Category Archives: Zucchini

National Shrimp Scampi Day

I love shrimp scampi. In honor of today’s celebration, I’m re-posting my version, which I call shrimp campy because I serve it over zucchini “pasta.” 🙂 You’ll need a spiral vegetable slicer for this one.

RECIPE

Hasty Tasty Shrimp “Campy”

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini, spiral-cut into noodles
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 10 oz. frozen cooked salad shrimp (no need to thaw)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper

100_1219100_1216

Directions:

  1. Rinse and drain the zucchini. The rinse water clinging to it should be sufficient to create the steam to cook the “pasta” without overcooking it.
  2. Steam the zucchini in a covered, 2-quart saucepan over low heat for 10-12 minutes or until tender. 
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium-size saute pan over low heat. Add the frozen salad shrimp, salt, pepper, and minced garlic.
  4. Remove saute pan from heat as soon as the shrimp are warmed. Do not overcook.
  5. Toss cooked zucchini “pasta” with the shrimp. Serve garnished with the Parmesan cheese.

100_1220

So there you have it: Shrimp “Campy” without the high-carb pasta! And it sneaks an extra serving of vegetables into your daily diet.

1 Comment

Filed under Healthful Eating, scampi, Shrimp, Vegetables, Zucchini

Use Your Noodles!

I previously sang the praises of spiral vegetable slicers when I bought my SpiraLife. I upgraded to the fancier model but still love my trusty hand-held.

My latest experiment involves sweet potatoes. I peeled a Beauregard (grown locally) and combined its noodles with one zucchini, also spiral-cut, and steamed over low heat for about ten minutes.


I added salt and pepper, and then tossed the “noodles” with a dressing I made from 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, one clove garlic, and a pinch of Chinese Five Spice seasoning.  I topped it off with chopped fresh cilantro. Delicious!

You can change up your vegetables by mixing up the combinations and/or dressings or sauces. What a fun way to be sure you’re eating your vegetables. Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under cooking, Healthful Eating, kitchen equipment, pasta dishes, Recipes, Vegetables, Zucchini

Hasty Tasty Shrimp “Campy” ☺

Handheld vegetable spiral slicer by Spiralife

Handheld vegetable spiral slicer by SpiraLife

I previously posted about my new spiral vegetable slicer, the SpiraLife. Today I challenged my husband to try my lightened, low-carbohydrate version of shrimp scampi. He had his doubts. He loves his pasta, and substituting spiral-cut squash didn’t appeal to him. But he’s a good sport.

I call this dish “campy” because it’s a fake-out, and I also thought the name “shrimp campy” cute. You may call it anything you wish, but please give it a try. It’s healthful, filling, and tasty.

RECIPE

Hasty Tasty Shrimp “Campy”

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini, spiral-cut into noodles
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 10 oz. frozen cooked salad shrimp (no need to thaw)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper

100_1219100_1216

Directions:

  1. Rinse and drain the zucchini. The rinse water clinging to it should be sufficient to create the steam to cook the “pasta” without overcooking it.
  2. Steam the zucchini in a covered, 2-quart saucepan over low heat for 10-12 minutes or until tender. 
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium-size saute pan over low heat. Add the frozen salad shrimp, salt, pepper, and minced garlic.
  4. Remove saute pan from heat as soon as the shrimp are warmed. Do not overcook.
  5. Toss cooked zucchini “pasta” with the shrimp. Serve garnished with the Parmesan cheese.

100_1220

The verdict? My husband admitted it tasted better than he expected. He even said I could make it again. So there you have it: Shrimp “Campy” without the high-carb pasta! And it sneaks an extra serving of vegetables into your daily diet.

Leave a comment

Filed under scampi, Shrimp, Zucchini

Oodles of Noodles=Low-calorie Fun.

Too much cooking and too much eating have led to too much weight! While I hate the word diet, I’m on one now to drop pounds. A recent addition to my kitchen gadget collection is a vegetable spiral slicer. Many brands are available. I chose a handheld model by Spiralife.

The spiral slicer creates several long strands of vegetable pasta.

The spiral slicer creates several long strands of vegetable pasta.

I love pasta dishes, so the concept of creating vegetable ribbons as a substitute for spaghetti appeals to me. Vegetable noodles save me approximately 200 calories per serving when substituted for my whole wheat or semolina spaghetti. What a fun way to sneak more nutrition and fiber in my diet. 😀

For my first adventure in spiral slicing, I steamed a squash medley for a side dish. Using one yellow squash and one zucchini, I produced enough “noodles” for two pasta dishes or three side dishes. I tossed with a tablespoon of butter for a side, but next time I plan to use a pesto sauce for an entrée.

Steam pasta over low heat just until tender. Or you can boil it if you don't have minimum-moisture cookware.

Steam pasta over low heat just until tender. Or you can boil it if you don’t have minimum-moisture cookware.

A side of squash medley served with chicken and mashed potatoes.

