Archives for category: olive oil

Here’s an awesome slow cooker recipe that is Whole30 compliant: Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs and Marinara. Nestle some browned meatballs in a homemade red sauce in your slow cooker and let it do its thing. Serve over baked spaghetti squash, or spiralized zucchini “noodles” AKA zoodles.

turkey-meatballs-and-homemade-marinara-crock-pot-slow-cooker-recipe

WHAT YOU NEED:

Marinara Sauce

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1.5 cups finely diced sweet onion
  • 1.5 cups finely diced carrots
  • 4-5 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 (28oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1-2 cans (6 oz. each) tomato paste
  • 1.5 Tbsp. dried basil
  • 1.5 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1.5 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1.5 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 bay leaves

Turkey Meatballs

  • 4 lbs. ground turkey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

WHAT YOU DO:

To make the marinara sauce:

  • Heat a large skillet over med-high heat. Add olive oil, onion, carrots and garlic. Sauté veggies until carrots soften, approx. 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a 6-qt slow cooker.
  • Wipe out skillet and set aside to use for browning the meatballs.
  • Add remaining marinara sauce ingredients to slow cooker then whisk to combine.

To make the meatballs:

  • Put all of the ingredients for the turkey meatballs in a large mixing bowl. Using a fork (or hands if you’re into that, ha), combine the ingredients. Divide mixture to form approximately meatballs. (a 2-Tablespoon cookie scoop helps)
  • Reheat the skillet over med-high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil. Working in batches, lightly brown all sides of the meatballs in the hot skillet (3-4 minutes per batch). Add more olive oil to the skillet as needed to complete the browning process. Place browned meatballs on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to absorb any excess oil.
  • Place browned meatballs in marinara sauce in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.
  • To serve, place cooked meatballs in serving bowl. Discard bay leaves. For more fresh garlic flavor, season sauce with 2-3 more cloves of minced garlic.
  • Optional: Place marinara sauce on spiralized zucchini “noodles” or baked spaghetti squash. Top with meatballs and enjoy.
  • You can freeze or refrigerate leftovers for quick future meals.

MAKE-AHEAD OPTION if you want to partially prep this recipe, cook the veggies as instructed above, transfer them to a freezer-safe container, and freeze. Prepare the meatballs using the recipe above until browned. Place browned meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and put into the freezer to “flash freeze.” Once they’re frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer-safe container and freeze. When you’re ready to prepare this recipe, just add the frozen, prepped ingredients to the slow cooker.

recipe adapted from Whole30.com
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Homemade Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce

slow-cooker-homemade-marinara-sauce-recipe

I’m all about Whole30 recipes lately. They are healthy and delicious, full of clean eating foods, and fresh ingredients. Here’s an easy way to make a big batch of marinara sauce, perfect for spiralized zucchini noodles AKA zoodles, or baked spaghetti squash. The best part is you can freeze the leftovers in individual portions for later. Yay!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1  1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1  1/2 c. finely diced carrots
  • 4-5 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cans (28 oz. each) crushed tomatoes
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 1  1/2 Tbsp. dried basil
  • 1  1/2 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1  1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 bay leaves

WHAT YOU DO:

  • Heat a large skillet over med-high heat. Add olive oil, onion, carrots and garlic. Sauté veggies until carrots soften, approximately 5 minutes or so.
  • Transfer the mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker. (I use crock pot liners so there’s less mess to clean later)
  • Add remaining marinara sauce ingredients to slow cooker then whisk to combine. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally.

This makes a thick, somewhat chunky sauce, which I love. If you prefer a thinner sauce however, you can use an immersion blender to thin it out.

Freezing Instructions: Prepare as instructed above. Cool sauce to room temperature, then ladle into freezer-safe containers or ziplock freezer bags (in 1 or 2 cup portions, depending on how much you will need at a time). Before serving, thaw sauce in refrigerator overnight. Or, empty frozen sauce in a saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sauce comes to a simmer.

Slow Cooker

recipe adapted from Whole30.com

avocado-lime-mason-jar-salads-zucchini-noodles-and-fresh-veggies

Our garden still runneth over with zucchinis. I made a batch of mason jar salads, using spiralized zucchinis instead of lettuce. I threw in some baked chicken breast and fresh veggies. Then put the jars in the fridge for a week’s worth of lunches. For the dressing I mixed up avocado, lime juice, fresh cilantro, garlic, and olive oil. Can you say delicious?!?

