Craving that bowl of noodles? Yup. Who doesn’t right – especially on a crisp fall night? But hearty doesn’t always have to mean stick-to-your-ribs pasta. Sometimes a bowlful of veggies can do the trick. This recipe lets zucchini take main stage. Pile swirls and swirls of crisp, fresh zucchini enveloped in a garlicky, pesto-like sauce onto your plate. Add shrimp for a protein punch (and flavor) and a quick basil sauce to turn a mound of squash into the main event. From start to finish you are looking at about 25 minutes of your time. Not bad for a bowl of noodles.
1 medium zucchini: high in vitamin A for immune support
½ cup + 1-2 tbsp olive oil: full of oleic acid – anti-inflammatory; and rich in vitamins E and K
Natural Salt (sea salt, pink salt, Celtic, etc.): rich in various minerals
½ cup basil: good source of vitamin A, C, E
1-3 cloves of garlic, peeled: boosts immune function
Juice and zest of one lemon (optional): vitamin C, can help with iron absorption
Olives, coarsely chopped (optional): contains vitamin E, iron, copper, and calcium
4 oz. shrimp, blotted dry: high in selenium and iodine – both great for thyroid function
Black Pepper: contains piperine which has antioxidants and helps boost the absorption of selenium
Spiralize zucchini into long strands and set aside.
In a food processor place garlic, basil, lemon juice, and salt. While pulsing, drizzle olive oil to form a thick sauce (think pesto)*.
Mix olives and lemon zest if using, into to the sauce and set aside.
In a small sauté pan, heat one to two tablespoon of olive oil. Once oil is shimmering add shrimp. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until shrimp are opaque, then flip, and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until shrimp start to curl and are an opaque pink color on the other side.
Take shrimp out of pan. Add zucchini spirals and heat through (30 seconds to 1 minute). Zucchini should still be firm, but warm.
To plate: place zucchini on bottom of plate. Top with shrimp and sauce.
*For a coarser sauce, or if a food processor is not available, finely chop all ingredients and mix with olive oil.