rid the back to school lunch blues with these ideas…

Here is my lunch bag set up – my PlanetBox (which comes with 2 containers and cool carrying case), a 16oz Klean Kanteen that I use for water, and a 12oz Klean Kanteen that I use when I am bringing hot food (e.g. soups or stews).

Guest post by Cynthia Roulston ~ This September will mark my 12th year of teaching. As an elementary school teacher, the start of a school year often feels more like the beginning of a new year then it does on January 1st. It is often a time I set new routines as I try to balance my life in a way that does not end up with work taking over every aspect. As part of that organization, it is also a time to think about how to continue my awesome success with a paleo lifestyle. I have been paleo for about 3 years and friends and family often bombard me with the same 4 questions:

  1. What do you eat for breakfast?
  2. What do you eat for lunch?
  3. What do you eat for dinner?
  4. What do you eat?

The last question is probably the easiest one to answer. I eat real food. I avoid grains, legumes and processed food. I seriously limit/avoid dairy. That means I eat the best quality protein sources I can afford, lots of veggies with a bit of fruit, and some nuts and seeds. Pretty simple, and yet when I manage to convince my friends to try a Whole30, to give the paleo way a try, these same questions surface.  One of the key elements to being successful with this way of eating is dropping your preconceived notions of what a meal is. I no longer look at foods in terms of “breakfast”, “lunch” or “dinner”. Most of the time I am successful eating 3 meals a day, and I simply look at them as that – meals. I view meals as the food that will nourish my body, and fuel it in the healthiest way possible, to sustain me throughout the day. This mental shift has shown me that no food is off limits just because of the time of day.

Cindy has invited me to write about lunches as we prepare to get back to work. So whether you are a teacher like ourselves or some other professional, a student, or have children attending school, hopefully there will be some ideas in this post that you can use. I will also include some photos (show casing my awesome Planetbox) of some easy awesome lunches I made recently.

One of the most important ways I keep on track with my paleo lifestyle during lunch is having awesome containers to pack my lunch in. I never really need an excuse to buy myself a present – but being able to keep your food fresh and tasty is going to help you enjoy it much more. Last year I discovered Planet Box lunch containers and they are fantastic! They are environmentally friendly, and keep your food fresh! The only down side to the lunch box I purchased is that it only works with cold meals. They have recently changed this in their newest version which is also a bit larger then the one I bought (darnit!). However, I have also discovered Klean Kanteen, which is another amazing environmentally friendly product that can hold hot or cold beverages, as well as leftover meals like stews and soups. The 8-12oz Klean Kanteen perfectly holds a warm meal (I heat it up in the morning before work and it is still super hot by lunch) and fits snuggly into the pocket of my Planetbox Lunch bag. I also have a 16oz Klean Kanteen that I use as my water bottle throughout the day. I have also tried and still occasionally use an impulse purchase I made at Deserres bento lunch box which looks pretty funky but isn’t as useful as the Planetbox, and doesn’t have a matching carry case. It’s amazing what you can find at the checkout line of an art supply store!

So now that you are equipped with an awesome lunch bag – it’s time to fill it with awesome food.  This diagram comes from Planetbox (a USA – based company), but I wouldn’t be surprised if Canada’s food guide were turned into a plate it would look very similar. I do like that they have made an attempt to market such an amazing lunchbox while encouraging environmental sustainability as well as healthy eating. Obviously we significantly differ on what we consider healthy eating.

If I was to re-create this diagram for my Planetbox to reflect a more paleo/primal balance it would look like:

The obvious difference is the removal of the grains and dairy groups, and larger portion of veggies as the main carbohydrate source.

General Meal Guidelines:

  1. I like to base each meal of my day around my protein source. Protein ideas are endless – fish (I like salmon fillets, or tuna salad with my own homemade mayo), boiled eggs, poultry, beef…you name it! I also like nitrate-free deli meat when I can get it. Using meat for wraps is one of my go-to favourites. Find a good local butcher – we love Royal Beef  as they have the best deli ever in addition to their other amazing quality meats.
  2. Next I choose my fat source. Sometimes my fat may already be incorporated in my meal – e.g in a stew if I am reheating leftovers. Otherwise, I may need to add some.  Fat Sources I like -  Olive oil, or walnut oil I frequently use as a base in my salad dressings, a handful of nuts, or a couple of table spoons of almond or cashew butters are great for dipping fruit in. Avocado, olives, coconut milk and coconut flakes are great, easily portable fat sources too.
  3. Lastly – I go to town on the veggies. I like to experiment with variety as I look for different combinations that work with my protein sources. Carbohydrate Sources are even more endless – I always like to favour things in season, although lettuce leaves for wraps, as well as carrot, celery and cucumber seem to pop up a lot in my rotation because I love them and they are easy. No one can claim boredom here though!! Ways to prepare veggies are as numerous as there are kinds! As for fruit I try not to go too crazy. I use it more like a garnish/condiment or dessert. Definitely a smaller portion compared to veggies. As with my veggies, when it comes to fruit I also like to be adventurous and experiment with what is in season.