This recipe is adapted from the cookbook Inspiralized by Ali Maffucci, and she uses a big fancy spiral cutter called “The Inspiralizer.” However I just use a tiny GEFU Spirelli Spiral Slicer. Anyway here’s what I came up with:

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 lb. cooked boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3/4 c. sliced black olives
  • 2 or 3 zucchini, spiralized into noodles
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 pint-size mason jars

WHAT YOU DO:

Make the dressing: In a food processor, combine cilantro, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, lime juice, and avocado. Pulse until creamy. Add some room temperature water a few teaspoons at a time then pulse after each addition of water, until desired consistency is reached.

Assemble the salads: Divide the ingredients and the dressing among the four jars: First the dressing (bottom layer), then the remaining ingredients up to the top. Place lids on the jars and refrigerate.

*I assembled everything in advance except for the dressing (just in case the avocado browned), so I prepared the dressing right before serving.

And here’s a link to an avocado scoop I hand-stamped; available at my Etsy shop!

Italian Zucchini UNpasta Salad

The zucchinis in our garden are growing like, well, zucchinis in August, ha. I love using my spiral cutter to turn them into noodles AKA zoodles. This recipe is simple, delicious, and is a great make-ahead option since the more it marinates in the dressing the more intense the flavors become. It has all the usual ingredients of an Italian pasta salad — red onions, black olives, oregano, basil, salami, olive oil, red wine vinegar, cheese — minus the pasta! It’s a great recipe to keep on hand for summer potlucks because it is sure to be a crowdpleaser.

Italian Pasta Salad without the pasta - Spiralized Zucchini noodles
This recipe is adapted from the cookbook Inspiralized by Ali Maffucci, and she uses a fancy big ol’ spiral cutter called “The Inspiralizer.” However I just use a basic GEFU Spirelli Spiral Slicer. No matter how you slice it (pun intended) spiral cut zucchinis are an awesome low-carb alternative to pasta.

Alrighty then. Here’s the recipe…

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 medium zucchinis, spiral cut into “noodles”
  • 1 can (14 oz.) quartered artichoke hearts, drained and patted dry
  • 1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved (I used a combination of red and orange)
  • 5 oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 3/4 c. sliced salami
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 c. sliced black olives
  • 3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • fresh basil, minced, to taste (I used 4 large leaves)
  • Parsley, chopped, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper, to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

In a large bowl combine zucchini, artichokes, tomatoes, mozzarella, salami, onion, and olives.

In a separate bowl, whisk these together to make the dressing: vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, parsley, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.

Pour the dressing on top of the salad ingredients and toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until the dressing starts to soften the zucchini. Serve chilled.

 

 

spiral slicer

ZUCCHINI NOODLE CAPRESE SALAD

Ahhhh the spiralizer. I love this kitchen gadget. You can turn veggies like zucchinis, cucumbers, and carrots into awesome healthy low-carb dishes. Turn zucchinis into noodles = Zoodles!

Here’s an easy no-cook salad that’s perfect for summer veggies from the Farmer’s Market or your garden. It has the delicious flavor of a traditional Italian caprese pasta salad, but without the pasta.

ZUCCHINI NOODLE CAPRESE SALAD

Zucchini Caprese Salad

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 medium zucchinis, cut into spiral “noodles”
  • 1 c. cherry tomatoes (I used a combination of orange and red)
  • 4 oz. fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 1/3 c. thinly sliced basil leaves
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs. white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • salt & pepper, to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

Place zucchini and tomatoes in a mixing bowl.

Make the marinade in a separate bowl by combining the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, and garlic.

Pour marinade over the zucchini and tomatoes and stir gently to combine. Place in fridge to marinade for 10-20 minutes (the longer the zucchini marinates the more flavorful it will become).

Remove from fridge, add the cheese and basil to the bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, and serve.

recipe adapted from Inspiralized by Ali Maffucci

Cucumber Avocado Tomato Salad Recipe 

Cucumber Avocado Tomato Salad Recipe - fresh and delicious not to mention easy!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced into halves or quarters
  • 2 cucumbers, sliced then cut in half
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 3 avocados, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2-3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

Place tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, avocados, garlic, and dill in a large bowl.

Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Toss gently to combine.

Just before serving, season with salt and pepper.

Here’s a link to an avocado scooper I hand-stamped, available at my Etsy shop!

Here’s an easy and delicious low-carb, low-fat, and figure-friendly recipe: Spiced Oven Roasted Cod. Each filet has just 135 calories and 5 grams of fat (3 WW PointsPlus points)!

Spiced Oven Roasted Cod - just 3 WW points+ - low fat, low carb, and easy.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • Cod fillets (12 oz. total)
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt *note: this tasted really salty so I plan on cutting down on the salt next time.
  • juice from 1 lemon

WHAT YOU DO:

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Mist a baking dish with cooking spray or an olive oil mister (optional: line with foil before spraying for easier clean-up).

