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Cheesy Zoodle Marinara + Zoodles 101

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

With Passover soon approaching, I think it’s time for ZOODLE school! Zucchini noodles, or zoodles, have taken the (healthy) food world by storm, and I am all over the trend.

I’m been zoodling for months now, and I’ve come to love zoodles even more than traditional pasta. Besides being fun and easy to make, zucchini noodles are cheap, very low in calories, and you can get lots of noodles out of a single zucchini. If you haven’t hopped on the zoodle train, it’s time for zoodle 101.

There are three popular tools on the market for making zoodles: The Veggetti, The Julienne Peeler and the Paderno Spiralizer. Each tool has it’s pros and cons. Lets get into it!

THE VEGGETTI – The veggetti works like a pencil sharpener – each side has a different size blade, one larger and one smaller to yield a thicker or thinner noodle. If you look at the picture below, you can see the leftover zucchini looks like the tip of a sharpened pencil. The veggetti makes long noodles, but perfect ones come with practice. Turning the zucchini is a bit difficult and the results can be a bit scraggly.
PROS: compact, inexpensive ($12-$15)
CONS: You can only make noodles out of veggies that fit in the veggetti opening – up to 2.5″ in diameter.
Purchase here

THE JULIENNE PEELER: A julienne peeler looks like a traditional vegetable peeler, except the blade has little micro blades that cut whatever you are peeling into julienned strips. I prefer the OXO brand.
PROS: compact, inexpensive ($10), easy to use, easy to clean.
CONS: yields the most waste, you get strips and not traditional-looking noodles, only works on straight vegetables that are easy to peel.
Purchase here

THE SPIRALIZER: The spiralizer is the most versatile tool. It allows you to create noodles out of many different vegetables, and even fruits. Any fruit or vegetable that is at least 2.5″ long and at least 1.5″ in diameter can be spiralized. It cannot be hollow or have a pit, and it must be firm. You can spiralize apples, pears, beets, jicama, plantains, kohlrabi, potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash (the neck), turnips and more! The spiralizer also yields the most authentic looking noodle. I prefer the Paderno brand.
PROS: yields the most authentic noodle, various blades yield different noodle shapes, works with a variety of fruits and vegetables, easy to use.
CONS: takes up the most space, not cheap ($30-$40 for the 3-blade and $50 for the new 4-blade), endlessly long noodles tangle and are hard to eat (I recommend cutting them shorter with kitchen shears), hardest to clean (I recommend cleaning immediately otherwise it’s hard to remove dried residue).
Purchase 3-blade, Purchase 4-blade

Here you can see how the noodles look based on the tool that was used, and what you have leftover after making the zucchini noodles. Now, lets talk about cooking methods.

BLANCHING – blanching means to cook vegetables quickly in boiling water and then shock them in an ice bath. As you can see below, this yields a mushy noodle. Not recommended!
ROASTING – roasting the zucchini noodles at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes, yields tender zoodles that are evenly cooked.
SAUTEEING – this is my favorite cooking method as it is fast and easy. I saute my zoodles in a wok or large skillet over high heat for about 2-3 minutes for perfectly tender zoodles.

An important point to consider about zoodles, and which tool you want to use to make them, is that zucchini’s have a lot of water. When you use the veggetti or the spiralizer, the seedy center of the zucchini (where most of the water is), get’s incorporated into the noodles. When you use a julienne peeler, you can stop peeling once you reach the seedy portion (in fact you’ll need to, because the strips will just fall apart). Therefore, zoodles made with the julienne peeler have less moisture and won’t water-down your sauces (same goes for cucumbers btw). If you prefer to use a spiralizer or veggetti, one way to solve this problem is to salt the zoodles to draw out some of the moisture. Let the salted zoodles drain in a colander for a few minutes, rinse off the salt and then pat dry on paper towels. I prefer to skip this step. Instead, I only cook my zoodles until tender, and I serve them immeidately (the longer they sit, the more moisture they will emit).

Now that we’ve covered the zoodles – what can you make with them? Well, you are only limited by your creativity! One of my favorite zoodle dishes is this cheesy zoodle marinara. I whip it up for lunch at least once a week! It’s so hearty and indulgent, yet it takes under 5 minutes to prepare. I use the julienne peeler for this because it’s the quickest, and I don’t want my lunch to be a whole to-do. Also, because I don’t use the seedy center of the zucchini, the zoodles don’t water down my sauce.

