Zoodles with Peanut Butter Sauce and Shredded Chicken

By now, I don’t think I need to justify or explain my love affair with peanut butter. But in case you are a new Freckled Foodie fan and are unaware, I freaking love it. It is a staple in my kitchen (I have quite the collection) and I believe it serves a purpose in every single meal: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, dessert. You name it, peanut butter belongs there. One thing I do not love about peanut butter (GASP) is all of the brands that are filled with unnecessary ingredients, specifically sugar. Peanut butter should have one ingredient. You guessed it: PEANUTS. This is one of the many reasons that Crazy Richards has quickly won my heart in the lineup of a thousand different nut butter brands. Continuing my effort to prove that peanut butter serves a purpose in all times of the day, I decided to incorporate this delicious jar into an even tastier sauce to accompany my go-to weeknight zoodle dinner.

Check out more information on Crazy Richards PB and my featured recipe here

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Cinnamon Bun Overnight Oats

When I was growing up my family’s weekends were always jam packed with soccer and lacrosse tournaments. No matter the season, we were packing up Friday morning, jamming in 8 plus games over the span of two days, and returning home late Sunday night only to do it all over again the next weekend. Fortunately for me and my sisters, we had parents who never questioned or complained about this absurdity, but instead got behind the wheel with a smile and a cooler packed with Gatorades and road snacks. Within the blink of an eye my sisters and I would quickly demolish this cooler that probably should have lasted us over 3 days. With full bladders and somehow still hungry stomachs, we would insistently beg our parents to pull over to the nearest rest stop. You’re probably wondering, “why the hell are you telling me about your ever too frequent visits to rest stops?” Because, my friends, no matter how many Nature Valley bars or boxes of Goldfish I had just devoured in our Suburban, as soon as I walked in to any of those rest stops that smell of cinnamon maple glaze hit me like a brick. Immediately, my stomach began growling and I ran as fast as I could to the CinnaBon that was no doubt overpowering all of the nasty scents I would have otherwise smelled. To me, no road trip was complete without CinnaBon. My obsession began at an early age and over time transformed to loving anything cinnamon filled. Now more aware of the ingredients in these things, I’m a bit grossed out by my childhood consumption, but still nonetheless in love. So in an effort to make the meal that a CinnaBon is somehow meant to serve (breakfast) without sending you into a sugar coma, I created these Cinnamon Bun overnight oats. Long story short, enjoy a trip down memory lane.

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Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Avocado Pesto and Spicy Coconut Salmon

Ever since starting Freckled Foodie and continuously photographing my meals, I’ve noticed one stand out consistent meal: zucchini noodles and salmon. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good bowl of pasta. In no way am I going to tease you to believe that this will replace the hearty, comforting, nap induced bliss you feel after a bowl of hot pasta. However, what I can tell you, is that there are many of nights I actually prefer to have this meal instead (I know, blasphemy). I was always skeptical of “zoodles” for this exact reason. Refusing to accept them as a form of pasta, I changed my mindset to view them as simply another delicious option for a meal, which is exactly what they are. This meal’s pulling force that continues to suck me in on a weekly basis is the place it lands on the taste / effort scale. This meal is exceptionally easy to make, especially if you follow some of my prepping tips below, and requires minimal effort in the kitchen. It also is a refreshing, light, and delicious dinner or lunch option while seemingly impressive to dinner guests. Plus, these zoodles are simply aesthetically pleasing when they so perfectly resemble long ribbons.

Recipe

Freckled Foodie’s First Catering Experience

Hello everyone! A bit of a different post today; mainly in the sense that it does not contain a recipe, but instead a reflection on my first catering experience. This past Saturday was truly one to remember. While I have always enjoyed cooking for others and prepping for large dinner parties (I find any excuse to feed my friends), I had never considered catering an event. About a month ago my mother was telling me about a brunch she was hosting and asked if I had any ideas to give the caterers. My immediate response? “I have a thousand ideas and would love to BE the caterer”.

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Gluten, Grain, and Dairy Free Banana Pancakes

To me, no meal is cozier than banana pancakes. Growing up, pancakes encompassed all things “weekend”. Family brunch? Pancakes. Slumber party with an insanely large amount of chatty pre-teen girls? Pancakes. Rainy Sunday morning? You better believe that calls for pancakes. Now that I am grown, no longer living with my parents, and  responsible for making my own breakfasts (sigh, why can’t we be kids forever), pancakes bring back all of those warm feelings of home. They exemplify one of the reasons I love food so much: one simple meal is able to spark so many memories and emotions and, even if for just one second, transport you back to a happy past time. So excuse me while I take my plate of banana pancakes back up to bed, get under the covers, and devour this stack way you are supposed to.

Recipe

Taco Bar with Gluten & Grain Free Cauliflower Taco Shells / Tostadas

Cinco de Mayo gave me the perfect excuse to try new recipes, throw a “build your own taco bar” dinner party, and chug kombucha filled margaritas. In an effort to maintain this gluten and grain free lifestyle, I have been a huge fan of the Siete tortillas and tortilla chips. Combining that love with my recent use of a Cauliflower Foods pizza crust, and curiosity, I set out on the goal to create my own cauliflower based taco shells. After setting an extremely low bar for myself, prepared to either be impressed or laugh at this epic fail, and a cabinet filled with back up options, I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. These shells were a lot easier to make than one would think and, I can guarantee from my experience, you will without a doubt impress your guests. Trust me, my bragging ability of these bad boys only got louder and stronger with every margarita I had. Note: while they can fold to form a true “taco shell” and maintain their shape, I actually enjoyed eating them as tostadas.

Recipe

Zoodles with Indian Spiced Lamb Meatballs, Fennel Frond Pesto, and Turmeric Curry Coconut Yogurt Sauce

This (delicious) meal was inspired by two questions I found myself wondering this past week. One, what exactly makes a pesto a “pesto”. Is it the basil? Is it just a leaf blended with some type of nut and an oil? Is it simply something green that is a spreadable sauce? Two, why the heck is half of the fennel I just purchased all stems and fronds and what am I supposed to do with them (because I am mentally unable to throw away any type of food). Along with these questions, I found myself at my favorite local butcher shop looking through the glass case the same way I have a thousand times before but all of a sudden gravitating towards a different type of meat: lamb. Following my stomach (because how else should you live life), these thoughts, questions, and epiphanies, I was led me to one thing: fennel frond fucking pesto. Sorry, I know I have an extremely bad cursing habit and use the F word as an adjective too often, but it just rolled off the tongue so perfectly. So anyway, this triple F pesto sauce became the connection between all of my wondering thoughts and the base of a deliciously adventurous, and very different than my usual, weeknight dinner.

Recipe