Top/Left –> Clockwise ~ * Hormone/antibiotic free ham slices wrapped around sliced tomato and avocado, coronation grapes, almond butter for dipping apple slices into and some cucumber * Grassfed roast beef, carrots, banana with almond butter for dipping, kiwi slices, 90% Lindt cacao chocolate * Tuna Salad Wraps in a Bento Box * Leftover roast chicken, cashews, cucumber slices, watermelon pieces and 90% Lindt Cacao chocolate

Still hungry? Make up some homemade baggies of this or something similar! Also, check out PALEOdISH’s last blog post for loads of additional snacky(ish) ideas that are perfect to pack in your lunch box!!!

Emergency Snack mix – grassfed beef jerky, prunes, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds

Other Lunch Suggestions:

  1. Be prepared – I like to make a plan for the week and I assemble my lunch as part of my evening routine so that in the morning I can just grab my lunch from the fridge and go.
  2. Sunday Night Slow Cook – I like to prepare a large cut of meat (e.g. a roast or whole chicken, spaghetti sauce, chili, soups or stew) where I know there will be lots of leftovers and I’ve got an easy yummy protein source ready to go for at least 2 lunches during the week, or can be frozen for later. It’s nice starting the work week knowing you’re set up for the first couple of days.
  3. Leftovers Rule – During the work week I will often make extra amounts of my third meal (dinner) which lends nicely to lunch-able leftovers.

Cynthia Roulston has been an elementary school teacher for 12 years. With a MSc in Nutritional Science she has also worked as a clinical research associate in breast cancer prevention trials at Princess Margaret Hospital. This background in nutrition is what led to her interest in the paleo diet.  A former national and world-level Ultimate Frisbee player, and former track athlete, physical fitness has been a significant part of her life.  Cynthia currently competes in kettlebell sport. As a part-time Movement Coach at StrengthBox, she derives satisfaction by helping others achieve their personal best. She’s a great motivator and specializes in making workouts fun. She firmly believes in setting a positive example for her students, and continues to amaze them with her feats of fitness and strength. She recently became a MovNat Certified Trainer and enjoys as part of a paleo lifestyle, encouraging and teaching her clients how to move naturally with ease, power and grace. Check out her blog, which includes some good stuff related to MovNat, kettlebell training and living a paleo lifestyle.

akuri (spicy scrambled eggs)

I woke up Sunday morning…to a sweet ping on my blackberry.  Yes…okay…it was nearly 11:00 am…and maybe we should have been up and at it, but we were still fully nestled under the sheets!  After all, many of you folks know how much we love our sleep around these parts.  Sleep-ins on the week-end are very much cherished and something we adore!  Coziest of cozies!!!  Anyhoo…my dear friend and co-worker Jasmine made me smile by emailing and sharing with me one of her favourite recipes.  Akuri…a spicy egg dish, commonly eaten in Parsi culture.

Jasmine had been speaking about it’s wicked-awesomeness at work…and it sounded truly incredible.  I couldn’t wait to try this new little number.  Sunday is typically our big ‘grocery shop’, so I was able to pick everything up for the dish when we were out and about.  We made this ‘scrambled egg concoction’ Sunday for dins…and again on Monday night, because we loved it like crazy!  Jokingly, we were literally arguing over who got more in their bowl.  When dins was done…both of us chuckled, as we still wanted more!! HA!