What else do I make with zoodles? Zoodle Pad Thai (recipe in my ebook), Zoodle Bolognese, Pesto Zoodles with Parmesan, Minestrone Soup with Zoodles, Chicken Zoodle Soup, Miso Soup with Zoodles and more!

And my spiralizer? Well the skies the limit on that! I make everything from rice and risotto to pizza crusts and sandwich buns – all out of vegetables!

If you’re looking for more recipes using the spiralizer, I’ve got loads of delicious spiralized dishes in this months issue of Joy of Kosher Magazine, so be sure to pick up a copy! You’ll find great Kosher for Passover recipes like beet-crust pizza with arugula walnut pesto and fresh mozzarella, cucumber salad with almond butter dressing, Spanish sweet potato rice with lime marinated chicken and no-bean minestrone with zoodles.

You can also check out the new Inspiralized cookbook by Ali Maffucci of Inspiralized.com.


This post was sponsored by Natural & Kosher Cheese. Follow them on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, or via their Blog

Other Zoodle Recipes:

spinach white bean minestrone with zoodles
harissa roasted chicken with zoodles

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Spiralized Spud Dogs

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Every since I got my spiralizer, my mind is racing with spiralized recipes. I can’t get enough! From fun curly fries, to healthy zoodle (zucchini noodle) dishes, and creative rice recipes, this compact machine is a powerhouse of possibilities!

What don’t I love about the spiralizer? It’s easy to use, requires little muscle and fits easily into my small kitchen. The blades tuck right into the machine for easy storage.

Sure, I have a julienne peeler, and even the vegemagic gadget, but they don’t come close to creating authentic-looking noodles with as much ease as the Paderno spiralizer. I’ve spiralized russet potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, beets, carrots, apples, cucumbers, and zucchini’s (my favorite!).

The great thing about spiralized veggies are the endless possiblities. Sure you can make noodles – but you can also pulse them in a food processor to make veggie “rice”. Or you can mix some noodles with spices and eggs and stuff them into ramekins to make “buns” or “latkes”. I weigh down the mixture with a can to form patties and pan-fry or bake until crispy and tender. I do the same to make a “pizza pie” or “rosti” in a frying pan. Such fun ways with veggies, right? It makes dieting SO much easier!

So enough about spiralizing in general…lets get into specifics! Would you look at these ADORABLE spud dogs??? How cute are they?!

Wrapped in spiralized potatoes, these crispy spud dogs are like french-fry-wrapped franks – two favorite BBQ dishes in one! I was SO excited when I came up with the idea – but I was equally lost by what to call them. So, I did what any blogger would do – I made a #NAMETHISRECIPE contest! My Instagram readers really pulled out all the stops on this one, with creative names like “The Tatered Dog”, Dog-Eat-Chips, “Doggie Fries”, SlinkyDog, “Twisty Frank”, FrankNFries, “Piggy In a Slinky”, “The French Dog”, DogNChips and more! But my all time favorite was “Spud Dog”, a name that both Esther Chase and Perry Wolff came up with. They both won a copy of my ebook and the title of an innovative new way to serve up an American favorite.

I think the best part of this recipe is that it’s not a recipe at all. You can make the potatoes thick or thin, or wrap them up in ribbon slices. Spice them up with your favorite french-fry seasoning, or keep them simple! Roast or pan-fry, fill or top them – any way you go, they’re sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

 

Other Labor Day BBQ recipes:

grilled marinated chicken
grilled corn with za’atar garlic butter
grilled chickpea burgers
portobello burgers with sundried tomato aioli
best BBQ potato salad

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Pulled Pesto Chicken Burger
with Fire-Roasted Tomato Jam

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

I’m so proud to be part of an amazing group of talented Jewish Bloggers for the 2nd annual “A Very Jewish Summer” week! Dena Siegel, from the blog Chai & Home, began the week-long collaboration last year, bringing leading Jewish bloggers together to celebrate Jewish life and style. Bloggers from Los Angeles, Connecticut, San Diego and Israel have been posting all week, and I’m happy to share their takes on Jewish summer living and lifestyle!

Click on the following links to get in on the Jewish summer fun!

Sunday: Summer Havdalah Candles on Design Megillah 
Monday: Shabbat Picnic Lunch on Chai & Home
Tuesday: Craft Foam Succh Lanterns on Creative Jewish Mom
Wednesday: Freezer Cooking for the Grill on Happily Hectic
Thursday: Pulled Pesto Chicken Burger on Busy In Brooklyn (that’s me!)