A side of squash medley served with chicken and mashed potatoes.

The handheld Spiralife® is great for round vegetables, like carrots, zucchini, and yellow squash. It isn’t designed for onions or broccoli, which is no problem because a pasta substitute should have a mild taste. I enjoy a medley of flavors, so I blend squashes with a carrot. In the past, I’ve created veggie curls using an ordinary vegetable peeler. This new gadget speeds up the process.

Bottom line: The Spiralife is worth the purchase. I may even consider upgrading to a fancier model!

Handheld vegetable spiral slicer by Spiralife

Handheld vegetable spiral slicer by Spiralife

5 Comments

Filed under cooking, Healthful Eating, pasta, Zucchini

Dinner Under Pressure

I love steamed vegetables. But if I’m rushed, I pull out the pressure cooker. I cook all the vegetables in one pot, three minutes under pressure (four minutes if you prefer extra tender veggies). Cleanup is easy because the liquid that steams while it cooks prevents sticking or scorching. If your cooker includes a steamer basket and trivet to hold the basket out of the water, use it. 

Fresh vegetables prepped in steamer basket

Fresh vegetables prepped in steamer basket

Of course, stick with vegetables having similar cooking times. Don’t toss broccoli in with potatoes. 😉 Today I cooked peeled Idaho potatoes, which I later mashed, carrots, and fresh green beans. Yes, you cook them all together. Season with salt and pepper if you like, or season individually when you serve. Your choice. 

My 3 Liter pressure cooker

My 3 Liter pressure cooker

Use your pressure cooker (I have three, but one six-quart cooker is plenty). In the time it takes you to set the table, pour beverages, and re-heat or slice your meat (or protein of your choice), your pressure cooker cooks all your sides. Quick-release according to the manufacturer’s instructions then carefully open the cooker. I pick out my potatoes first because I mash them.

PC3

Veggies served with slow cooked chicken.

Don’t let meal preparation raise your blood pressure–just your cooker’s. Enjoy!

1 Comment

Filed under cooking, Green Beans, Vegetables, Zucchini

Great flavor and convenience, too.

COOKING TIP #1

Microwave ovens are more for reheating or thawing than cooking. I know that statement seems blasphemous since my generation grew up on nuked foods. However, if you want tasty food served to rave reviews, take a little extra time and use some of the methods our moms and grandmas used.

For instance, if re-heating roast beef, warm it slowly in gravy. I make a little fat-free gravy in a large skillet or gourmet pan by combining a 14-oz can of low sodium, fat-free beef broth with 2 Tablespoons corn starch. Bring to a boil. As it thickens, I lower the temperature and add slices of roast beef to the gravy. (If it gets too thick, I simply thin with a little water)Warm for about ten minutes while I put together the rest of the meal. The beef flavors the gravy while the gravy moistens the meat, and it’s still fast enough to be a Hasty Tasty Meal!

COOKING TIP #2

Have you seen the latest in frozen convenience foods at your grocery? It’s called “Fiesta Blend” and contains chopped onion, chopped red bell pepper, kernels of corn, and black beans. I bought a bag and am delighted with the time it saves me. I can make a fast chili by adding to browned meat, chili seasonings, and a can of tomato sauce. Or I can toss it with cooked brown rice in a skillet over low heat for a zippy side dish. When I really want a kick, I sauté a handful and stir in a can of Rotel® tomatoes and green chilies to serve as a dip for tortilla chips. For breakfast, I use a handful as a starter for my breakfast burrito. Fiesta Blend has many applications, especially for the Tex-Mex cook. Keep a bag in your freezer for your southwestern Hasty Tasty Meals.

RECIPE

Are you trying to follow a low-carb diet? Or are you just trying to squeeze more vegetables into your day? Try this recipe for shrimp scampi. I did and I swear it really did fool my taste buds into thinking I was eating pasta!

Shrimp Scampi on Zucchini “Pasta”
Serves 2

Ingredients:
½ pound cooked medium-size shrimp (I keep bags of them in the freezer)
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. dried tarragon leaves
2 medium zucchini, washed with the ends removed
3 cups water
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Bring water to a boil in a 3 quart saucepan. Meanwhile, preheat an 8″ skillet. Using the #2 cone of the Kitchen Cutter (or you may use a vegetable peeler or julienne tool), cut the two zucchinis into little ribbons.

Add the extra virgin olive oil to the preheated skillet and reduce the heat to Low. Add the garlic, shrimp, and tarragon. Cook together just long enough to heat the shrimp. Remove from heat and set aside.

Drop the zucchini “ribbons” into the boiling water for two minutes. DON’T OVERCOOK! Drain, reserving ½ cup of the water. Divide the zucchini and place in the bottom of two individual pasta bowls. Mix the reserved water with the shrimp mixture, toss together, then divide and serve on top the zucchini “pasta.” Sprinkle each serving with ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese, toss, and enjoy.

Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under cooking, Healthful Eating, Recipes, Shrimp, Zucchini