Nine days stuck indoors with sick kids makes you do some funny things. Not the least of which includes totally abandoning healthy eating resolutions/Whole 30, because when you are trying to survive it is not a good idea to give up pie.
Temporarily abandoning blogging is another one of those survival things.
And cooking real food. Pjb? Cereal? Pancakes? Fruit basket? All reasonable meals come day nine with four small sick children and no escape.
Anyway. I’m back.
And I’m eating pie. Whatever.
But I’m also eating this: Zucchini noodles and shrimp with garlic-horseradish yogurt sauce.
Good for you? Check.
All the requirements met.
Enjoy and stay healthy out there!
ZUCCHINI NOODLES AND SHRIMP WITH GARLIC-HORSERADISH YOGURT SAUCE
5 small green and/or yellow zucchini (Spirilized into noodles or cut in thin rounds)
1 lb peeled shrimp
3 tablespoons clarified butter
1 tablespoon diced garlic
2 tablespoons horseradish
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
In a sauté pan, melt clarified butter, and simmer garlic and horseradish. Add lemon juice, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Continue simmering and toss pealed, tail-free shrimp into the pan. Cover and allow to simmer for a few more minutes. Then throw zucchini noodles (or rounds, halved) into the pan. Toss to coat with butter sauce and cover until the zucchini is more noodle-like than vegetable-like. —About 8 minutes.
Remove the zucchini and shrimp from the pan but retain as much of the cooking liquid as possible. I even go so far as to use a strainer/colander with a plate underneath, draining the zucchini and shrimp, and then adding the liquid from the plate back into the pan.
Turn the heat off the liquid and allow it to cool a bit. You’ll add the yogurt and mayo to this liquid and if it’s too hot it will separate.
Once cooled (20 minutes or so) add ½ cup homemade mayo and 1 cup honey yogurt. I like a creamy greek yogurt for this—so tasty! Whisk until the yogurt and mayo are well incorporated and the sauce is smooth. Spoon over plated zucchini noodles and shrimp. Serve hot.
Dinner is an ongoing thing at my house. I am still trying to figure this out. WHY MUST THEY EAT EVERY SINGLE NIGHT? The struggle is real.
Trying to find something healthy that everyone will eat is an even greater struggle. Chicken is a fairly safe bet, most of the time. As long as I can serve it one way for some of my family and another way for the rest of my family. This recipe does just that.
For those with a more developed palate, serve the chicken on a bed of zucchini (spiraled or sliced in rounds and sautéed). The tangy yogurt sauce adds just the right amount of flair without overpowering the dish. Think of it as a fresh spin on chicken Alfredo. But if some of your people aren’t really into that and resolutely turn up noses, serve their chicken with a banana and a healthy side of Ketchup. Boom. Everyone wins. Enjoy!
SALT AND PEPPER CHICKEN THIGHS WITH YOGURT SAUCE
6-8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
4-5 small zucchini (Or roughly 4-5 cups)
Plain organic greek yogurt
2 tablespoons butter
In a large skillet on medium-high heat, melt butter and coat the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken thighs and salt and pepper generously. Cover and cook until browned, then flip and repeat until the other side is browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
Slice rounds or spiralized zucchini and toss into the same pan using the chicken juices to cook the zucchini. Salt and pepper lightly and cook until no longer crunchy but still firm. remove from pan being carful to retain all of the juices. I ran my cooked zucchini through a pasta colander and then returned the extra juice back to the pan. It will serve as the base for the yogurt sauce.
Once the zucchini is removed from the pan and set aside, add greek yogurt to the juice, 1/2 cup at a time until it is the desired consistency. Anywhere from 1-2 cups total, depending on how your preference and the quality of liquids you have from the chicken and zucchini. Use a whisk to incorporate the yogurt but keep the pan on very low heat so as not to separate the yogurt from overheating.
Serve chicken on a bed of zucchini with yogurt sauce spooned generously overtop.
Kitchen gadgets are like shoes. The more you have the more you need because you just never know when you might need that avocado cutter or counter-top garlic chopper! For real.
However. There are a few kitchen gadgets/appliances I’ve found it impossible to live without—especially as I am cooking for six people—breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And several of my tribe have food/eating issues. (See my previous post).
My food processor has been a Godsend in this regard, and lately I find myself using it almost everyday. It’s a hard worker and it covers everything from taking care of onions so I don’t have to cry (more than necessary) over the dinner-making process, to baby-food puree, sauces and dips, and even shredding meat for sandwiches! I love that thing.
But yesterday something arrived in the mail that may rival my love—at least in the veggie department.
I refer to it as my food processor’s pretty little sister.
Is that mean?
I don’t even know.
Now, I have a big kitchen and room for a few extras, the unnecessary luxury of a spiral vegetable slicer being one such thing. I’m a kitchen gadget nerd. That said, if you are trying to incorporate more veggies (or fruits!) into your diet, or your kids’ diets, this may be quite useful. I made zucchini noodles topped with a fried egg for lunch yesterday and my third-born ate it all. Now, she is normally a great eater (my one and only) but even that was stretching it for her. And yet the novelty of the noodles won over her sweet but occasionally-stubborn toddler heart.
And me? Well, I’m sold. In fact, here’s breakfast this morning:
SPIRAL SKILLET APPLES
1 apple, (spiralized on the smallest-noodle setting)
1 small onion (also spiralized on the smallest-noodle setting)
1/4 c of finely-diced dried fruit (figs/prunes/appricots/rasins/craisins/etc)
1 Tablespoon clarified butter
Sprinkling of cinnamon to taste
In a medium-hot skillet, sauté dried fruit in butter until soft. Add the onions and sauté until they begin to soften and then the apple spirals. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover the skillet and bake until the apple is soft—no more than a couple minutes. Serve hot.
• Note: If you choose to forgo the spirals and just slice your apple, then follow all the same steps above. But dice the onions, and when you add the sliced apples, let them bake a few minutes longer in the covered skillet.