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zucchini noodles with coconut shrimp in lemon garlic sauce.

Three years ago, I read about this funky idea called the ten minute plan in SELF magazine. The ten minute plan consist of forming a positive habit or doing something good for yourself every ten minutes at a time so it will add up and then your day will be amazing. It is kind of like how you learned how to discipline yourself into maintaining a habit and they say your life just changes when you do. It only sounded simple enough, right?  Right. After ten minutes went by, I forgot the entire thing. Needless to say, much of life has been the same for me.

And as for being positive?  Well, I always thought I was a positive person but it only took until recently when I was involved in my relationship with the Orthodox Gentleman that proved me wrong. Relationships are funny like that – you spend a lot of time around your significant other and in turn, they help you to understand yourself in ways you never thought possible.

I was never really a truly positive person.  I got frustrated over spilled blueberries. I can get very sarcastic – and my old penchant for binging on television serieses made it worse. I currently got this mean Netflix habit though. All of these traits add up to negativity which never really ends up being attractive especially when used around others we care about. I . I craved the idea of being positive and optimistic and haplessly tried to be optimistic but would fail because I didn’t come to grip with accepting the fact that I’m human. I tried, I tried, I tried often living vicariously through more positive people and failing because I was at risk of  losing myself in other people.

It wasn’t until Facebook memories reminded me that I thought of the ten minute plan on this very day.

Point is, optimism is a habit-forming practice that I’m taking another try again while still being myself. It can be a beautiful way of life, frolicking day by day delicately exploring life’s delicacies or just remembering gratitude or keeping the faith every night. But be real with yourself too. You don’t have to live on the beach, in New York or Europe or is only for certain people in this life. It’s for everyone. The first step is accepting the shades of your personality and adjusting your attitude.

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Now onto the recipe… speaking of shades, spiralized zucchini is about fifty shades of amazing no matter how you prepare it. And if you haven’t caught on the spiralizer craze, you may actually need to. You can spiralize many fruits and vegetables, but spiralizing zucchini is a no-fail go-to and preparing it any way (raw, boiled, steamed, pan-fried) usually results in pure bliss for your tastebuds. Now before you think zucchini noodles is just for health nuts or diabetics or low carb dieters, you may even want to jump on the bandwagon after you try a recipe like my tasty made in a matter of minutes  zucchini noodles with coconut shrimp in lemon garlic sauce below.

What I’ve done is that I pan fried the noodles which softens the texture of the zucchini and reduces the slightly bitter taste that you would find with the raw zucchini noodles. And yes, it’s totally okay to eat raw zucchini noodles. A lot of people do. You’ll be addicted. Anyway, pan-frying the noodles gives the dish an almost Asian noodle texture and slight taste that reminded me of pad thai in ways. I added in the tomatoes for an extra vegetable. For protein, it’s summer and I crave shrimp even before I can get to the shore so I like to go out to the best fish market in my area. Right now, I am really liking Wild for Salmon which prides themselves on wild-caught Alaskan salmon, smoked salmon, salmon ravioli to white fish, oysters, clams and of course shrimp!

When you’re buying shrimp, make sure you are buying shrimp that has been untailed and deveined which saves time otherwise you will have to do it yourself. Chances are, your shrimp may be frozen. If you need the shrimp the day off, unopen the package and put the block of shrimp in a bowl filled with cold water. It will thaw out in about thirty minutes. Shrimp tastes great with a little sea salt and pepper but I added some coconut to this recipe for a twist which takes this dish from two to four stars. Finally, as it’s summer, I kept the sauce nice, simple and light with a lemon and garlic sauce. And as for any pasta sauce that calls for garlic, please feel free to use more than just one or two cloves of garlic. This is one example where being a little liberal is good for your health.

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Zucchini Noodles with Coconut Shrimp in Lemon Garlic Sauce

Serves 4

Grocery Budget: $20-$24

Ingredients:

1 zucchini, spiralized

1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice

5 cloves of garlic (I don’t lie about my garlic clove count.)

1/4 cup of tomatoes, washed and halved

red pepper flakes, a pinch

3 tablespoons of organic, extra virgin coconut oil

sea salt and black pepper

4 oz of shrimp, washed, deveined and thawed.

Note:

I oven roasted my shrimp ahead of time for twenty minutes before I pan fried them for a few more. The oven is totally optional as if you skip it and just pan fry them, they’ll turn out fine as you will be amazed how quick it takes shrimp to cook.

Scraping is important in this recipe. To add extra flavor, use the oil that you fried the coconut shrimp in and add it to the pan that you fry the zucchini noodles in. Optional step but you know… tastes great.

Method:

  1. Heat up a heavy pan with 1 tbsp of coconut oil, swirling it in the pan to allow it coat the bottom evenly. Sprinkle in red pepper flakes and half of the garlic and cook for one minute. Assuming you are just pan frying the shrimp, this is where you add the shrimp. Cook stirring for 3-4 minutes or until shrimp is opaque and pinkish. Set aside.
  2. Heat up another heavy pan with 1 tbsp of coconut oil and rest of the garlic. Add in your zucchini noodles, stirring quickly until they become softened.
  3. Add in your shrimp. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes. Add in the tomatoes. Turn off and take off heat and serve immediately.
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