Tag Archive: Zucchini


I am avoiding nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, white potatoes) as part of a diet geared toward reducing inflammation and pain from my psoriatic arthritis.  I know that I should also limit dairy, gluten, and processed foods, but I’ve had such great results already, I know nightshades are the real enemy.  Besides, I love chicken apple sausage and thought I’d see if it has an impact.  It  has only been a little over a week, and already I know without a doubt that the nightshades are no longer for me.  My pain decreased almost immediately, even though the information on pain management websites indicated it could take a while.  I used to take ibuprofen every day and night to manage my pain.  Since starting this experiment a little over a week ago, I have only taken it twice.  Both times  I had “cheated” and had tomato.  Absolutely not worth it.  I’m sold on eliminating nightshades.  An added bonus is that my psoriasis outbreak is going away.  On top of that, I feel more energetic and younger!  Tonight’s dinner was delicious, albeit a bit sweet from the sausage.  Adding hot sauce, pepper flakes, or cheese would likely take it to another level, but the kids liked it sweet!

20171109_193814[1]

3 packages al fresco chicken apple sausage

1 large sweet onion, chopped

2 small zucchini, cubed

2 small yelow squash, cubed

3 Tbsp. oil

2 Tbsp. sherry

3 Tbsp. pesto sauce

1 can garbanzo beans, drained

1/4 c. seasoned breadcrumbs

2 boxes orzo, cooked according to directions

  1. Cut up sausage and veggies.  Toss with oil and cook over medium low heat, stirring regularly in large skillet until vegetables are softened and beginning to caramelize.  Meanwhile, cook the orzo and drain.
  2. Add in sherry and pesto.  Simmer 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add in breadcrumbs to thicken sauce, if needed.  Simmer another 5 minutes.
  4.   Toss with orzo and serve immediately.  Top with a little parsley or basil for color, if desired.

The variations of this are endless.  Any vegetables or beans you like.  Different sausages.  Tofu or Tempeh in place of the sausage.  Cut up boneless chicken.  Yum.

 

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SAM_3033

A friend surprised me with a ham on Easter, so I threw together this yummy meal.

Glaze:

1/2 c. maple syrup

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 large can crushed pineapple in juice, drained reserving juice

Put pineapple in the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish, place ham cut side down on top of pineapple, and pour reserved juice over ham.

Cook ham according to package directions.   I did mine tented with foil for about an hour at 300 F before removing the foil and putting on the glaze.  Then I poured the mixture of maple syrup, brown sugar and mustard over ham and raised the temperature to 400 F.

After putting glaze on ham, cut up zucchini into cubes and toss with salt, pepper, and olive oil to taste.  Do the same with the cubed butternut squash.

SAM_3032

Spread vegetables on two small baking sheets and when you remove the ham from the oven, pop them in.  Lower the temperature to 325.  They will take about 20 minutes.

Put water on to boil for spaghetti.  Add minced garlic and salt to water.

The veggies and spaghetti were all done almost at the same time.

Toss the drained spaghetti with a little butter, and then toss with the zucchini and squash.  I kept them separate because I have a finicky eater who hates squash!

 

 

SAM_2515

I have a new way of cooking spaghetti squash that is now going to be my go to!  Puncture whole spaghetti squash with a sharp knife and place in crock pot with an inch of water.  Cook overnight.  In the morning, put the squash in the fridge.   No more handling hot squash!  Also, I read somewhere that cutting it crosswise instead of lengthwise is the way to go, and I agree.

SAM_2510When I got home from work, I put the squash on a baking sheet and baked it next to some zucchini @ 350 F for 20 minutes.  I tossed them both with olive oil, a little pesto, some garlic, and cubed butter, and then roasted them.  You could also sprinkle with Parmesan, but I was out.

 

The bolognese cooked in the crock pot all day.  I cooked up ground meat and sausage and used the Gia Russa low sodium tomato basil sauce straight from the jar.  Amazing how low the sodium, sugar and carbs are, and how amazing it tastes!  No doctoring needed.  20 mg. sodium, 4 g sugar, 7 g carbs per 1/2 cup.

Gia Russa low sodium

 

SAM_2168

2 tubes Polenta

1/2 c. vegetable broth

8 oz. ricotta cheese

1 tsp. seasoned salt

1/2 tsp.pepper blend

2 Tbsp. butter

Heat polenta with vegetable broth until the consistency of mashed potatoes.  Blend in ricotta cheese, butter, salt and pepper.