Last year, I posted a portobello mushroom burger with sundried tomato aioli for A Very Jewish Summer Week, so I decided to stick with the portobello burger theme since it seems to be going well for me. The recipe won 2nd Place in a mushroom contest and I ended up cooking it on tv for Brooklyn’s News 12!

This year, I’m sharing my mouthwatering recipe for a Paleofied burger from my Paleo eBook! Every since I hopped on the Whole30 bandwagon, I can’t get enough of eating the Paleo way and I couldn’t think of a better recipe to share for A Very Jewish Summer Week! A grilled portobello bun filled with fire-roasted balsamic tomato jam and pulled pesto chicken evokes summer on all fronts – from the chargrilled bun, to the sweet and smoky seasonal tomato jam and the fresh flavors of summer basil smothered chicken. This burger is so full of flavor, you’ll never miss a carb-laden bun again!

Don’t you just want to reach into your screen and grab that burger? Hashtag #getinmytummy all the way! Well this is just a drop in the bucket compared to the 100+ original sugar-free (no sweeteners!), grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, legume-free and alcohol-free recipes inluded in my Paleo ebook! Click here for more info and how to order!


Cinnamon Honey Walnut Butter

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

It feels like forever since I’ve posted real recipes! I’ve been so busy with the ebook, cooking demos and traveling abroad that I haven’t had a chance to really get in the kitchen. Luckily, I have a few recipes that I’ve been saving for days like these, and I’m finally digging them up.

Making your own nut butter is a lot easier than it looks. And the possibilities are endless! Almond butter, peanut butter, pecan butter, hazelnut butter (hello nutella!)….there are so many to choose from! Some people opt to soak and dehydrate their nuts before processing (it makes it easier to digest, improves the flavor, and removes bitterness), but that just takes the easy out of it! I go the quick route – blend, blend and blend some more until they go from piecey to mealy to ground to creamy…yummy! Stay tuned for the perfect compliment to this butter – banana oat pancakes, coming to the blog next week!

Related Recipes: sugared almonds

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Paleo eBook Giveaway!

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Last week, I summed up just what my ebook has to offer in this post but I couldn’t resist hosting a giveaway for y’all too! It also gives me a chance to give you more of a glimpse into some of the recipes I developed during my Whole30. You’ll find them all in my Paleo 30-Day meal plan.

Smoky braised chicken & collards, dinner, Day 8

I hadn’t really planned on another ebook post for a while, but when you’re up at 3 AM, jetlagged on the other side of the world, you’ve got a lot of times of your hands! Regards from down under! (The toilets really do flush the other way around on this side of the world).

Tuna avocado cucumber rolls with spicy mayo, lunch, Day 19

This whole eBook experience has been seriously surreal. I never went on the Whole30 with the intention of writing an ebook. It just sorta happened. One day I was cooking up sugar free, grain free and dairy free recipes, and the next I was collaborating them into a 50 page meal plan with over 100 recipes!

Grilled chicken shawarma plate, dinner, Day 10

And then, before I could even think about what was happening, I went live and the book actually sold. And sold some more. And every day, as the orders roll in, I just pinch myself and wonder, “Did I really just sell a cookbook?”

Paleo Pad Thai with spicy almond butter sauce, dinner, Day 9

The very next day after my ebook went live, I joined Naomi Nachman on her radio show, Table for Two, to make my Paleo Pad Thai live from Gourmet Glatt (a kosher supermarket in Cedarhurst). You can watch my interview and demo here!

Green bean salad (served with tuna nicoise patties), lunch, Day 26

I’m a firm believier that everything happens for a reason and I know my ebook had to evolve in the way that it did because otherwise it would never have happened! I’m way too much of a perfectionist to let anything go without it being William-Morrow-ready. And yet, I knew that the recipes spoke for themselves, so I just went for it (thanks to a lot of encouragement from family and friends)!

Roasted vegetable salad with poached egg, breakfast, Day 2

And thanks to you, my readers, for your constant support and feedback! Your comments, posts and emails encourage me to keep going bigger and better. You’ve helped turn my little corner of the blogosphere into more than just a hobby! Hopefully a real, hardcover (William Morrow published!) cookbook will be next on the list! (That’s a lot of explanation marks for one paragraph! I must be excited :)  or overtired…or both!)