Thank-you SO much Jasmine for introducing us to this goodness.  A terrific alternative to reg scrambled eggs.  Try ‘em…give it a go and spice up your life a little.  A total game changer in our opinions.  Excellent solution to those looking for a quick, easy and delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner idea!  Hope you like…

akuri (spicy scrambled eggs)
main
2-4
 
Ingredients
  • 8 eggs - scrambled
  • butter, ghee, coconut oil
  • 1 medium white onion - diced
  • 2-3 tomatoes - diced
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced/crushed
  • 1 jalapeno pepper or 2 green chile peppers - finely chopped (remove seeds if you don't want it too hot or add more if you like it really spicy!)
  • handful of fresh cilantro - chopped
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • a few pinches of sea salt - to taste
Instructions
  1. start by chopping up all your veggies and herbs
  2. in a pan, heat 1-2 tbsp of butter/ghee or coconut oil
  3. add in diced onion and sauté until translucent
  4. next, add in tomatoes, garlic, peppers and cilantro and cook on medium for a few minutes, until tomatoes soften
  5. add in your turmeric and season with salt, while stirring together
  6. meanwhile, get eggs ready by cracking them and whipping them together in a large bowl (I added in some cold water to the mixture, to make them more fluffy)
  7. turn up the heat a little, and add your scrambled eggs to the pan
  8. cook and keep stirring, until eggs are scrambled to your liking
  9. garnish with more chopped cilantro if you wish
  10. enjoy!

 

baked chicken thighs – 3 ways!

Chicken thighs…marinated three ways to suit your fancy.  Up until a few weeks ago, I wasn’t even sure if I really cared for good ol’ thighs to be honest with you, as I had never really had them before.  This may be somewhat surprising, but I had previously just overlooked their goodness.  Who knows why?  Basically, the inaugural recipe of such began when I was at the butcher shop, unable to find some chicken breasts for dins one evening.  Sitting lonely, neighbouring the section which once sat the breasts, were some boneless, skinless chicken thighs.  Without much thought, I snagged them and was on my way.

With this new (to me) poultry part in my possession, I decided to get a wee bit creative and whip up some simple, yet flavourful marinades to soak these bad boys in.  I had 12 chicken pieces in total…and decided to separate them equally into three Ziplock bags, containing different marinades.  Funny enough, as it turned out, the night I intended on baking them, I got tied up and just turned to having leftovers that night.  Regardless, they were all ready to go (minus the actually cooking process), so the chicken thighs were fortunate to be able to sit, immerse in the liquid concoctions overnight in the fridge.

Fast forward through the magical world of the www.  Verdict…2 thumbs up!  They turned out super moist and tender, totally filled with an abundance of juicy flavour.  They def get additional bonus points, if you are on a budget, as chicken thighs are a very affordable option.  Similar to that of their white meat counterpart, they can either come with the bone-in or boneless…and also with skin-on or skinless.  The choice here is ultimately yours…personal preference I suppose.  I think I want to try boneless chicken thighs, with the skin-on next time!  Lastly, I must also mention that these delicious chunks of meat serve as terrific leftovers.  I found myself quickly grabbing a couple thighs in the morning for breakfast, as I was literally darting out the door for work.  A super sweet option for those who are often on the go!

Marination is the process of soaking foods in a seasoned, often acidic, liquid before cooking. The origins of the word allude to the use of brine (aqua marina) in the pickling process, which led to the technique of adding flavor by immersion in liquid. The liquid in question, the ‘marinade’, can be acidic with ingredients such as vinegarlemon juice, or wine or enzymatic (made with ingredients such as pineapple or papaya.)[1] Along with these liquids, a marinade often contains oils, herbs, and spices to further flavor the food items.

It is commonly used to flavor foods and to tenderize tougher cuts of meat.[2] The process may last seconds or days. Different marinades are used in different cuisines. For example, in Indian cuisine the marinade is usually prepared with a mixture of spices. (Source: Wikipedia)

Note:  I will try to be as accurate as possible, but not gonna lie – mostly eyeballed it, test-tested and hoped for the best when it came to the amounts of olive oil and balsamic that I put in!!!  I will make these again in the next week or two, and re-jig the recipe to include the exact measurements for y’all.

Marinades (12 chicken thighs total – each marinade was made for 4 chicken thigh pieces each.  You may want to adjust, depending on your quantity)

Balsamic

  • coconut/olive oil – generous amount to coat
  • balsamic vinegar (equal parts oil and vinegar)
  • 3 shallots – finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves – crushed
  • 2 tbsp grainy mustard – good quality
  • coarse sea salt and ground pepper

Lemon

  • coconut/olive oil – generous amount to coat
  • 1.5 lemons – squeezed
  • 3 tbsp Italian seasoned herb mix (dried basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, black pepper)
  • 3 garlic cloves – crushed
  • coarse sea salt and ground pepper

