Roasted Cauliflower and Bacon over Lemony Zucchini Noodles

Yesterday I did… yard work! Gasp! I know! Those of you who know me would be absolutely SHOCKED!! The last time I did “yard work” I ended up rushing to the local urgent care and getting 10 stitches in one of my fingers. I played it safe this time… I just purchased ferns for my front porch and transferred them (with some help from my brother and hubby) into hanging baskets. Then I filled my “\Window Box” or porch flower boxes with dirt and pretty little flowers that by daughter picked out. My husband was laughing at how little the flowers were for the flower boxes and said that noone is going to know that any flowers are in the box! I am HOPING that they will grow and hang over a bit. My daughter picked them out and was SO excited about it. I figured, who really cares… you know? I’m ok if they never really show to those people walking by my house… I know they are in there! ūüôā

So after a hard day (hehehe) doing yard work and I needed to take my ol’ hound dog ūüôā on a bit of a jog. So, my sweet husband took care of the kids and I went for a little jog. Well, my hound dog decided to cut me off mid-jog to smell something on the other side of the path and I rolled my ankle over a tree root and fell pretty hard! Silly dog. It took me a second, but I got back up, finished the, now walk, and got back home to fix some dinner. I feel old this morning though. I only have 2 tiny bruises from this fall, but I feel sore all over. I’m so old.

So, after all of this, I decided to do something carb free and quick. I THINK this took me 30 min or under from start to finish. The most time consuming part of this was making the zucchini noodles. It wasn’t that bad, it’s just that I had to figure out how I wanted to make them. My cheese grater worked the best. I didn’t have a fancy Spiral Vegetable Slicer. Honestly it probably would have been WAY easier, but I wanted to try this recipe with what I already had without buying anything. You can also try a Mandoline. I have one, but I really decided I would use my Cheese Grater¬†because most people already have one of those.

So, here’s the recipe:

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets (fresh, not frozen if possible)
  • 2¬†tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion – 1/2 small onion (I prefer sweet yellow)
  • 4 pieces of¬†nitrite and nitrate free bacon (I used pre-cooked Trader Joes Bacon)
  • 2 TB unsalted butter
  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 1 TB homemade pesto (optional) for garnish
  • Shaved parmesan as garnish
  • For the lemon sauce:
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1.5 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1.5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste

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Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking tray with tin foil.
  2. Toss the cauliflower in a medium bowl with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Lay the cauliflower out on the prepared baking tray and roast for 25 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork and lightly browned.
  3. While the cauliflower is roasting, grate the zucchini using the cheese grater (or your “spiralizer” if you have one!)
  4. Place a large skillet over medium heat and coat with 1-2 TB olive oil. Lay in the bacon slices and cook for 3-5 minutes or until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
  5. After bacon is removed (don’t overcook it, it’ll add a burnt flavor the rest of the dish!)add in your minced garlic, and¬†onions.¬†Cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant and then add in the zucchini noodles. Sprinkle the lemon zest and pour the lemon juice over top of the mixture and stir.
  6. Cook, tossing frequently, for 3-5 minutes or until zucchini noodles are slightly soft, or “al dente”. Add in the butter and stir until melted. Add in the cauliflower and crumble the bacon back in¬†over the skillet, with your fingers. Give a toss and then remove from heat and stir in the Greek yogurt mixture. Toss to combine thoroughly and divide into bowls.
  7. Sprinkle with parmesan and drizzle a bit of pesto (optional) over top for garnish and a bit of extra flavor.

Tip: you NEVER cook pesto. You heat the meal and then add the pesto. Only add the pesto to the amount of food you want to eat. Save the remainder of the pesto with a bit of oil over the top in an airtight Jelly Jar in the refrigerator and the food separately. When you reheat the meal, add the pesto AFTER. If you cook the pesto, it changes color and flavor.

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This meal was really good! It actually satisfied my craving for pasta, and I didn’t have any!! The zucchini was a little crunchy, but still “noodle-like”. This one was easy and tasty! Give it a try!

And now, for the quote of the day:

Shrimp over Mashed Cauliflower – PFC, Paleo, Low-Carb!

There is always a bit of a fad for diets as the years go on. Low-carb does seem to stick around though. There is something to be said for cutting out bread and pasta and definitely seeing results. I love my carbs, definitely, but I do understand the benefits of decreasing the frequency of eating them! So, yesterday I decided to try something I have been nervous to do. Mashed Cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes or grits. Scary huh??!!! But you know what? They were good! I wouldn’t say I couldn’t tell they weren’t cauliflower. I mean, you can tell. But they are creamy, and satisfying! Definitely helps that carb craving! Delicious! Then, when paired with some cajun jumbo shrimp, who could ask for more??!! Protein, a bit of all natural whole fats, AND some “carbs” in the veggies! Perfect! This one is a quick and easy recipe too!

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I’ll try my best to give ingredients and directions and what I used for each separate item.

Shrimp:
  1. 10 frozen jumbo shrimp, shelled and de-veined
  2. 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  4. splash white wine (optional)
  5. 1/2 tsp onion powder
  6. dash cayenne powder
  7. 1 tsp Emerils Bayou Blast
  8. Salt and Pepper to taste

Shrimp Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a small glass Bowls or ramekin and set aside. Set frozen shrimp onto a foil lined cookie sheet that has lips on each side like : Cookie Pan

Drizzle Olive Oil over the shrimp and splash with white wine (if desired) and sprinkle the dry ingredients over top of the shrimp and toss a bit to get completely coated. Place into oven and bake for 12-16 minutes until white/pink and cooked through, no longer any transparent parts of the shrimp. Place onto a generous helping of the mashed cauliflower and top with some shredded cheese of your choice!

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Mashed Cauliflower:

1/2 large head cauliflower
2 TB butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 carton chicken broth (or water if you prefer – vegetarian)
1/4 cup whole fat Greek Yogurt (PLAIN!!!!)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Set a stockpot of chicken broth (or water) to boil over high heat.

Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Cook in boiling water for about 6-10 minutes, or until well done. Drain well. Immediately after, transfer to a large Glass Bowl or plastic bowl.

In a bowl with an hand mixer or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the butter, greek yogurt, Parmesan, garlic powder, salt and pepper until almost smooth. Then stir with Spatula.

Set aside and keep warm.

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Quickly, for the spinach… if you so desire… it’s just wilted spinach. You toss a LARGE handful of spinach into a skillet with a TB of butter, salt and pepper and a bit of hot sauce… sautee until the softness that you desire…or wiltyness?? ūüôā I just created a word… right? Or not. Whatever.

Oh, and if you wonder what dishes I use… they ¬†are hard to find! My husband and I got them for a wedding gift… but here’s a link just in case you are interested!¬†http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Sango-Splash-16-piece-Dinnerware-Set/4012688/product.html

And now, for the quote of the day:

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