Affirming that all of our followers in USA had a thankful Thanksgiving! For us Canadians, we celebrated Thanksgiving way back in October. Anyways, this is a great recipe using “zoodles” in a slightly more exotic way. Think you Asian food fans might enjoy it. I have included the nutrition info at the end of the recipe.
Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai
2 medium zucchini
2 Tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil (divided)
1 pound (454 g) chicken breast, cut into small chunks
2-3 large cloves garlic minced or crushed
1 small red bell pepper seeded and sliced thin(I used yellow as I had no red)
3-4 green onions sliced in 1-inch pieces
1 large egg
2 cups (480 ml) bean sprouts
1/3 cup (50 g) roasted peanuts
chopped cilantro for garnish
lime wedges optional
2 tablespoons (30 ml) rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) fish sauce (or more to taste)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) ketchup
1 teaspoon (5 ml) brown sugar(I used Sukrin Gold substitute)
½ teaspoon (3 ml) cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon (5 ml) chili garlic sauce or more to taste
1. Cut zucchini into spirals or noodle strands using the vegetable spiralizer or julienne peeler. Set aside noodles.
2. Make the Sauce: in a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients (rice vinegar, fish sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and chili garlic sauce), set aside. If you want to use sriracha hot sauce, add as much as you like or you can add it afterwards.
3. Heat a large pan on medium-high heat. Add one tablespoon of olive oil (reserve the other half for later). Then add zucchini noodles and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the zucchini noodles are tender. Don’t overcook the noodles. The zucchini noodles should be slightly crunchy with a tender bite.
4. Let the noodles rest for about 3 minutes to allow all the moisture to release. Remove the noodles from the pan and drain the excess water.
5. Carefully wipe the same pan remove the excess water, and then re-heat the pan on medium-high heat. Add the remaining olive oil and garlic. Cook the garlic until soft and translucent, about 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until cooked through.
Add the bell peppers and green onions. Cook for about 1-2 minutes or until tender. Add the egg and stir in with the vegetables until the egg is cooked.
6. Add the zucchini noodles back into the same pan, and then add the sauce. Cook for about 1 more minute or until the zucchini noodles are heated through. Then stir in the bean sprouts.
7. Serve with roasted peanuts and cilantro. If you want to add lime wedges, squeeze some fresh lime juice on the noodles right before serving.
Thanksgiving has passed for us Canadians. American Thanksgiving is coming up very soon. I have been viewing an interview with the president of Butterball who was stating that this year in particular, turkeys would be much larger birds as a result of a shortage of workers to process turkeys during COVID, which resulted in turkeys growing much larger before they were sent to the processors. Small turkeys between 10 and 12 pounds will be extremely hard to find this year! And it definitely is squash season.
If you are not into a traditional Thanksgiving with turkey and all of the trimmings OR if you are not a large family but just a couple, then this could be perfect as a smaller dinner. You could make it vegan using no protein at all!
Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash 4 servings
2 medium acorn squash
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing onto the squash
1 yellow onion, small dice
1 red bell pepper, small dice
2 stalks celery, small dice
salt and pepper
1-2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or half a teaspoon dried
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb mild or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
2 cups torn curly kale
¾ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Slice a small piece off the top and bottom of the squash so it can sit upright, then slice the acorn squash in half width-wise (not through the stem). This will result in a pretty scalloped edge. Scrape out the seeds.
3. Place the squash halves on the baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Turn upside down (seed side down) and roast for 25 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.
4. Meanwhile, make the filling. Over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery and sauté until onion is softened and turning translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Stir in the chopped fresh thyme, then add the minced garlic and sausage. Continue to sauté for another 8 minutes, or until the sausage is fully cooked.
6. Place the torn kale on top of the sausage mixture and cover the skillet to steam for 1-2 minutes. Stir and re-cover to continue steaming the kale, if necessary. Once the kale is wilted, stir in half the parmesan cheese and remove the pan from heat.
7. Once the squash is done roasting, remove them from the oven and turn the heat up to broil. Flip the squash bowl side up and divide the filling evenly among them (pile it high, they’ll be overfull), then sprinkle on the remaining the parmesan cheese.
8. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted, making sure not to over-brown the squash.
Serve immediately and store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Eat within4 days.
In consideration of buying an air fryer, we had purchased some chicken drumsticks quite a while back. Discovering that there were still 5 in the freezer, I began a Pinterest search. Thankfully there were quite a few recipes for doing them in a regular oven. (We eventually talked ourselves out of the air fryer (too much electricity here in Mexico). I can happily say that both of us thought these were far superior to the AF recipe! AND, so very easy to prep, too.
Baked Chicken Drumsticks
2 pounds chicken drumsticks(I used 5 but six would have been better than sharing the 5th one)
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cracked pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
2. Add all of the ingredients to a large zip top bag and seal. Smush the chicken around in the bag to coat in the seasoning.
3. Arrange chicken on the baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165 degrees.
Since we are back trying to shed some pre-Christmas pounds/kilos, I find we are eating more salads. This one is very similar to a well known Italian restaurant chain in the US! It’s fresh and very tasty, as well as filling.
Italian Romaine Salad 204 caloriesper serving
1 head romaine lettuce or 2 small romaine hearts, roughly chopped
Time certainly brings out the essence of these ribs, even if you do not follow up with the BBQ sauce. I actually prefer them without the sauce, but that is a personal choice. If you follow the recipe to a T, you cannot go wrong one way or the other. FYI…they were so tasty we ate them all before I remembered a photo. Serve with a great coleslaw…
Oven Baked Dry Rub Ribs
For the dry rub
1/2 a cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
Take your ribs and trim off any excess fat, then place them in a baking dish or you could use the disposable foil baking dish.