Smoky

  • coconut/olive oil – generous amount to coat
  • 2 limes – juice squeezed
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 shallots or small white onion- finely sliced
  • handful of fresh cilantro – finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground chipotle
  • 2.5 tsp of chili powder
  • coarse sea salt and ground pepper

Prep

  • for each individual marinade – measure and pour all ingredients into a large Ziploc bag
  • add chicken thighs into the bag and zip closed
  • use your hands to shake and ‘massage’ the marinade mixture into the chicken pieces
  • allow to soak and absorb all the flavours for at least 2 + hours (I let marinade for 24 hours – the longer, the better)
  • when ready, preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • remove chicken thighs from bag, and place in a single layer, in an oven-proof dish (Corningware), covering with the liquid marinade
  • bake for approx. 30-45 minutes, until juices run clear (watch them, as you don’t want to overcook/dry-out)
  • broil for an additional 3-5 minutes if you want the outside crispy (optional)
  • remove, set aside and serve
  • enjoy!

loaded beef & bacon chili

We made this concoction up last night for dins.  Slightly similar to a previous chili recipe of mine, HOWEVER def jazzed up with more flavour and bacon!  I have to say…the bacon was a solid addition.  Today, it has served me very well as a breakfast, lunch AND dinner.  I kid you not!  Some people get all weirded out my eating the same kinds of meals several times in a row and making use of their leftovers.  Not this gal.   More specifically, when it comes to stews, chilies and soups…sometimes they are even better the next day.  Anyhoo, I am keeping in short and sweet tonight.  Hitting the hay…and off to the states tomorrow to do a little shoppy shops!!!  LE CREUSET outlet store…here we come!  TA TA for now…

loaded beef & bacon chili
Main
4 +
 
Ingredients
  • coconut/olive oil- for cooking veggies
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 8-10 slices of bacon - or more if desired!
  • 1 can diced tomatoes- organic (just tomatoes- look at ingredients)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes- same as above
  • 2 package mushroom- quartered into chunks
  • 3-4 large carrots- coined
  • 3 stalks celery - chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion- thickly diced
  • 3 zucchini- diced into chunks
  • 2 red pepper- chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 tbsp ground smoked chipotle chilies
  • loads of chili powder - add and taste - repeat (to reach desired flavour and colour richness)
  • fresh cilantro- chopped for garnish
Instructions
  1. start by browning the ground beef, on medium heat in a frying pan- set aside
  2. in the meantime, bake the bacon in the oven at 325 degrees, until fully cooked - set aside to cool, then break into chunks
  3. in a separate dutch oven (large), sautee all the veggies in coconut/olive oil on medium heat, until cooked (softened)
  4. drain most of the liquid from the veggies, as you don't want it too watered down
  5. then take the ground beef and bacon pieces and add both to the veggies in the dutch oven
  6. next, add in both cans of tomatoes and stir throughly
  7. then, sprinkle in desired amounts of spices (taste test as you go - we put in lots as that is the way we prefer it!)
  8. let cook on low-medium heat- stirring occasionally
  9. dish and garnish with fresh cilantro
  10. enjoy!
Notes
• The above recipe is wonderful for freezing smaller portions, because of it's size. I also enjoy using the leftovers as a yummy topping on eggs or over greens. • One of my 'readers' the other day, suggested that it may be a tasty topping for my twice baked chipotle sweet potato. Good call!

spicy meat ‘cupcakes’ & ‘loaf’

When talking about meatloaf…I think there are two distinct camps.  You either loved it or you hated it growing up as a kid!  I am most def a huge fan. I remember that smell so clealy as a walked in the door from figure skating. Ohhhhh…that is such an unforgettable aroma. Toally warm and comforting, as I remember. During my childhood, I LOVED it when my my mom would make this comforting dish.  I never got tired of it…and looked forward to our weekly dinner of meatloaf with a sidekick of baked potato.  Her version was simple, yet amazing.  I have tried to re-create her recipe many times, but could never do it justice.  What an incredible cook she was…rest her soul.

Up until last year, I had not had ‘homemade’ meatloaf in several YEARS, until I discovered it at Rowe Farms.  I think we basically bought one of their store-made babies almost every week this past fall/winter.  Sadly, I was in there a couple weeks ago and ‘the dude’ told me they are no longer carrying them!  WHHHHATTTT!?!  So…with inspiration from their version, along with my mom’s…I decided to ‘wing it’ and make my own, with ‘the flair of Cyn’.  Of course I had to add some bacon in there for some extra flav!!! ;)  Kicking it up with some spice was my modus operandi…and topping it with my love of avocado was a purposeful touch.

