainly didn’t disappoint.  I was concerned my boyfriend wouldn’t like the grape salad but sure enough he finished it all – and asked for more! (which…remembering back,I don’t think I gave it to him…sorry Alex…love you!)

Going on Vacation! & Easy Pesto Pasta Recipe

This will be my last post. . . . until Monday!  I am taking a well deserved and very much needed mini vacation.  I have my family from Pennsylvania coming to visit for a long weekend and we are heading up to stay in a cabin up in Wisconsin.  It is located on a camp ground my family has been going to for over fifty years and it seems to never change, it is my favorite get-away.

I have been prepping up some food so while I’m up there I don’t have to spend my entire day cooking.  Don’t get me wrong, I can cook all day and not complain, but the point of this trip is to relax.  I got off work early today so I ran to the store and picked up some ribs and a pork shoulder.  I threw them on the smoker (did not wear flip flops, I learned my lesson…) and plan to smoke them til 11, wake up early and finish smoking them while at work.  This way all I have to do is pull the pork and throw it in a ziploc to heat up at camp, and just have to throw the ribs on the grill to reheat.  I’m aware that this is a little complex for “camp food” but I am competing in a BBQ Competition for my first time without help from professionals (*waves to Bob*) and I need to smoke ribs every chance I can get! So – my family is going to have ribs and gosh darnit they are gonna love them!

I also wanted to create a side dish that I wouldn’t have to be as freakish about worrying about keeping refrigerated.  We have coolers, but then the ice melts and everything gets soggy and wet and gross.  At first I was going to make a potato salad, but a vinegar base and not mayo.  But it is hot here in Chicago….I didn’t wanna cut up all the veg.  I decided to make a pesto pasta salad.  At first I was going to just do rotini pasta in pesto, but then I found sundried tomato at the store.  Then I got home and remembered I had made some fresh mozzarella with my cookin’ pal, gaming partner, hetero-life-mate Laura.  And so, my pesto pasta salad was born.

Ultimate Pesto Pasta Salad

  • 1 box Rotini Pasta Salad, Cooked, Chilled
  • 1 large bunch of fresh Basil
  • 1 cup toasted almonds (had it on hand)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • salt as needed
  • olive oil as needed
  • a touch of red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup sliced sun dried tomato
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella, chopped

Cook noodles until done, rinse them under cold water to stop cooking process.  In a blender combine almonds, basil, Parmesan, salt, dash of vinegar, and slowly drizzle in olive oil until the texture desired.  Coat pasta with the pesto sauce, toss in sun dried tomato and mozzarella.  So tasty, so addicting and I feel confident that it’ll go so quick I won’t have to worry about cooler space.  Easy to make, some what healthy (in my mind) and tasty food without having to just rely on s’mores and  burnt hot dogs.  I will miss you all! (Unless I get brave enough to bring my laptop…there will be kids…this sounds like a bad idea..)

 

Also, I wanted to make a shout out to someone who has been helping immensely by sharing my page with people.  Thank you so so much to From Cupcakes to Caviar!! I would spread the word on Facebook but everyone on my page is on yours too! So I did it here in hopes that maybe someone new will find you 😀