Fried calamari was one of my all-time favorite things to eat at a restaurant. Growing up, I had a close friend whose parents owned a restaurant, and whenever we would hang out upstairs in the “apartment” above the restaurant while her parents worked, they’d feed us. 9 times out of 10 I wanted the fried calamari (I think my other choice was baby back ribs…what can I say, I was a growing boy). Since changing up my diet and staying away from grains and legumes, I haven’t done much in the way of fried foods, so this dish left my life.
Meatballs were a favorite of mine growing up. Just the other day, Heather and I realized that we have never actually made meatballs and pasta (zoodles or otherwise). Having been together almost 3 years, I immediately found this unacceptable and wanted to make things better.
We probably all have a family version of meatballs, usually including some combination of ground beef, lamb, veal, or pork, but as I’m trying to make 2013 less meat-focused, I added mushrooms. I “hated” mushrooms as a kid until I realized that I didn’t automatically hate everything my dad did (sorry, mom). You’ll enjoy these meatballs with marinara, on their own, or in the traditional sense with the “noodles” of your choosing.
After helping some family members chop up mushrooms, onions, and bell pepper for their lasagna preparation, Heather mentioned that her hands smelled like pizza. As we, mostly I, used to spend a lot of late nights eating the better part of a supreme pizza and maybe also some wings, pizza is something that I hold near and dear to my heart and stomach. Her statement made me realize most of the awesome things on pizza are meat and vegetables, not the other stuff! With a little bit of ingenuity we were able to recreate the pizza taste without the grains or cheese. This also inspired another recipe, but you’re all going to have to wait for that one.
2 yellow squash (peeled
14 oz container of pizza sauce
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 cup diced mushrooms
1 cup diced bell pepper
1/4 cup sliced black olives
4 crushed garlic cloves
1 tsp coconut oil
Heat onions and garlic in a medium heat pan with coconut oil until onions are translucent.
Add in mushrooms, onions, and black pepper and mix thoroughly for 3-5 minutes.
Add in ground sausage and zoodles
and mix for 2 minutes. Our sausage is precooked, so of course add time to cook through if sausage is raw.
Add pizza sauce and stir until heated through.
Serve and enjoy! You can now satisfy that pizza hankering without feeling destroyed from the grains and dairy the next day.
[Updated September 12, 2013]
These chicken parm bites are something that Heather came up with back in June of 2012, very early into our real food journey. Lucky for us, we had started this blog, so the recipe was kept documented. Unlucky for us, we were very new with our presentation, so neither our directions or pictures were especially helpful.
Another win in our favor is that we have since made great friends in the community who led us to take better pictures and inspired us to do better work. As this is one of our favorite recipes, we updated it recently to share with you. This is absolutely fabulous, and I think you will really like it. These little “parm poppers” are delicious on their own, but definitely are well suited to the zoodles and red sauce. I would gather you could likely use this wash and coating on larger cuts of chicken as well, but we haven’t tried it just yet. Either way, we hope you’ll love this creation. Let us know what you think!