In a small bowl, combine EVOO, paprika, garlic powder, Old Bay seasoning, and salt. Stir until combined.

Place fish fillets in baking dish, drizzle with lemon juice, then brush with the olive oil/seasoning mix.

Bake 12-15 mins, or until fish is cooked through. Divide into 3 servings.

Prep time: 10 min

Cooking time: 15 min

Servings: 3

 Estimated Nutrition Information – each (4 oz) serving:Spicy Baked Cod Fillets - 3 WW PointsPlus points - recipebookandmore.wordpress.com

 

recipe adapted from LaaLoosh.com

Skinny Reuben Panini – here’s an old favorite comfort food that I lightened up by using turkey and fat free cheese. I cooked this in a panini maker, but you could also use a large skillet and press down with a flat pot lid or a heat-safe plate. It has 315 calories and 7 grams of fat, much less than the typical reuben loaded with corned beef and dressing.

Skinny Reuben Panini - lightened up with turkey, fat free cheese, and dill mustard instead of dressing.

Skinny Reuben Panini

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 slices rye bread (I used an 80-cal/slice type)
  • 2 slices (approx 1.5 oz) fat free swiss cheese
  • 1 Tbps dill mustard
  • 2 oz deli-sliced turkey
  • 2 Tbsp sauerkraut, drained
  • nonstick cooking spray or extra virgin olive oil

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Spread mustard on the bread slices, then layer with turkey, cheese, and kraut, making a sandwich.
  2. Spray panini maker (or skillet) with nonstick cooking spray; or brush bread with a tiny amount of EVOO.
  3. Place sandwich in, and press down on both sides. Cook until toasted and cheese has melted.

recipebookandmore.wordpress.com

Skinny Reuben Panini - nutrition info. Uses fat free swiss cheese and deli-sliced turkey.

Turkey Reuben Panini - made skinny with fat free cheese and dill mustard instead of dressing. Perfect 300 cal option and only 7g fat.

panini maker

One of my favorite summer recipes is a mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, basil and olive oil salad. We recently had some leftover crusty garlic bread (I don’t know why, but I hate the word “crusty”) so I made a crostini with fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, basil, and the bread. It was basically the mozzarella and tomato salad on top of garlic-y toasted goodness. Here’s how it turned out:

Fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil crostini. Delicious healthy ingredients on top of thinly sliced toasted bread.

 

Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil Crostini

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • French bread, cut into thin slices (however many slices you need)
  • A few Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 10-20 cherry tomatoes (depending on how many slices of bread you have), chopped
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Sliced fresh mozzarella cheese (I used one slice per crostini)

WHAT YOU DO:

  • Brush bread slices with EVOO and sprinkle with garlic. Place on a baking sheet. Broil in the oven for 3-5 mins until toasted.
  • In a bowl, mix tomatoes, a drizzle of EVOO, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • After bread is toasted, place slices on a serving platter. Top with a slice of mozzarella, then tomato mixture. Garnish with fresh basil.

Delicious and simple crostini - just a few ingredients but tons of flavor.

 

Also check out these meatless options:

Stuffed Baby Bellas

Fresh Pesto

Homemade Ranch Hummus

Wasabi Sesame Soy Cucumber Salad

Feta, Avocado & Tomato Pita “Nachos”

Mango Salsa

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Whole Wheat Noodles with Fresh Veggies

Lemony Smashed Dill Mustard Potatoes

Skinny Creamy Tomato Basil Soup (no cream – Greek yogurt!)

Here’s a batch of pesto I made with some basil from the garden. I used pine nuts, which are pretty expensive, but I’ve since learned you can use walnuts, pecans, or even almonds instead. It keeps in the fridge for 1 week, or you can freeze in freezer-safe containers or ice cube trays for up to 6 months. Also you can adjust the olive oil so the pesto is as thick or thin as you like. It’s great for pasta, or even as spreads on flatbread crackers, or on sandwiches as a spread.

Fresh pesto - just basil, garlic, parm cheese, olive oil, and pine nuts. Soooo easy I can't believe I used to buy it instead of making it myself.WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 c. fresh basil leaves
  • 3 Tbs. pine nuts
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil (+ more if you want to thin it out)

WHAT YOU DO:

In a food processor: combine basil, garlic, pine nuts, and cheese. Add olive oil as it’s running until emulsified. To make it thinner, add olive oil until it reaches desired consistency. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 1 week. Or place in freezer-safe containers (or ice cube trays) to store for up to 6 months in the freezer.

5 ingredient homemade PESTO. Keeps for 1 wk in the fridge, or freeze for up to 6 mos.