Although this seems like the gazillionth day of my January clean eating cleanse, I’m happy to say that I’ve found flavorful and fun recipes to get me through almost three weeks now with minimal cravings and hardly any tears. These Zoodles with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Shrimp really make me feel like I could prolong this thing much longer than I originally planned (and I just might, too). This light and fresh tomato sauce could be a much heavier meal on top of some pasta, but instead the zoodles let the delicate flavor of the thyme and the sherry peep through. It was very filling meal paired with some succulent shrimp and a few shavings of parmesan.
I’m steadily trudging through my arsenal of ideas for delicious and healthy meals. I’m actually taking a lot of pleasure in realizing just how easy it is to make basic foods from scratch. Why didn’t I do this more before?? I like that I’m cutting out a lot of chemicals and crap that was in my food. Also, it’s amazing how small of a portion size you actually need to feel full if you just chill and and enjoy your food — instead of shoving a huge plate of something in your face. It makes me question how I am not 8 million pounds by now. I’m not saying my “clean eating cleanse” is permanent or I’m going to turn into a weird organic-obsessed holistic fitness hippy or anything, but I love the energy I have right now and want to keep it up! I also can’t wait for my first slice of pizza….
So tonight I wanted to spiralize again and make something reminiscent of comfort food, but I didn’t want to just top the noodles with jarred marinara and cheese. I remembered a recipe in Giada Delaurentiis’ Cooking Happy book that used a fresh tomato sauce on zoodles and I thought I’d try it. Her recipe gave me the basic idea but I decided to adapt it and make it in my own style. I have to say, I really enjoyed it. The thyme came through and gave the dish a fabulous lemony flavor, and the sherry gave a robust and hearty taste. The shrimp were a perfect addition of protein to fill me up a little more, and of course shrimp tastes good no matter what you put in on. The sauce did turn pretty watery but seriously with zoodles that’s to be expected and it was nice to soak the zucchini and shrimp in.
Zoodles with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Shrimp (serves 2-4)
- 3 large zucchini (or 4 medium), spiralized
- 1 lb shrimp
- 3 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme, plus additional for garnish
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves removed and chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp sherry
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 2 cloves garlic, 4 sprigs of thyme, 1 sprig of oregano, and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes. Sauté for 1 minute until fragrant. Salt and pepper the shrimp and add to the hot pan. Stir, then let shrimp sit on each side for 3 minutes or until opaque throughout. Remove the only the shrimp to another bowl and set aside. Keep the shrimp warm. In the original pan add the sherry to deglaze the pan, then add another sprig of thyme and the rest of the oregano, plus the remaining 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes. Then add the cherry tomatoes and salt and pepper and stir. Let this simmer for about 7-8 minutes and the tomatoes release their moisture and start to crush. It should form a light sauce.
When the sauce is complete add in the cooked shrimp and combine, then add the zucchini noodles and more salt. Toss to completely mix. Serve into bowls and top with a sprinkling of more thyme and grated parmesan cheese.