Zucchini Noodles w/ Pesto, Shrimp & Roasted Mushrooms

 After cooking (see zoodles before below)

After cooking (see zoodles before below)

I am SO excited to share this recipe. This was my first time making "zoodles" and they really exceeded expectations.  I have dabbled with spaghetti squash a handful of times before trying these so I was expecting a similar outcome (don't get me wrong spaghetti squash is also delicious) but this really made me feel like I was eating pasta. The texture and shape of the zucchini noodles really mocked pasta well and they really took on the flavor of the pesto. Since zucchini is a pretty bland vegetable in terms of flavor it can really take on the flavor profile of whatever it is being cooked with. In this case the pesto really stood out (which was a huge bonus for this pesto lover) 

I will absolutely without a doubt be making this dish and variations of it again soon. Another great thing about zoodles is that they cook very quickly and take very little time to prepare. This whole dish took only about 20 minutes to make from start to finish. So this is perfect if you are going for healthy and quick at the same time. AND look at how beautiful they are! (see below) :)

We've been trying to cut back on carbs and grains in our household in an effort to test out the theories of grains/starches/carbs causing brain fog and to reduce our sugar intake. I'll keep you posted with how it goes. In the meantime you can expect a few more gluten friendly recipes than usual. 

Zoodles.jpg

What you need: 

a zucchini spiralizer (easy to find online)

approx 4 large zucchini's (for 2 servings)

2 TBSP cooking oil - coconut or avocado oil recommended (olive oil once cooked to add some flavor)

salt & pepper

1/2 lb. wild-caught shrimp

1 lb. organic baby portobello mushrooms

*pesto sauce (see recipe below OR how to make a version using avocado here) : you'll need 2 cups basil, 2 cups baby spinach, extra virgin olive oil, walnuts and salt & pepper to taste.

 

How to make:

First let's go over how to make the zoodles - it's easy as can be. Rinse and chop the ends off of your zucchini's and then use the spiralizer to create spiralized zucchini noodles until you have something resembling the above photo. Put these aside with a paper towel over top and press down to help absorb some of the water in the zucchini.

Next, slice and roast your mushrooms in a 350 degree oven with some olive oil, garlic and a little bit of red wine vinegar until they are slightly charred approximately 20 minutes or so. 

While the mushrooms are baking, cook your shrimp in a pan with some oil over medium heat - a few minutes a side adding a dollop of pesto at the end of cooking to lightly coat the shrimp. Lastly over medium-high heat throw your zoodles in a pan with a splash of water or stock and cook them for approx 5 minutes. You don't want the zoodles to turn to mush - they should have a good slightly al dente texture - so do a taste test if need be. Then toss the zoodles together with the shrimp and lots of extra pesto sauce and top with mushrooms. Garnish with fresh parsley or parmesan cheese if that's your thing.

 

Pesto Sauce:

Roast 1/2 cup of walnuts for about 5 minutes and set aside to cool. Bring a pot of water to a boil and quickly blanche 2 cups of basil and 2 cups of spinach for about 20 seconds. Then immediately rinse and cool them. Make sure to squeeze all of the excess water from the spinach and basil before putting into the food processor. Place walnuts, basil, spinach and approx 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil (adding more olive oil for texture if needed as you go) with salt & pepper to taste - blend in a food processor until it forms a pesto like paste. Voila! You have your ready to use pesto.