Meanwhile cook veggies in skillet with butter and olive oil.  I used 4 oz. mushrooms, 2 small zucchini, 1 small red bell pepper, 1 small yellow bell pepper, 1/2 sweet onion until tender.  Season to taste with seasoned salt and pepper blend.

Mix with polenta right before serving.

I served this with yummy homemade meatballs.

SAM_2160

1 large sweet potato, cubed

1/2 sweet onion, chopped

1 large zucchini, cubed

8 oz. sliced portobello mushrooms

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. seasoned salt

1 tsp. pepper mix

Melt butter and heat with oil over medium high heat.

Layer sweet potatoes mixed with onion first and then mushrooms.

Season with salt and pepper.

Cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.

Add zucchini.  Lower heat and add a little water.  Recover and cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

Yum!!

I made chicken (Fresh Market Tuesday sale) using some dressing I got on sale.

wasabe dijon

I poured the dressing over the chicken and baked it for 40 minutes.  It was divine!  The combination of the veggies and the chicken was perfect.

SAM_2133

I made meatballs ahead and froze them.  These were really large, almost like mini meatloafs.  One was plenty.

This is a big batch that made 24 large meatballs.

1 lb. ground chuck

1 lb. ground pork

3 lb. ground chicken

2 c. leftover rice

1 small container ricotta cheese

2 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish

2 Tbsp. pesto

1 Tbsp. garlic salt

1/2 c. gluten free bread crumbs (or you can use cornmeal or oats)

Mix and place meatballs in 2 baking dishes sprayed with coconut oil spray.

Drizzle chili oil over each meatball.

Bake at 375F until internal temperature reaches 165F.  About 45 – 50 minutes.

I froze them in two batches of 12.  This is one batch.

To prepare them in the crock pot, you need:

1 large jar of pasta sauce

onions, peppers, and mushrooms to saute and put in sauce.

This morning, I sauteed onions, pepper and mushrooms and placed in the bottom of a large crock pot.  Pour in a little sauce.  Layer meatballs over veggies in the crock pot.  Pour remaining sauce over meatballs.  Cook on low 8-10 hours.

Right before serving, I made tortellini.  While the water came to a boil, I  sauteed zucchini in olive oil and butter.  Then I added in 6 oz. of Ricotta Salata cheese (my new favorite cheese for cheat days), a little Parmesan, and tossed it with the tortellini once it was cooked.

This meal was really delicious.   I believe the lemon infused olive oil I bought the other day added a really interesting taste dimension to the zucchini!

SAM_2112

Last week when I bought ground chicken and ground chuck at the Tuesday sale at Fresh Market, I bought a little ground pork as well, and came home and made GIANT meatballs.  I baked them and froze them, intending to serve them for Sunday family dinner.  No one came over on Sunday, in fact several of the kids ate somewhere else!  I waited until tonight to make the meatballs.

16 oz. sliced white mushrooms

1/2 red pepper, chopped

1/2 yellow pepper, chopped

1/2 orange pepper, chopped

1 sweet onion, chopped

3 medium zucchini

4 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. garlic salt

1 jar Michael’s of Brooklin Arrabiata Sauce (marked down from 9.50 to 2.50 at my local market!)

arrabbiata-sauce

Defrost meatballs in refrigerator for a day.

Cook peppers and onion in olive oil and butter, sprinkled with garlic salt.

Cook until tender.

Pour in sauce.

Rinse jar using a little wine and add.

Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Add cubed zucchini and simmer on medium low for 30 minutes more.  It will be bubbling.

Pour about 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom of a lasagna pan.

Place meatballs in sauce.

Pour remaining sauce and veggies over meatballs.

Sprinkle with Veggie Shedds, Mozzarella style

Bake 350 for 30 minutes.

We ate very late because Austin was giving me a new look!

I decided we would forgo any pasta because it was so late.

SAM_1984

1 large zucchini, sliced

1/4 c. blue cheese dressing

1 oz. bacon bits

Dip zucchini in dressing and place on baking sheet sprayed with coconut oil spray.

Sprinkle with bacon bits.

Bake at 350 F. for 20 minutes.

I cooked this along side my chicken.  The petite sweet potatoes came in a microwave ready bag.

This meal was from fridge to table in 30 minutes!

This was my favorite zucchini ever.  Of course, everything’s better with bacon.

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