Main Course Recipes, Pasta Recipes, Seafood Recipes

Zucchini Noodles and Spaghetti with Pesto, Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Shrimp

Pesto Zucchini Noodles and Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Shrimp

 

I’m a pesto loving fool.  I’m also a tomato loving fool.  Thankfully, this dish has ’em both (plus super cool spiraled zucchini noodles).  I’m a fool in love, and in this particular instance I’m referring to my dinner.

What do I love about this dish (other than the pesto and tomatoes?):

  • The harmonious balance of slightly chewy al dente pasta and crunchy veg achieved through the combination of pasta noodles and zucchini noodles.
  • The sweetness from the roasted garlic.  Enough said.
  • The toppings. Shrimp, garlic and herb panko breadcrumbs, lemon zest, fresh basil, and the parmesan cheese.

Tomatoesphoto 1photo 2

 

Spiral that fresh zucchini and slice up those pretty multi colored cherry tomatoes. Tear up that fresh basil, and take in that delicious aroma from the roasted garlic.  Lady Summer is still hanging around for a while, and she loves when you get a little foolhardy with her fresh ingredients … she told me so.

Pesto Zucchini Noodles and Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Shrimp Pesto Zucchini Noodles and Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Shrimp Pesto Zucchini Noodles and Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Shrimp Pesto Zucchini Noodles and Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Shrimp

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti (or 2 oz per person)
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • A small pinch of Herbs de Provence (or dried oregano)
  • A small pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 head roasted garlic, squeezed from skins, and mashed with a fork
  • 1/2 cup pesto, homemade or store bought
  • 3 zucchini, spiraled (use a vegetable spiral slicer or a julienne peeler)
  • 1 lb large (16-20 count) shrimp, shelled and deveined (Ask your butcher for them this way.  If you have to devein your own shrimp, follow these steps.)
  • The zest from 1/2 of a lemon (approximately 1/2 tbsp)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup freshly shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Reminder: If you haven’t already done so, roast your garlic now. This takes about 35 minutes!
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  3. Add the tomatoes to the sheet pan, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat, then spread out into a single even layer.  Roast for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions until al dente.  You want the pasta to be tender but slightly firm to the bite.  Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of starchy pasta water.  Reserve pasta.
  5. Meanwhile, add 1 teaspoon olive oil, panko bread crumbs, minced garlic, Herbs de Provence, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt to a small skillet.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the breadcrumbs are toasted and fragrant.  Remove from heat and reserve.
  6. Combine roasted garlic, pesto, and a few tablespoons of the reserved cooking water in a small boil.  Stir to combine and reserve.
  7. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add spiraled zucchini, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until zucchini is cooked through.  (Note: Watch your spiraled zucchini carefully. You do not want it to overcook and become mushy. The goal is for it to retain a nice crunch.)
  8. Meanwhile, add 1 tbsp of olive oil to another large skillet over medium high heat.  Season shrimp with salt and freshly cracked black pepper, and cook for 5 minutes until cooked through.  Cover to keep warm and reserve.
  9. Once spiraled zucchini is cooked through, add the cooked spaghetti and pesto mixture to the pan. Toss to coat and cook for 3 minutes.  Add more pesto or pasta water if necessary.  You want the spaghetti and zucchini to be coated with a nice layer of pesto.
  10. Add the roasted tomatoes to the pan. Toss to combine and cook one additional minute.  Sprinkle with half of the toasted bread crumbs, lemon zest, fresh basil, and reserved shrimp.
  11. Transfer to a serving platter, or serve right out of the skillet.  Serve with remaining  bread crumbs and fresh parmesan cheese on the side.

Serves: 4

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Main Course Recipes

Turkey Taco Zucchini Boats

Turkey Taco Zucchini Boats

 

Aside from having a name that sounds like the title of an old Grateful Dead concert tour, these turkey taco zucchini (or “Zuk” if you love abbreviating like I do) boats are fun and oh so tasty.

Weeknight summer dinners are all about simplicity, beauty, and the use of the freshest ingredients.  Zucchini is so plentiful this time of year, so I can’t resist incorporating it into many of my meals. Obviously, zucchini is the star of this dish.  Simply hollow out the zucchini using a small spoon, stuff it with an incredibly tasty turkey taco filling, top with cheese, and cook until bubbly perfection occurs.  The end result is perfectly cooked zucchini and an explosion of southwestern flavors.  You won’t miss the tortilla one bit.

