Creamy Zucchini Noodles and Chicken Sausage

I tried my hand at Zucchini Chips and I gotta say, every time I made them I burned them…no matter how much I adjusted the thickness. But I still wanted to figure out a way to cook with Zucchini as they’re super low in calories, filled with folate, potassium and vitamin A. I don’t eat bananas so I gotta get that potassium elsewhere! Plus they’re pretty tasty. Zucchini’s are another food that I had never tried before this year! Thanks to this blog I’ve had the opportunity to try so many foods I had not yet tried.

When my sister and her hubby landed in Chicago for Christmas we had to make a quick stop so they could get a white elephant gift for our family Christmas party. What did they pick up? A Veggetti! Oooooo yaaaaaa! We got it all ready to go and headed to the car. The next day when we were wrapping up gifts, my sister realized we didn’t have the Veggetti. It wasn’t in my car, wasn’t in my parents house (luckily my mom got extras for the white elephant exchange). When I got home, lo and behold! There was the Veggetti sitting on my coffee table! YAY! It was quite funny because at my office white elephant party we also had a Veggetti going around and it was THE item to get. We all wanted it! I was going to buy one but thanks to my sister and her hubby I didn’t need to! (she wasn’t too pleased, she wants one now too!)

So I put my Veggetti to good use! It’s pretty easy to use, not super terrible to clean (unlike a cheese grater) and works well to create some tasty Zucchini Noodles!!!

So I whipped up a SUPER tasty creamy zucchini “pasta” dish filled with veggies, chicken sausauge and so much cheese. I just love cheese.

Creamy Zucchini Noodles and Chicken Sausage

Ingredients

3 Medium Zucchini

Package of Chicken Sausage (I used the Spinach/Feta/Garlic Sausage from Trader Joes, it is SO delicious!)

1 Package of Cream Cheese

1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese

1 Tbl Garlic

1/4 Cup Onion

1 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Onion Powder

1/2 Cup Milk

1/2 Cup frozen spinach

Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

Fresh Zucchini Noodles

Fresh Zucchini

Pasta Zucchini

Zucchini Pasta

Creamy Zucchini Pasta

Sausage and Peppers Pasta

Pasta Peppers

My no-spend week was pretty successful last week. I managed to go 6 days without spending almost anything! (minus the dog food) On Saturday I did my meal planning for the next week because I decided to really shoot for the stars and not eat out for lunch the ENTIRE month! Lets see how it goes! So far 2 weeks in and I’m doing swell!

As I’ve said before I’m not a good meal planner. It’s hard to plan for one person. You end up eating the same thing for a week or if you’re extra ambitious an entire month. Which gets boring and repetitive. If I were to have a family, or even if it were for me and my boyfriend, it would be much easier to really take on meal planning. You don’t eat the same thing over and over again for weeks on end when there’s two or more of you (especially when one of those people are a rather large male human), you can change it up quite more frequently.

But as of now, this meal planning is going pretty well. This week I decided to switch it up a tad and make a few different things for a little variety. What is really great about planning your meals ahead and making them all at home is that you can really control what goes in your food and how healthy it is! It also makes it easy to track in My Fitness Pal as well. Because I can just upload the recipes I make it exactly what is in them and it automatically generates calories and nutritional info. I slacked way off on my goals to dropping a few pounds over the holidays so now its back on the wagon. I’m wearing my FitBit and tracking my meals again, so one step closer!  If only I could get my yoga game on….maybe one of these days!

So this week one of the dishes I whipped up was a zesty, veggie packed pasta filled with peppers, asparagus and beef sausage! I’m not usually a sausage fan, but if I can mix them up with veggies and a little bit of oil and parmesan cheese I’ll dig right in!

Sausage and Peppers Pasta

Ingredients, Makes approximately 4 servings. 

Half a Red Pepper, Julienne

Half an Orange Pepper, Julienne

Half a Yellow Pepper, Julienne

1/4 of an Onion (red or White, I selected red) sliced thin

1 cup asparagus (optional)

Package of Sausage, I used Beef Sausage but you could opt for chicken or other alternatives. Sliced into smaller pieces.

1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon of minced garlic

Dash of thyme

Dash of oregano

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 box of Pasta of your choice, I used Bowtie

Instructions

In a large pot, boil seasoned water and cook your pasta. Set aside when completed.

In a large saute pan, lightly saute your sausage, peppers, asparagus, onions and garlic. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to sauté.  When your sausage is cooked, add your pasta and remaining olive oil, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper as well as parmesan cheese. Mix well and serve warm, top with Parmesan cheese.

Peppers and Sausage Pasta

Sausage and Peppers Pasta

pasta and sausage

Pasta Peppers

 

Garlic and Green Vegetable Quinoa

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! I was uber productive! I made it through a few more tasks on my Cleaning Challenge so my floors are extra clean! I gotta say even though I feel like I’m constantly washing dishes, it is really nice to have a clean (non-smelly) sink that isn’t filled with dirty dishes. Speaking of which…there are a few dishes pans hanging out in there, I gotta get on that!

So far the challenge has been pretty helpful. I cleaned out all my cupboards and my fridge & freezer which was well overdue and I sorted through my clothes and filled yet ANOTHER bag to bring to donate! Have you given yourself any sort of challenge to start the new year off right?

One of my other challenges for January was to really cut down on my budgets. One of the ways I knew I could really be successful in doing so was to not go out to eat for lunch. I made it through last week without going to lunch one day! Success! So now I’m shooting for two weeks! I’m also going to give myself an extra challenge and try not to spend a single dollar all week. I’ve done it before and have been mildly successful. Its a lot more challenging than it seems.

To complete this challenge I knew I needed to control my temptation to spend for lunch by making lunches for the entire week. Its not my normal thing to do (because I really don’t do the whole meal planning thing) But I decided to give it a shot and see if it would help me with my goal! Here’s to starting the week off right!

I made two dishes, prepped a ton of veggies and was going to make a third, but realized there was no way I would eat all that food in a week. I made so much food that its enough for both lunches AND dinners for the week. Plus I still have some Vinegar Slaw and a container of refried bean soup in the freezer!

Alright! I’m getting to this tasty recipe!

I had a bunch of veggies in my freezer that I re-discovered during my clean out. Plus a package of Quinoa. I put my head to paper and came up with a pretty tasty dish!

Quinoa, Garlic, Vegetables

Garlic & Green Vegetable Quinoa

Ingredients

1 cup (uncooked) Quinoa

Vegetables: (I used what I had in my freezer, you can sub for whatever you want. Add more or less! These are my half-assed measurements. I don’t cook with measuring cups)

1/2 cup Broccoli

1/2 cup Spinach

1/3 cup Peas

1/2 cup Asparagus

1/4 cup Green Onions

1 1/2 tablespoons of minced garlic (I have no idea how many cloves that is, but I have the pre-minced stuff)

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 cup milk (I use unsweetened soy milk)

2 tablespoons of butter

Salt and Pepper

Chicken (optional)

Feta Cheese (optional)

Instructions

Cook your Quinoa according to instructions. Typically 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water or chicken stock. I used chicken stock for this particular recipe.

In a large saute pan, add olive oil, garlic, and your vegetables. Add butter, milk, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.  As your veggies are cooked down slightly, add your quinoa slowly. Get everything all mixed up and top with Feta Cheese! Serve warm!

Super easy right!? I originally intended on adding chicken, which I had cooked all day in my crockpot. But forgot until after I took photos.

Enjoy! Check it out! My pics are getting WAY better!!! I’m practicing!

Garlic and Greens Quinoa

Quinoa, Garlic, Vegetables

Quinoa Broccoli