WARNING…HIGHLY ADDICTIVE!  I CUT MYSELF OFF after 13 meat ‘cupcakes’…well maybe not that many, but you get my point.  Hope you love them!!

PS – I have used the same mixture for the meat ‘cupcakes’ and the ‘loaf’ alike.  Both turned out wicked.  A full-on meal or some scrumptious little appetizers…whatever your heart desires!

spicy meat 'cupcakes' & 'loaf'
main
4 +
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 1 lb of ground pork
  • 6 slices of bacon - cut into small pieces
  • 1 large carrot - shredded
  • 1 beet - shredded
  • 1 medium onion - chopped
  • .5 package of mushrooms - diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper - finely diced (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp 'grainy' mustard
  • 4 cloves of garlic - crushed or finely chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp dried mixed herbs (Italian)
  • 1 tbsp of cayenne pepper (optional )
  • a few dashes of sea salt and ground pepper
  • toppings - guacamole (can spoon on or use a corner-cut ziplock to 'ice' them.
  • hot sauce (optional)
Instructions
  1. in a large bowl, combine ground pork, beef and bacon
  2. add in all veggies to the mix
  3. crack and whisk eggs in a separate bowl and add into the large bowl
  4. next, add in all the herbs and spices
  5. using your hands (get in there), thoroughly fold all the ingredients together
  6. take picture and press firmly into a greased 'loaf pan' or 'muffin cups'
  7. preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for approx 45 minutes (this is the time for the loaf, meat cupcakes bake quicker
  8. finally, broil for 5-10 minutes (watching carefully)
  9. remove from oven and let cool a little
  10. plate and serve with a dollop or two...or three of guac and hot sauce (optional)
  11. enjoy!
Notes
• if you aren't a fan of super spicy dishes, omit the jalapeno and ground cayenne pepper. • btw - aren't those wee meat 'cupcakes too adorable to resist?!? Try them at your next dinner party...

pesto and coconut zucc noodles

So…the topic of THIS spirally thingy came up when we were up North at a friend of the fam’s cottage a couple weekends ago.  While we were there, my mother-in-law mentioned it in conversation whilst (love that word, but hardly ever use it) on the dock chillin’ as pictured below..ahhhhhhhh – PURE BLISS!

It was seriously sooooo relaxing.  Totally awesome to spend loads of quality time with loved ones and then to have the opportunity to communally create some pretty amazing feasts in the evenings together.  We ate like Paleo kings and queens!  Workouts included swimming across the lake and back, kayaking, canoeing, aqua lily pad fun and of course, the inaugural adventure on the ‘newly popular’ paddle board (video coming soon…).  If you haven’t tried this yet…I strongly encourage you to give it a go!  I thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of it.  Even the near face-plant onto the dock right at the beginning!!!

Changing gears for a second (bear with me)…at the beginning of our 10 day, California Coast “expedition”, we were fortunate enough to meet and listen to some really incredible speakers at UCLA, throughout the 2-day 2011 Ancestral Health Symposium that we attended.  There was one presentation that really resonated and rang true to me at that present time.  Consequently, I have come to realize that I do in fact need more play in my life, after listening to Mark Sisson’ s presentation on ‘The Lost Art of Play’.  It was phenomenal in my eyes!

A huge ‘thank you’ to Mark for sharing his love of life with the audience.  Incorporating more play into my ‘everyday’ is def on the forefront for moi, having now listened to him share his infectious spirit and passion for ‘being in the moment’ and ‘detaching oneself from the outcome.’ (Okay…fully off topic now, but he seriously inspired me with his words of wisdom.  I am going to do a full/proper post on the importance of what he and others spoke of in a separate entry very soon!)  An amazing weekend we all had…filled with lots of PLAY!Alright…back the THIS spirally thingy!  Joannie (MIL), started telling my about it and it’s rave review that a friend of hers had excitedly conveyed to her earlier that week.  She went on to say that this cool device has the capacity to create these spirally noodles out of many different types of vegetables, such as: zucchini, yams, sweet potatoes etc…  At this point, I could kinda picture was she was talking about, but needed to see it in action to grasp it’s full beauty I think.  Nonetheless, I was super stoked to do a little researcheroo upon returning back to the city, to find out where I could pick-up something of the sort!?

