As you have briefly heard, I am focusing on healthy eating in 2012. Towards the end of last year I brought you "What I Tasted Tuesday." I am not quite sure if I am going to stick with that same name, or mix it up a bit this year since Tuesdays aren't always easy for me. In the mean time, let me tell you all about the three courses of amazing-ness we had for dinner the other night!
The plan was not to have a three course meal. The plan was to decide on one entree and a couple of sides we wanted, cook it up, and have a nice relaxing, sit down meal together. Well, Michael and I are two of the most indecisive people you will ever meet. Since we couldn't decide on ONE meal, we decided to eat the meal in rounds as we prepared the multiple dishes. And it was a combination of paleo, low carb, terrific-ness!
We started the meal with a steamed artichoke. I had never eaten artichoke like this before. I was much more familiar with the Applebee's spinach and artichoke dip with greasy chips, than the actual vegetable that the dip spawned from! Who knew all you have to do is steam up that silly looking veggie and dip it's leaves in organic, grass-fed butter (yes, believe it or not butter isn't all that bad for you).
As I was tasting my first tastes of real artichoke, the bacon wrapped scallops were done. Friends, let me tell you, I know how intimidating "bacon wrapped scallops" sounds. My first thought was "OMG that's something you eat at fancy weddings! It can't be easy!" Au contraire! This was so incredibly simple and massively delicious! If scallops weren't so darn expensive I would make this all the time!
Here's what I did:
I took 8 scallops out of the freezer and let them thaw. (To help with the cost I bought them in bulk from a restaurant store - but you could get them at Sams or Costco too in hopes of saving some money).
Take 4 pieces of bacon out and cut them in half. You only need half a piece for each scallop.
Wrap the bacon around each scallop, stick four on each skewer, and then season them on both sides. For half of them we used paprika and the other half just used a little bit of salt and pepper.
Put them in the oven for 15 minutes. Pull them out, flip them (remembering that the skewers are metal, and that they are hot, and yes - touching them is a dumb thing to do... trust me on this), and then put them back in for ten more minutes.
So easy a caveman could do it. Ha. I think I just made a paleo joke. :)
And let me tell you - these were just as good, if not better, than anything I have had at any of the weddings I have been to! Two thumbs, way up.
The third course of the meal was the actual entree: Zucchini Lasagna! Don't let the name fool you - there was meat in this dish as well as veggies.
Since I don't have an actually recipe here with me, I will summarize what we did. If you want the recipe we worked from leave a comment below and I will try to find it for you!
Here's what we did:
Brown about a pound of hamburger meat on the stove. Add some seasonings and herbs that you love to it. We went with basil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper (out of my fancy new pepper shaker!). Once the meat was browning we also added diced green peppers and onions to the meat, about a cup of each.
Once the meat and veggies were good and cooked we added a small can of tomato paste (with no salt added) and two small cans of tomato sauce (no salt added again, but it did have some basil and italian seasonings already in it.)
Put a layer of the meat and veggie sauce in the baking dish, then put a layer of zucchini and a layer of mushrooms. Then repeat!
My boyfriend found this recipe somewhere, and I didn't look at it before we began cooking. (Lesson learned.) I was shocked to learn that this "lasagna" did not have cheese in it! What is lasagna without cheese, never mind pasta?! I tweaked it a bit and added some parmesan cheese to the top.
Bake it in the oven for 30 minutes (20 with foil on top and 10 without foil) and there you have it! Zucchini Lasagna!
I am sure this recipe didn't have cheese in it because some paleo eaters stay away from dairy and cheeses all together. I don't. I just try to not eat them excessively. I do have quite the love affair with cheese of all sorts. Next time I will definitely make my zucchini lasagna with a layer or two of mozzarella, some ricotta, and a bit of parmesan on top. The flavors were excellent though, even without cheese. And it seemed to be even better on day two when I reheated it!
**You can find recipes for zucchini lasagna all over the web. We got the basic recipes (that I tweaked) for this meal from the "Make it Paleo" cookbook that Michael recently purchased. I highly recommend this book. Not only does it have delicious foods but it has pretty, full page pictures. If you are anything like me, you want to see what "healthy meals" are supposed to look like before you try making them. :)
Gonna give it a shot? Let me know what you think!