Caprese Salad with Lamb Sausage — A leftover lunch

There is something really fulfiling about eating a meal that is either 100% farmer’s market or from the garden. In a few weeks when my tomatoes come in, there will be more garden meals…but for now, I am 100% farmer’s market at today’s lunch. And holy moly was it delish.

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I sliced the two leftover Prather Ranch Lamb Sausages lengthwise and dropped them flat into a hot pan. I sliced the mozzarella and tomatoes and arranged them, alternating, on the plate. I chiffonaded some basil from the garden and added a bit of balsamic glaze, fancy fluer de sel and pepper. When the sausage was cooked (having flipped it halfway through to brown both sides), I topped it with some spicy mustard. 

Fast and easy lunch…and using the ingredients from the zucchini ribbon pasta that I hadn’t finished up.  Yum.

 

 

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Zucchini Ribbon Pasta with Lamb Sausage and Spinach

 

With our entire crew ill more often than not the past two weeks, we were all craving a bit of comfort food. The no-starch goal greatly encumbers this desire. We ended up with zucchini ribbon pasta with spinach, herbs, mozzarella, fresh tomatoes and lamb sausage from the farmer’s market.Image

 

Ingredients:

  • Four green zucchinis
  • Pasta sauce of your choosing
  • Fresh spinach
  • Basil, oregano, parsley or herbs of your choosing
  • Lamb sausage
  • Mozzarella
  • Tomatoes
  • Yellow Onion

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The first thing you will need to do is “ribbon” the zucchini. I used my mandolin but you can also use a veggie peeler. Cut the ends off and run it through trying to make the longest thinnest strips.

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After chopping the onion and softening half of the pile in a bit of olive oil, I tossed in the zucchini, a bit more olive oil, some salt and pepper. I let it cook down, turning often and gently.

While that is cooking, I dismantle the lamb sausage, taking the lamb out of the casing and chopping the meat into smaller pieces. Back at the oven, in a separate saute pan, I heat the rest of the onion in a bit of olive oil and, once soft, add the lamb sausage.  As it is browning and the zucchini softens, I chop the tomatoes, herbs and ready the spinach. Also chop the mozzarella into smaller bits…but set those aside.

This last bit will go quickly so it is good to have all of the ingredients ready and at hand. 

Separating the remaining ingredients between the two saute pans, add the spinach, tomatoes and herbs and pour as much pasta sauce on the zucchini as desired. It soaks up quite a bit, so be prepared with more than you think. 

Add the mozzarella chunks to the meat pan. Having more room in the pan helps the cheese melt.

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Almost there! When the spinach has wilted, mix the two sets of ingredients together. Voila! Delicious sort of pasta.

I served it with freshly grated parm.

 

Quick and Easy Broccoli Soup

I’m not feeling so hot today and, despite the heat, I really wanted something warm and packed with good stuff for lunch. The soups I had on hand were just not doing it for me…and all I could think about was broccoli soup. Considering I wasn’t going out and was hungry NOW, I decided to make up a quick and easy broccoli soup recipe.

  • 1 12 oz. bag of frozen, steam in the bag broccoli florets (I like Birds Eye)
  • half of a yellow onion loosely chopped
  • 1 cup of chicken stock (I used one Pacific Natural Foods 8 oz carton)
  • Salt/pepper
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax
  • shredded mozzarella cheese to taste
  • dash of paprika to finish

This takes about 10 minutes total, maybe less. This recipe serves two.

Put broccoli in microwave for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, chop onion and add to a teaspoon of hot olive oil in heavy bottomed pot. Salt and pepper the onion while it cooks until soft. Once soft, add the stock, yogurt, chia seeds, flax and stir. The broccoli will finish right about then. Tear open the bag and add it to the pot, liquids and all. Turn off the heat. With a hand blender, turning the pot at an angle, puree the mixture until blended to your desired consistency. I don’t mind a little bit of chunk so this went very quickly for me. Dish it into bowls and then top with the mozzarella and paprika. Very satisfying, healthy and it took about as much time as it would take to make a sandwich.

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Variations on the Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Last night I made the cauliflower crust pizza. I changed it up a little bit by upping the amount of ground flax seed to about 1/3 of a cup, using fresh oregano AND dried oregano, using 1 1/2 heads of cauliflower and 4 eggs (they were small). I also used the Martha Stewart Foil and Parchment in One paper. Don’t take my lead on this last one. It does NOT work as well for this purpose. The bottom of the crust was not as crispy as it usually it while the top browned perfectly. I also felt that the crust needed a little more salt/pepper/flavor. I’m thinking I may add in some ground red pepper flakes next time. Give it some more zing.

P helped me this time, too. He beat the eggs with a whisk after I had broken them into a bowl, he added the cheese, poured in the eggs, poured in the pre-measured ground flax and helped me mix the crust mixture. He was NOT good at pressing the mixture into the pan. At that point I let him transfer the leftover mixture back and forth between two bowls. Image

The toppings this go around were Trader Joe’s Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage, chopped spinach, Newman’s Own Basil Tomato Sauce, mozzarella, feta, fresh basil from the garden.

It was good…but the crust left something to be desired: more crispy, more spice.