Shrimp and Zucchini “Zoodles” with Hummus Sauce

Shrimp and Zucchini “Zoodles” with Hummus Sauce

Zoodles! Time to get on the Spiralizer train – this zoodle recipe is HOT. And oh so incredibly easy! Don’t own a Spiralizer yet? Get this one on Amazon. It’s on Prime. It gets to your door in 2 days. It’ll probably get there before you get your ingredients from Safeway. It’s probably on your doorstop right now. So go ahead and order your Spiralizer now. I’ll wait.

Got it? Great. Now let’s talk about what this thing does. The Spiralizer slices veggies in a spiral shape, which makes those thinly sliced veggies ideal for salads, noodle substitutes, and curly veggie fries. While the Spiralizer has many uses, I mostly use it to make Zoodles. They are “noodles” made of spiraled zucchini that can be used as a spaghetti noodle substitute. They’re ideal as a substitute for gluten-free, guilt-free and paleo-friendly recipes. And they’re shockingly delicious. So let’s get to Spiralizing!

Shrimp and Zucchini “Zoodles” with Hummus Sauce

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Simple ingredients for a healthy meal (and wine for anti-anxiety)

This recipe uses a Spiralizer to make “Zoodles” and hummus to make a quick “sauce” in a recipe I call “delicious” (air quotes not necessary).

First, a few things I’ve learned about cooking Noodles:

  1. While you can boil these noodles in water for about 1-2 minutes, I’ve found better results from cooking them for about 3-4 minutes in a pan with the sauce
  2. They put off quite a bit of water when you sauté them, so use them with more concentrated sauces
  3.  Zoodles cook down quite a bit, so whatever looks like a lot of zoodles, double it. Each regular sized zucchini will yield the right amount of cooked zoodles for two people
  4. They are also great uncooked in salads, so I will spiralize more than I need, cook what I want, and save the rest for tomorrow’s salad
  5. If you want to spiralize hard veggies like sweet potatoes, don’t believe the online claims from the Spiralizer (or competitor brands). They just can’t do it without breaking your arm or the Spiralizer trying to get through those hard veggies. Instead, get this attachment for your KitchenAid to do hard veggies

Ingredients
1/3c pine nuts
3 sprigs parsley, leaves chopped coarsely (discard stems)
6 jumbo shrimp, peeled (I get mine from The Sea 2 U at our farmer’s market)
1/3c your favorite hummus or spread (I use Hummus Heaven Garlic Cayanne Pepper Hummus)
1tbs + 1 tsp olive oil
1tbs water
1 large zuchinni

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Shrimp from The Sea 2 U

Directions
To toast the pine nuts, heat a non-stick pan on medium high (do not add oils) and add nuts. Watch closely and stir until pine nuts are fragrant and light brown. Be very careful as nuts burn quickly. Set aside for garnish.

In a small bowl, add 1 tbs of olive oil, hummus and water and whisk until combined. Use some of the hummus mix to marinate the shrimp.

In a non-stick pan over medium high heat, add 1 tsp olive oil until shimmering. Sauté shrimp until browned and crispy on the outside and until the white parts on the middle are opaque. Set shrimp aside in a warm place.

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Perfectly cooked shrimp: browned on the outside and white parts no longer transulcent

In the same pan used to cook the shrimp, lower the heat to medium. Add hummus “sauce” and cook just until warmed and more liquid in viscosity. Add zucchini noodles and cook until completely coated in sauce and the noodles are el dente (about 2 minutes). Note: the zucchini noodles will let off water and should create a more liquid sauce. Add back shrimp to pan to coat.

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Sauce will start a little thicker (see here), but turn saucier as water from noodles is drawn out

Serve in a bowl and top with chopped parsley and toasted pine nuts. Eat and feel good about (a) how fast Amazon ships and (b) how healthy you are!

Beet, Apple & Fennel Salad with Creamy Ricotta Dressing

Beet, Apple & Fennel Salad with Creamy Ricotta Dressing

Beet, Apple & Fennel Salad with Creamy Ricotta Dressing

I love a simple, fresh and healthy salad. I try to eat salads every day at work. But if you do the math on my years at the Gap times days of work less days of vacation less cheating with a burger plus days I justify my burger by adding a side salad…well…that would be a lot of salads. And everyone who has losing weight as a New Year’s resolution (like, every woman ever) vows “salads for life” and keeps that vow for about…three days. You know why we can’t hold those resolutions longer? Yes, you know why. Salads can be so boring! Iceberg lettuce, shredded carrots, the occasional broccoli floret and as much ranch dressing as you can justify to mask the boring-ness of veggies. So I set out to make a salad that would help me start that New Year resolution early. And stick with it. For at least four days this time.

This salad has a salty, creamy ricotta “dressing” that amps your salad up and makes it crave-worthy. The fennel/apple/beet combo will brighten your winter work day.  And the simpleness of the recipe will help you keep resolutions of making your own lunch. So let’s get salading…

Fennel comes in a “bulb” that looks a little like celery and onion had a baby. The “fawn” or delicate leafy pieces add flair to your presentation

These are apples….you know what they are! Choose a crisp apple such as Fuji, Braeburn, or Honeycrisp

Beet, Apple & Fennel Salad with Creamy Ricotta Dressing

Ingredients
1 1/2c ricotta
3tbs + 1/4c olive oil
1/4c hazelnuts, finely chopped
4 roasted beets*
1/2 crisp fuji apple
1 fennel bulb
arugula
2tbs champagne vinegar
cooked chicken breast (optional)
salt & pepper

*Note: To save time, I used store-bought beets, which are pretty darned decent. To roast yourself, heat an oven to 350 degrees. Toss beets in olive oil, salt, pepper and wrap in aluminum foil. Cook for 20 minutes or until soft when pierced with a fork. Let cool and peel beets.

Directions
In a mixer, add ricotta, 3tbs olive oil and salt & pepper to taste. Mix on high until creamy. If desired, increase creaminess by adding more olive oil. This creamy sauce can be made in advanced and stored in an air-tight container in the refridgerator.

Heat a saute’ pan to medium and toast hazelnuts until fragrant, about 5 minutes, staring frequently. Careful – nuts burn quickly! Set aside nuts.

Thinly slice apple. Chop off roots of fennel and reserve the “fawn”, or soft, leafy parts from the top. Cut fennel into fours and cut out the tough core. Thinly slice.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, champagne vinegar, and a pinch salt & pepper to make a light vinaigrette.

Spread ricotta mixture on the bottom of a plate. Lightly dress arugula with vinaigrette and place over ricotta. Top with beets, apples, fennel, toasted hazelnuts, (and chicken, if desired) and finish with a sprig of fennel fawn.

Eat, enjoy, and smile, knowing that you’re starting your New Year’s resolutions early – in a very delicious way.

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