Today I was sent a €50 Gastro Gutschein (restaurant coupon) from the city of Vienna! This was designed to get people back in restaurants after being on lockdown from the coronavirus. We are allowed to use it until the end of September at most restaurants in Vienna. I already have big plans for my coupon! I will use it for my birthday on September 5th and go to my favorite fish restaurant on the lake and invite 2 of my closest friends! Click here to read more about this!
Here are my oodles of zoodles (zucchini noodles) and my recipe for a Zoodle Bake
Baked Zoodle Casserole
We are using Italian sausage in the sauce. If you would like to make the sauce vegetarian, you can use either eggplant or mushrooms (or both). If you use eggplant, cube the eggplant into 3/4-inch cubes, salt it and let it drain like the zucchini, squeezing out excess moisture. Then brown it in a tablespoon or two of olive oil in place of the sausage.
If using mushrooms, slice them into 1/4-inch slices and dry sauté them (no added fat, just put the mushrooms into the hot pan), until they have released most of their their moisture, then add them to the tomato sauce.
3 large zucchini
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Spiralize all the zucchini. If you don’t have a spiralizer, use a vegetable pealed which will create wide tagliatelle type zoodles. Toss the zoodles with salt in a colander and let drain over the sink while you make the sauce (be prepared for a lot of liquid to drain). Cut zoodles to prevent tangling later.
2. Slice the whole eggplant and lightly salt each side. Place sliced on a paper towel and cover with another paper towel. Let it sit to remove excess water while you make the sauce.
3. Brown the onions and carrots. Cook until softened and lightly colored, about 5 to 6 minutes.
4. Add the remainder of the zucchini (that couldn’t be spiralized) and any other vegetables you have such as mushroom, bell peppers, spinach, etc…
5. Add the canned crushed tomatoes tomatoes, balsamic vinegar or red wine and basil. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat to maintain a low simmer. Cook for 5 to 6 additional minutes.
6. Squeeze moisture out of zoodles with a clean dish towel and then stir in the zoodles to the sauce.
7. Put olive oil on the casserole dish and then line the dish with the eggplant slices.
8. Pour the sauce and zoodles over the eggplant.
9. Top with parmesan and mozzarella. and bake: Arrange the ricotta in clumps on the casserole.
10. Bake at 350°F / 275°C, uncovered, for 35min, or until the top is lightly browned and bubbly.
This week I’m trying meal prepping! I just recycled some pickle jars, which seem to be the perfect portion size for meals.
What’s on the menu:
On a baking sheet, chop vegetables and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Roast on 410°F / 210°C for 20 minutes. This time I roasted: Pork (whole steak) / Bell peppers / Cauliflower (my favorite vegetable to roast) / Onions (adds great flavor) / Radishes (surprisingly like potatoes) / Zucchini
*any vegtable will work, so just clean out your fridge
Steamed green beans
Lentils (can) / Chick peas (can) / Kidney beans (can)
Raw fruits and vegtables:
Apples / Avocado / Broccoli / Lettuce / Cucumber / Onions / Strawberries
Eggs (hard boiled) / Cheese / Cumin powder / Teriyaki sauce / Tortillas / Tuna fish (can, olive oil) / Yogurt (plain)
Breakfast: Nothing, intermittent fasting
Hummus and vegetable
Beans and fruit/vegetable
Yogurt with fruit/vegetable
Egg (hard boiled) abd fruit/vegtable
Lunch / Dinner options:
Stir fry: roasted vegetable mixture, pork, green beans, lentils and teriyaki sauce (upon serving)
Burrito: roasted vegetable mixture, pork, tomatoes, kidney beans, cheese and cumin powder (upon serving)
Salad: tomato (or apple), cucumber, onions, broccoli and canned tuna with oil (or egg) and balsamic vinegar (last 2 ingredients, upon serving)
Coffee / Latte / Tea / Water with lemon and apple cider vinegar (I like it since it replaces carbonated drinks for me, personally)
I love the cozy atmosphere of my neighborhood café, Kaffegreisler, Schönbergers Caffè Bar (Wiedner Hauptstraße 40, 1040 Vienna).
This is where I met very good friend Charlotte during my first week in Vienna (and after all these years, we both agree that it’s still our favorite Mittagsmenü in Vienna). Here is our first meeting after the lockdown, with a salmon Teriyaki at Chang (Waaggasse 1, 1040 Vienna).
Springtime is my smoothie season! I often am craving something light, refreshing and fruity. Maybe a piece of fruit would do the trick, but that’s not filling…and honestly, what I really want is some ice cream. Smoothies are the perfect solution to cure this craving! Smoothies have now become a daily meal replacement and also a great low calorie option with lots of nutrition. Yesterday, I was over at a friend’s house and I ate ice cream for the first time in a very long time and I found it way too sweet and heavy. My favorite smoothie recipe is:
-1/2 banana 🍌
-2 frozen strawberries 🍓 🍓
-1 serving of frozen spinach 🍃
-1tbs of protein powder (in addition to some extra protein and to fill you up longer, this also is just enough to offset the taste of spinach and to thicken the to almost a mousse like consistency)
-Add plain, low fat yogurt and water as needed to get the consistancy you prefer
-Blend it all up!
…and in only 2min, you can drink it all up!
The restaurants reopened yesterday in Vienna….first stop for me, the Beaver Brewery Company in their new location in the 5th: Schönbrunner Straße 98, opened only 1 week before the lockdown.
The world is looking at Austria as we are the first to begin to reopen. As the graph of “Daily New Cases” show, we have followed the stay at home order and have successfully reduced the spread!
In honor of Mother’s Day from far away, I am making one of my favorite recipes from my mom, caponata! It’s a combination of tomatoes, eggplant and whatever other vegetables you have on hand. Today I happened to have quite a few vegetables: carrots, onions, celery, spinach, zucchini, mushrooms, bell pepper, a can of tomato’s and of course eggplant…there will definitely be left overs!