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

img_6947

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

img_6944

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.

img_6951

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.

img_7013

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!

Advertisements

Squash Blossoms and Happy Boy Farms

Zucchini Salad and Fried Squash Blossoms

Zucchini Salad and Fried Squash Blossoms

Squash Blossoms and Happy Boy Farms

I look forward to Sundays. And not in the sleep in, relax, have a cup of coffee and do nothing kind of Sunday. I can’t even sleep in on Sunday. Why? Because I. Am. So. Excited. Sunday is Farmer’s market day at Fort Mason in San Francisco. My Sunday routine is flawlessly the same every week. Wake up. Eat eggs. Consider going for run. Don’t go for run. Walk to market. Walk around entire market and sample. Walk around entire market again to check prices, re-think about recipes and look for inspiration. Sample. Walk around one final, third time to actually buy items. And sample. Harass my favorite farmer for forgetting the tatsoi on his truck.  Walk home, curse the three flights I have to walk up because I just HAD to live on the top floor. FInally, lay out all my goods to use that as inspiration for my next post, which brings me to squash blossoms and Happy Boy Farms. 

Happy Boy Farms is a family run, organic farm in Watsonville, California (wherever that is). The darling girls who work each week at the market bring us city folk fresh, lovely, seasonal produce that is unique and ever changing from week to week. This week’s inspiration came from squash blossoms and edible flowers that they sold this week along with zucchini, radishes, and golden beets. So thank you, Happy Boy Farms, for having the same flawless Sunday routine of bringing me fantastic produce from Lordknowswhere, California so that I might lug it up to my 3rd floor apartment and fry up some squash blossoms. 

IMG_6346

Produce from Happy Boy Farms (and some mushrooms I bought at Safeway, shhhh)

Squash blossoms and edible flowers from Happy Boy Farmers

Squash blossoms and edible flowers from Happy Boy Farmers

Fried Squash Blossoms and Shaved Zucchini Salad Recipe

For this recipe, you’ll need a mandolin slicer. And if you don’t have a mandolin slicer, you’ll need a vegetable peeler. You’ll also need a nice 1/2 bottle of inexpensive oil (vegetable or canola), a deep pan for frying, and all your fingers so you can afford to lose one or two between the slicing and the frying. 

For the Zucchini Salad
2 small zucchini
Small bunch radishes
2 small beets
5 stalks asparagus
Mixed Green Salad
Salt & Pepper
Goat Cheese (optional)
1/4c Hazelnuts (optional), sliced

Toast hazelnuts in 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until fragrant. WATCH CAREFULLY as these suckers will burn. Once you smell them, take them out immediately. Set aside. Slice zucchini, radishes, beets, and asparagus (leave tops whole for the salad) and place in a ice bath. The ice bath keeps veggies fresh and makes the zucchini curl up and look purdy.

Placing the zucchini in an ice bath will cause the veggie to curl up and keep fresh

Placing the zucchini in an ice bath will cause the veggie to curl up and keep fresh

Add radishes and beets to keep fresh and give the zucchini some friends

Add radishes and beets to keep fresh and give the zucchini some friends

Set everything aside for final preparation, below.

For the salad Dressing
1/4c olive oil
1 tbs champagne vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste

Whisk everything together rapidly. If you’re obsessive about emulsifying (process of separating the oils with all the vinegars), do this in a mini blender.

For the Squash Blossoms
4 large squash blossom flowers
1 4oz container of goat cheese, room temperature or slightly softened in microwave
Basil
Parsley
Chives
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 cup seltzer water
2 tbs flour
2-3 cups vegetable or canola oil

Before I start, note that the basil/parsley/chives mix is not because of some magical genius mix of herbs. It’s just what I have growing out on my fire escape. Really, you can use most fresh herbs – tarragon, sage, thyme and oregano would all be fantastic. There are also plenty of recipes online for super fancy fried squash blossoms with roasted tomatoes, different cheeses, small bits of gold, etc, but I like my squash blossoms nice and simple. On to the recipe…

Mince herbs and mix in with goat cheese. Add S&P to taste. Stuff squash blossoms with goat cheese mixture, but do not over-stuff. These squash blossoms should look like they ate too many chips before their enchilada at the Mexican food restaurant. NOT like they were trying to get their money’s worth with fried chicken, potato rolls, mashed potatoes & gravy and the ice cream sundae bar at Old Country Buffet.

IMG_6353

Simple fried squash blossom ingredients

Stuffed, not over-stuffed blossoms

Stuffed, not over-stuffed blossoms

In a medium bowl, mix seltzer water with flour and a pinch of S&P.

Heat oil in a fryer or deep saucepan over high medium high heat (meaning just below medium high, but not quite high). There should be about an inch of oil in the pan. Note, in the photos below I have TOO MUCH OIL in the pan. This caused splatter and a small, 1/2 second fire on my stove so don’t do that. Less oil, no fire. Ok?

The oil is hot enough when you drop in a tiny bit of the flour/seltzer mix and it sizzles.

Using thongs (for finger protection), dip each stuffed squash blossom in the setlzer-flour mixture, shake off excess, and GENTLY drop into oil. Let sizzle, turning gently using thongs, until browned. Set aside on a separate plate. Do each blossom separately so that the oil can re-heat after each one.

IMG_6366IMG_6363IMG_6364

 

Assemble the salad

Dress the mixed greens with 1/2 the salad dressing.  Drain remaining veggies, pat dry, and dress with remaining salad dressing. Top with goat cheese, hazelnuts, and squash blossoms. Enjoy immediately with a glass of wine and a silent cheers to all the farmers that bring us fantastic veggies to your home (wherever that may be).

IMG_6393

Special thanks to my lovely friend, Christina, who was patient and helpful enough to help me with all the photos. Including the ones where I asked her to wait 10 minutes after the food was cooked while I photographed on my (clean) floor.

Processed with Moldiv                       IMG_6322