A couple days later, after being back at home…I couldn’t stop thinking of the potential possibilities of such a damn clever sounding creation.  Soooooo, while not totally knowing the ‘exact brand’ that she was referring to, I decided to go on the computer and do some investigating for myself.  I read several reviews on various makes and then called up a couple local stores, in the neighborhood to see if they had something similar in stock!?  First one (Stack)…no dice!  Second one (Cook It!)…YES!  They had 2 different brands in-store.  The sun was a-shining, so I decided to take a wee stroll to hopefully (fingers crossed), find what I was looking for…which was of course…THIS spirally thingy!!!

Upon entering the shop, the owner greeted me and directed me towards the shelf, where they both sat.  She took both of them out of the package and laid them on the counter for me to have a closer peek.  It wasn’t even a contest!  The first one that she showed me was made of a flimsy plastic…I think something even fell off of it as she pulled it out of the box!  The second one was different.  A total beaut!!!  It was even grey and red!  Two of my favs (but that’s not why I bought it okay! Haha!)  I could just tell by looking at it, that it was well-made, durable and would stand the test of time.  I don’t splurge too often, but when I really want something I will not hesitate to get it.  It was the last one and was on-sale…bonus!  My days of over-thinking purchases and being wishy-washy on things are over.  I could tell right away that this new addition would be soooo helpful in making countless meals.  Without a second thought, I was over at the cash register buying up my new…well you know, sprially thingy – aka…the German-made, Westmark Spiromat!

BTW – I am sure there are several other wonderful spiral slicers out there too!  But, here are the photos of my ‘baby’ for your viewing pleasure! ;)  It has 3 different blade inserts, as shown below.

I have used this sweet little contraption twice now.  Both times I made zucchini ‘noodles’; the first being the ‘spaghetti’ style ones you see in the first 2 photos above (thick/thin) and the second time,  I tried the wide/flat style that is pictured in the third photo.  I am going to continue to experiment with different veggies, as the potential for more greatness is right at my fingertips.  Without further ramblings (sweet if you made it this far!), here are the 2 different versions that I have made to date…

Zucchini “Spaghetti” with Pesto Sauce (at top of page)

pesto and coconut zucc noodles
appetizer, main
2
 
Ingredients
  • 3 large zucchini - spiraled
  • olive oil
  • pesto sauce - you can use store-bought or homemade (I have done both before)
  • my homemade pesto: fresh cilantro, basil, cashews, garlic, olive oil, lime juice (squeezed), jalapeno peppers, sea salt and pepper, various dried spices - I apologize that I didn't pay much attention to amounts here...I was basically just 'eyeballing' and tossing the ingredients into the food processor! I will update with specifics, when I make it next!!
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. wash your zucchini thoroughly
  2. secure in your spiral slicer and turn handle to create 'spaghettish noodles'
  3. using olive oil, sautee your zucchini on low heat on the stove-top (note - this doesn't take long! keep an eye on it, because no one likes mushy 'noodles'.)
  4. when you feel like the zucchini is almost cooked to your liking, add in a few spoonfuls of pesto sauce
  5. mix it in thoroughly and continue to heat for a couple more minutes
  6. plate and sprinkle with some sea salt and ground pepper
  7. enjoy!

Curly Coconut Zucchini and Carrot Ribbons (above ^)

  • 3 large zucchini – spiraled
  • 1-2 carrots – peeled and shredded
  • coconut oil
  • dried chili pepper flakes (optional)
  • sea salt and pepper

Prep:

  • wash your zucchini thoroughly
  • secure in your spiral slicer and turn handle to create flat/wide ‘ribbonish noodles’
  • wash and peel your carrots
  • use a ‘regular’ peeler to shred them and then combine them in with the zucchini ‘noodles’
  • using coconut oil, sautee your zucchini on low heat on the stove-top (note – this doesn’t take long!  keep an eye on it, because no one likes mushy ‘noodles’)
  • when you feel like the zucchini is almost cooked to your liking, add in a few shakes of dried chili pepper flakes
  • mix it in thoroughly and continue to heat for a couple more minutes
  • plate and sprinkle with some sea salt and ground pepper
  • enjoy!

These 2 dishes are great grain-free ‘noodle’ recipes.  Zucc noodles are also a nice alternative to having spaghetti squash.  I choose to sautee the noodles in these sauce variations, but play around with whatever you like!  I probably wouldn’t get too carried away though with a heavy sauce – the simplicity of both dishes made for heightened flavours.  Next on the docket…spiral slicer + sweet potatoes and yuca!  Stay tuned…