I need to start this post with an apology. I have been selfish. I stumbled upon a new favorite meal last week, and I’ve been keeping it to myself. Before you get upset, let me explain why. I had a strange group of leftovers in the fridge, and I was getting ready to go out of town, so I wanted to use them up. Instead of coming up with a bunch of separate meals, I sort of threw everything together, spiced it up a little, and I’ve been chasing down the ingredients to recreate it daily ever since.
It’s a lot of steps, which is why I’ve been avoiding typing it all up. Okay – so the truth comes out. Laziness is the real reason you haven’t been able to enjoy this heavenly fall-flavored, oh-so-good-for-you veggie noodle bowl yet. But, forgive and forget – let’s move on, shall we? No reason to waste valuable eating time being angry.
So I mentioned lots of steps. I’ll break down each part of the dish – it should also be noted that these “separates” can be used for lots of other things also. Since this has become my new obsession, I’ve started keeping these foods pre-made in the fridge and once that’s done, it’s very easy to throw any variation of this bowl together quickly for a lunch or dinner.
I should also tell you that a spiralizer is a necessary tool for this dish. I guess necessary is a strong word – you can also use a grater or peeler, and create “noodle-like” pieces, but the Spiralizer is so quick and easy, and will open your kitchen to a million different dishes – I can’t say enough good things about this investment. Plus, investment is another strong word – I found mine at TJ Maxx for $12.
Okay, let’s do this thing!
I chose to make my noodles (or zoodles) from butternut squash. Tis the season for fall everything and I am crushing hard on butternut squash this year. You want to cut both ends off the squash, so all you have left is the center.
Next, using a potato peeler, peel all the skin from the squash. If you’re using the peeler to make your noodles, you can just keep peeling away into a bowl. If you’re using a Spiralizer, put the squash into the contraption and be sure to have a bowl on the other side to catch the noodles. As you can see, I didn’t. Thank God my husband didn’t see this happening. He thinks germs are everywhere. They probably are, but that doesn’t stop me from eating food off of pretty much anything.
Once your squash has magically transformed into noodles, toss it in 2 tsp olive oil or coconut oil, seasoning of choice (I used Flavorgod everything) and cook in a skillet over medium heat until noodles are soft. This takes around 20 minutes, be sure to stir frequently. You can also roast it on a cookie sheet in the oven on 350 degrees. This takes a little longer, 30-35 minutes, but is much lower maintenance.
Noodles are done! 1 squash makes anywhere between 2-3 servings, so you’ll have leftovers a few times.
The second part of this is the homemade cranberry sauce. Remember how I said you can use these recipes for other things? Well, Thanksgiving is in exactly 7 days and you no longer need yucky, pre-canned, sugar filled cranberry sauce – because you can make your own! But here’s where the second apology comes in – since this wasn’t a planned meal, I had no idea that these cranberries were going to come out yummy, and wasn’t planning to share them right away, so I took ZERO pictures. EEK. I would re-make them to take a picture, but Thanksgiving is so soon and I have no use for a batch of cranberry sauce a week from when I actually need it. The struggle. It’s real. Anyway, this is easy and I promise it will work out great, even without the comparison pictures!
In a sauce pan, combine 1 package of fresh cranberries, 1/2 cup raw honey, 1/2 cup Trop 50 orange juice (any kind is fine but I like this brand!), and 2 tsp ground cinnamon. Heat on high heat until boiling, and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Be sure to mix this well.
Again, this will last you awhile – so be sure you have a use for lots of cranberry sauce, or cut this recipe down before making it!
Okay, now we can finally put our bowl together. Your options are limitless! I chose to add kale, brussel sprouts, chicken sausage, and a little feta cheese.
Whatever you add in, you want it to be pre-cooked – so I baked my chicken sausage and brussel sprouts while the rest of this was cooking.
Kale takes just a few minutes to cook, so I heated a skillet and dropped in 1 cup of kale, squeezed fresh lemon juice over top and allowed it to sauté for a quick minute or two, then threw in my noodles, brussel sprouts, and chicken, and mixed it all up. Once everything was warm, I added in 1/4 cup cranberry sauce and 1 tsp feta cheese.
Please don’t let this workload scare you off – I promise it’s worth it, and it will give you some amazing leftovers throughout the week. This can also be made vegetarian/vegan by using tofu for protein, and it’s gluten free! Love the idea of even turning this into a casserole dish for the holidays!
If you’re following the 21 Day Fix, you won’t want to use sausage, but with chicken breast, your containers would be: 2 greens, 2 tsp, 1/2 purple, 1/2 blue.
Do you have any yummy zoodle recipes to share? I am obsessed and I can’t wait to try as many new takes on this as possible! Happy Spiralizing!