Sweet potato chili, dinner, Day 2

So finally….back to the Giveaway details!

To enter the Paleo  30-Day Meal Plan Giveaway, leave a comment  sharing your favorite Busy In Brooklyn recipe. You can also follow Busy In Brooklyn via any of the channels below for an extra entry (one entry per follow). Just be sure to leave a note in the comment letting me know where you follow.

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest 

Giveaway is open to everyone worldwide (don’t you just love ebooks?!). Winner will be chosen at random at 10:00 AM EST on Monday, July 21st, 2014.

Schnitzel salad, dinner, Day 24

To read more about what the ebook has to offer, check out this post, or this Q&A. If you want to go ahead and purchase it, you can do so right here!

Paleo 30-Day Meal Plan $15
Your Email Address:

Have you already ordered the ebook? Which recipes have you tried? Share your comments here!

Paleo 30-Day Meal Plan

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014


I can’t believe this day is finally here! Somebody pinch me! I’ve been working on my Paleo meal plan every free minute for the past 2 months. My family has been having elaborate 3 course Whole30 dinners for the past few weeks, and I couldn’t be more excited to finally introduce my 30 day meal plan!

Almond curry stuffed sweet potatoes, dinner, Day 18

If you haven’t been following my Whole30 diet journey on Facebook and Instagram, read this blog post for a quick summary of how I’ve been changing my life with the Paleo diet. I could have never imagined how energetic, healthy and happy I would feel eating a sugar-free, dairy-free, soy-free, legume-free and grain-free diet.

Cabbage and sausage egg roll, breakfast, Day 19

One thing my Whole30 was not – boring! I truly believe that the best way to diet is to eat well. Eating flavorful, satisfying meals curbs cravings and doesn’t make you feel deprived! I believe in this so strongly that I decided to chronicle all of my Paleo recipes in a meal plan and make it available for anyone interested in taking control of their eating habits and living a healthier life.

Cauliflower fried rice, lunch, Day 23

My 30 Day Meal Plan includes 50 pages of more than 100 recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Recipes like my Smoky Braised Chicken & Collards, Pad Thai, Sweet Potato Chili, Cucumber Sushi Rolls, and Nut-Crusted Shnitzel will make you feel like you’re eating anything but “diet” food! I’ve also included basic building block recipes like 5-minute ketchup, homemade mayonnaise, zoodles (zucchini noodles) and cauliflower rice that you’ll be using again and again.

Chicken nuggets with 5-minute ketchup, dinner, Day 29

The menu also includes a section of holiday and weekend recipes, for those wishing to entertain guests. Bonus appetizer, soup and dessert recipes like tropical guacamole, asparagus with mustard vinaigrette, spaghetti squash soup and strawberries with coconut whipped cream will help you round out your meal.

Broccoli quiche, breakfast, Day 7

As if that’s not enough, I’ve also included a handy calendar that you can print out and post on your fridge. It lists the breakfast, lunch and dinner for each day. A Table of Contents will help you find your daily menu easily.

Moroccan fish, lunch, Day 13

Also included in the Paleo ebook are pantry and fridge staples, helpful tools, resources and tips to help guide you through the 30-Day meal plan.

Asian turkey burger with sauteed cabbage, avocado and Thai almond butter sauce, dinner, Day30

One of the things I tried to incorporate into the meal plan was utilizing leftovers. Nobody wants to sit in the kitchen all day, so meal planning is essential! On several days, I have you set aside some leftovers which are repurposed in another way the next day. Less waste and less work, who doesn’t love that?!

Fajitas with homemade spice mix over cauliflower rice with fried egg, dinner, Day 4

One of the other great features of the Paleo cookbook is that I created the meal plan so that each day’s menu is featured on it’s own page. This way, you can print out the page on it’s own, hang it on your fridge and not have to run to your computer to follow the recipes.

Chicken tortilla-less soup, dinner, Day 23

Now that I’ve whet your appetite with these amazing dishes, I know what you’re thinking….”How do I get my hands on this ebook?!” Well, that’s the easy part!

Inside-out coconut chicken burger , dinner, Day 26

To purchase the ebook, simply click on the “pay now” button below to pay for it via paypal. When I receive your payment, I will email you the ebook. You can print it out, staple it, glue it together – whatever you wish. You just can’t share it :) I spent hours upon hours of hard work preparing this book for sale. I ask that you do not reproduce it in any form (email, photocopy, or sharing the recipes on your own blog). If you love the ebook as much as I do, plug away! Show your love via social media with hashtag #paleoebook, and don’t forget to tag @busyinbrooklyn!

