Eat Very Local Challenge: Day Three, Decadence and Zucchini Noodles

On Day Three I hit two extremes: very low blood sugar after a workout, and absolute satisfaction after dinner with our group. I needed to do a core workout yesterday, so I headed to The Dailey Method via my bike after a green smoothie. However, by the time I got to work afterwards, all I could think about was the orange in my backpack (that I’m not quite talented enough to eat while riding my bike). Fortunately I know the signs of so-called “bonking” and how to remedy it, but it still wasn’t fun.

After work, we headed over to Mark & Gina’s house for trading and a group dinner. I was pretty impressed with our spread: a butternut squash and goat cheese appetizer greeted us, accompanied by carrots and celery. I opened the bottle of elderberry wine that I traded for with my co-worker (thank you Kelly!), and we sat down to a filling dinner of spaghetti squash and sauce, green salad, rockfish, roasted potatoes and brussels sprouts, all doused with a generous sprinkling of goat cheese. (Matt and I decided to make an exception to our no-dairy rule for group dinners.) The real highlight though was dessert: goat milk  strawberry mint ice cream. Yes, you heard that right- ICE CREAM. Enough said.

Yesterday’s trading got us: applesauce, pickles, dry beans, sapote, monkey coconuts, bananas, blueberries, rockfish, and arugula.

Here’s what I ate yesterday:

Breakfast

Green smoothie (Strawberries, blueberries, plums, greens, banana)

Snacks

1 grapefruit, 2 oranges, 2 apples, roasted potatoes, pickles

Lunch

Spaghetti squash fritters (squash, corn, onion, egg, cornmeal, lemon thyme) with fava bean avocado spread, sautéed brussels sprouts leaves, sauteed zucchini

Dinner

Spaghetti squash, tomato sauce, goat cheese, salad (lettuce, avocado, tomato, dilly beans), roasted potatoes and brussels sprouts, butternut-goat cheese spread w/ carrots and celery, squash seeds, rockfish, goat milk strawberry mint ice cream w/ caramel sauce (goat milk and honey)

I finally managed to write down a plan for the next two days of what to make and when, so a flurry of cooking last night produced lots of goodies for today’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We’re going to a lecture tonight at UCSB by Alex Honnold, so that meant in addition to packing lunch I needed to make dinner ahead of time as well. I’ve been hearing about zucchini noodles for awhile, so I decided to give it a shot. The easiest method involves a spiralizer, which if you’ve never used: go find one. It produced long strands of zucchini that, after sitting in salt for 15 minutes, look and feel exactly like traditional noodles. If you didn’t know they were zucchini, could you tell the difference?

Zucchini Noodles with Roasted Vegetables and Beans

1 zucchini

3-4 small eggplant, cut into 1/2″ pieces

1 bell pepper, cut similar size

1/2 onion, cut into slices

Your favorite tomato sauce

1 can of white or cannelloni beans, or 1-2 cups cooked beans (I used fresh shell beans that I boiled for ~20 minutes the night before)

Basil or other fresh herbs

Toss the eggplant, pepper, and onion with some olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 375 for about 30 minutes (start checking around 25 to make sure it doesn’t  burn). Stir every 10 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting, either use a spiralizer to turn your zucchini into noodles, or use a vegetable peeler to cut thin slices. Put noodles into a colander and toss with some salt. Let it sit over a bowl for at least 15 minutes to drain excess water, until soft. Shake off the extra water and put into a bowl for serving.

At this point I tossed my noodles with heated-up tomato sauce, the vegetables, basil, and beans. But you could also plate individually (layer noodles, sauce, veggies, etc) to make it look a little nicer 🙂

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