Preheat your oven to 130°C/266°F
Take your rub mixture and rub it on the pork ribs one by one ensuring that you coat every piece of meat.
Once you have finished rubbing each and every rib, place them in your baking tray and cover it up with aluminium foil and place it into the oven.
OPTIONALAfter 2 and 1/2 hours, remove them from the oven, apply your fav BBQ sauce.Coat each rib with the sauce using a spoon or brush then put them back in the oven but this time don’t cover them.
Let them continue cooking for the last 30 minutes brushing them frequently with the sauce.
Since we now find spaghetti squash very often in our grocery stores, I decided to give this recipe a try. I also happened to always have the Norwegian smoked salmon (Costco) . They went together very well indeed! It actually tasted better than my photo shows.
Smoked Salmon Carbonara
1/2 cooked spaghetti squash, shredded(save the other half for another dinner OR freeze it)
3.5 g smoked salmon cut into ½ inch strips
1 large egg
3 egg yolks
1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon butter
1.5 teaspoons cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped chives
*See instructions below if you are unsure how to bake a spaghetti squash!
While the squash is baking, whisk together the egg, egg yolks and pepper.
Put the cooked, shredded squash into a pan on the stoveon LOW heat.
Place the butter along with 1 tablespoon of warm water into the pot with the shredded squash and stir to coat.
Add the egg mixture to the pot and stir vigorously. The goal here is to cook the egg sauce onto the pasta without scrambling it.
The sauce is cooked by the residual heat from the pot bottom. If the sauce is not thickening after 5 minutes of stirring, the pot should be heated again. Place the pot back on to a heated burner (lowest heat) and continue to stir the pot so the egg does not scramble.
When the sauce begins to thicken, add the parmesan cheese and continue to cook until the sauce is heated through and thickened.
Add the salmon strips to the spaghetti squash and stir to combine.
Serve garnished with chopped chives
*How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash
1. Using a paring knife, cut around the middle of the squash making very small cuts with a paring knife. Continue cutting around the middle until you reach your original cut. Go back over the cutting line with your paring knife making your cuts a little deeper. Go all the way around again. The squash should come apart. Scoop out seeds.
BAKING IN OVEN FOR ONE OR MORE SPAGHETTI SQUASH
1. Spritz the cut side of the spaghetti squash with avocado, olive, or coconut oil. Sprinkle with salt and place cut side down in baking pan.
2. Bake at 350° for 60-75 minutes until fork tender.
3. Allow the squash to cool before removing the strands of spaghetti with a fork.
It is always difficult to choose a new recipe each week, and this time I went with a new KETO recipe, since we are once again back on the Keto track after our recent journey. It really is a great recipe, so don’t be afraid to try it, even if you are not on a KETO diet…
Note that this recipe calls for minced ginger. If you dont normally buy fresh ginger, I suggest buying a small jar of ginger paste (which you can find in the Asian section of many grocery stores).
Keto Cashew Chicken Casserole
1 ½ pounds chicken breast cut into chunks (Can also use thighs).
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 tsp avocado oil
1 green pepper cut into chunks
1 white onion cut into chunks
1/4 cup roasted cashews
Sesame seeds for garnish
Chopped green onions for garnish
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp liquid aminosOR soy sauce *
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp ground gingerOR ginger paste
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp chili garlic sauce Use only 1/2 tsp for a milder recipe or double if you want it spicier!
In a bowl add sauce ingredients (chili garlic sauce, minced garlic, sesame oil, ginger, salt, and pepper to taste). Set aside.
Heat pan on low heat and toast cashews until lightly brown and set aside.
Add avocado oil to the pan and increase heat to high and add chicken and cook through.
Throw in the chopped pepper, onion, and the sauce mixture and cook on high for about 5 minutes.
Add the liquid aminos/soy sauce, cashews, and rice wine vinegar to pan. Cook until sauce has thickened.
In case you were wondering, we have been away for the last month, visiting family and friends whom we have not seen for over 26 months due to the Pandemic. Back home here now and continuing with new recipes.
If you are NOT a liver fan, you can ignore this one, BUT it turned out very well with being marinated. This is a great option to the standard liver, bacon and caramelized onion recipe which was posted here awhile back.
Pork Liver and Green Onion Stir Fry
300 grams pork liver
½ teaspoon grated ginger
¼ teaspoon grated garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
10 stalks spring onions (scallions may be substituted), cut into two-inch lengths
1. Rinse the liver and wipe dry with paper towels. Optionally, for easier slicing, freeze the pork liver for an hour or so or until partially firm.
2. Slice the liver into 1/4-inch slices.
3. In a mixing bowl, stir together the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, lime or lemon juice, oyster sauce, pepper and sugar.
4. Add the liver to the marinade and mix well.
5. Cover the bowl and marinate the liver slices in the fridge for at least two hours.
6. Drain the liver slices. Reserve the marinade.
7. Heat the cooking oil and sesame seed oil in a wok or frying pan. Swirl to coat as much of the cooking surface with oil.
8. When the oil starts to smoke, spread the liver slices on the cooking surface. Try to have all pieces in a single layer.
9. Cook without disturbing for about two minutes then flip them over. Cook for another minute.
10. Pour in the marinade and add half of the spring onions to the liver. Stir fry for a minute or just until the liver slices have soaked up the marinade.
11. Turn off the heat. Add the remaining spring onions and toss.