Apple crisp “cereal”, breakfast, Day 12

Order your Paleo 30-Day Meal Plan today! You’ll receive: -50 pages of over 100 recipes -Pantry and Fridge/Freezer Staples -Building Block Recipes -Holiday or Weekend Meal Ideas -30-Day Meal Plan -30 Day Calendar -Dieting Tips

Butternut squash pie, lunch, Day 6

Paleo 30-Day Meal Plan $15
Your Email Address:

For more of what’s in the ebook, and for a chance to win  a copy, visit this post! For FAQ’s, check this out!

I would love to hear about the recipes you are making and enjoying! Please post a comment and share! And of course, if you have any questions at all about the ebook, please don’t hesitate to contact me at busyinbrooklyn@gmail.com!

Spaghetti Squash Shakshuka

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

If you’ve been following me on Facebook or Instagram, you probably know that I’ve been doing the Whole30 diet. Ever since I had baby #4 back in October, shedding the pregnancy pounds has not been easy. My go-to weightloss plan has always been The South Beach Diet, but it just wasn’t working for me this time around. I guess as we get older, our bodies change and what may have worked for us in our twenties, just doesn’t cut it during the big 3-0.

I had been seeing the Whole30 plastered all over Instagram and I was curious to see if it would work for me. My friend Melinda of Kitchen-Tested was raving about the diet, and after pushing it off for some time, I finally took the plunge! I chronicled my Whole30 diet via social media, sharing my meals for everyone to see. It held me accountable and made me feel like I had to stick to the program, or else I had a lot of people to answer to!

One of my biggest rules of dieting is to eat well. If I munch on salad greens every day, I feel deprived, miserable and hungry! On the other hand, when I take the time out to prepare a satisfying meal, I feel full and I don’t end up with cravings. Three meals a day becomes more than enough and I don’t feel the need to snack in between.


And so, each day, I challenged myself to come up with exciting recipes and dishes. Omelettes certainly became boring over time, so I turned to one of my favorite dishes – shakshuka. I prepared jalapeno shakshuka, marinara shakshuka and even meat shakshuka! But I really hit the jackpot with this incredible spaghetti squash shakshuka. The strands of spaghetti squash coated in runny egg yolk is so spectacular, you feel like you’re eating something so indulgent – and you are!

Dishes like these carried me through the Whole30 without a single mistep. I originally went on the diet to lose weight, but I never imagined the amazing after-effects that 30 days without sugar, dairy, carbs, legumes or alcohol would bring. Yes, I lost 8 lbs, but even better than that was that my sugar-cravings all but disappeared and I never feel the need to snack anymore. I eat when I’m hungry – and I eat well, but that is all! I feel so in control of my eating habits, and I don’t crave that added drizzle of honey or the teaspoon of sugar that I once did. In fact, just a few days after I completed my Whole30, I spent Shavuot with friends where I was surrounded by dairy delicacies and delicious dishes of all kinds. When I tried to eat a salad that had a sweet salad dressing, I was so overwhelmed by it’s cloying nature that I literally could not swallow it. There is no question that the Whole30 changed my taste towards food and my attitude as well. I much prefer savory to sweet now, in fact I plan to continue following the Whole30 diet until I lose another 20 lbs. After that, I will transition to a Paleo diet (the Whole30 is based on it, it just has more restrictions).

One of the other great outcomes of the Whole30 diet, is something I could have never imagined. When I began posting photos of all of the delicious meals I was preparing, the requests for recipes poured in. At first, I shared the recipes under the photos, but after a few days I realized, why don’t I just compile a 30-day meal plan? And so, without much ado, my Paleo ebook was born! Writing a cookbook has seemed so far away for the longest time – and a real, physical, turn-the-page kind of cookbook might be. But this ebook has allowed me to share over 100 recipes without nearly as much work as a hardcover book would be. I am still working on the last bit of edits and recipe testing, but the ebook should be available within the next 2 weeks! Stay tuned for more details in my upcoming posts and look out for the #Paleoebook hashtag via social media. I think I smell a giveaway.

 

Related Recipes:

baked portobello shakshuka
quick and easy marinara shakshuka

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