If you’re looking for a way to shake up taco night, look no further.  Hop aboard the zuk-boat, and enjoy this summer weeknight gem of dinner.  Healthy, delicious, pretty, and fun.

Turkey Taco Zucchini BoatsTurkey Taco Zucchini BoatsTurkey Taco Zucchini Boats

Turkey Taco Zucchini Boats

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 zucchini, medium sized
  • 1/2 cup prepared salsa
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb ground turkey, I used 96% lean
  • 15 oz can finely dices tomatoes
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • A small handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped green chilies (I used half of a 4 oz can, use the entire can if you like it spicy)
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese

Directions:

  1. Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise.  Using a small spoon, hollow out the center of the zucchini halves leaving 1/4 inch border.  Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini into small pieces and reserve 1/2 of a cup to add to the taco filling.  Discard the rest or save to use in another recipe.  Place the reserved zucchini into the center of a paper towel and squeeze any excess water out of it.  Reserve zucchini.
  2. Spoon salsa into a large baking dish and place zucchini halves on top, hollowed side up.  Reserve prepared baking dish.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil.  Once hot, add onion and red bell pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Add ground turkey and cook for 5 minutes, breaking turkey into bite sized pieces.  Once turkey is browned, add reserved zucchini flesh, tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro, greed chilies, taco seasoning, cumin, dried oregano, smoked paprika, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Allow mixture to cool slightly.
  5. Fill the reserved zucchini boats with the taco filling mixture.  Pack as much as you can into each zucchini boat, for me that was about 1/2 cup.
  6. Top each zucchini half with 1 tbsp of cheese (I used a shredded monterey jack mixture) and bake, covered, for 35-40 minutes until zucchini is cooked through.  Remove cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Servings: 4 (Serving size: 2 zucchini boats)

Recipe inspired by Skinnytaste’s Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats

 

Appetizers, Snacks, Vegetarian Recipes

Baked Zucchini “Zuk” Fries with Greek Yogurt & Sriracha Dipping Sauce

Baked Zucchini Fies with Greek Yogurt & Sriracha Dipping Sauce

 

I took a trip to my local farmers market and somehow came home with 3 large bags of zucchini. Can you blame me when they were charging $2.00 for 10 zucchini?  $6.00 later, I had A LOT of zucchini. Time to get creative with an abundance of one product.

“Zuk” (I like to abbreviate) is easy to sneak into most meals from breakfast, through dessert.  You can bake it, stuff it, grill it, saute it.  Can you resist a good “Zuk” bread?  The answer there is, no you can’t.  Add Zuk to soups, stews, stir-fries, omelets, and cookies.  It’s another one of those versatile products.

Why not combine one of my happy craving foods (french fries) with all this Zuk?  It’s not a secret that french fries aren’t the healthiest, so I often make my own.  To offset the unhealthiness, I’ll bake the fries instead of frying them.  Now you see where I’m going with this recipe.  The zucchini stays crisp and fresh, and the garlicky bread crumbs give it a nice crunchy coating.  I paired these zucchini fries with a tangy Greek yogurt Sriracha dipping sauce.  As my mom would say, “to die for!”

Take a hint.  Go to your farmers market, pick up some Zuk, and make these delicious fries.

Ingredients:

  • 3 zucchinis, cut into 3″ x 1/2″ sticks
  • 2 egg whites
  • pinch of salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup bread crumbs ( I used Contadina bread crumbs with roasted garlic and savory spices)
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 6 oz container of 0% fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Wash and cut the ends off the zucchini.  To chop zucchini into 3″ x 1/2″ sticks, cut each zucchini in half lengthwise, then cut each half into thirds lengthwise.  Then, cut each third in half crosswise.

In a small dish (I like to use a pie plate) beat egg whites and season with a pinch of salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. In a large zip-lock bag, combine bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.

Prepare a cookie sheet by evenly spraying it with olive oil spray.

Working with a few at a time, dip zucchini into egg white mixture, then place into the zip-lock bag with the bread crumb mixture.  Shake to coat, and place in a single layer onto prepared baking sheet.  Repeat until all zucchini are coated.  Spray zucchini with another layer of olive oil spray.

Bake for 20 minutes until golden and cooked through.

To make the Greek Yogurt and Sriracha Dipping Sauce, simply combine Greek yogurt and Sriracha hot sauce. Mix until well blended.