After forcefully kicking winter out of our home, we have openly welcomed these cool spring evenings. Every chance we get we’re toting our kitchen out to the patio to enjoy dinner with friends, neighbors and wildlife. I’m wondering, is it possible to spend more time on the patio than inside the house? If so, I’m cool with that.
I’m really trying to create an “oasis of relaxation” in our backyard so I’ve grabbed every gardening book I can and I’m determined to turn this black thumb into a green one. On our first trip to the nursery, I picked two tomato plants and two blueberry bushes. With a little research, I even learned how to prepare the soil with compost and mulch to keep in the moisture. But I’m crossing my fingers this whole growing season because our backyard is way too shady to grow anything except, well, weeds. I’m 1-1, though, because we have four beautiful bright green tomatoes on the vine but all of the blueberries went mysteriously missing a few days after planting. I’m betting it’s either those darn squirrels or our cute, but clueless, terrier.
Spring cleaning is in full effect as I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and start filling trash bags bound for Goodwill. And I’m trying to clean up my diet, as well. Could it be possible that I actually got tired of meat? I mean, yes, I’m a Paleo-food blogger, which is, like, as meat-centric as you’ll find but for once I just could.not.eat.one.more.bite.of.meat. This included my beloved chicken broth, too. Pretty serious, right?
So, I’ve made a concerted effort to eat less meat by keeping it to the last meal of the day. For breakfast I still like to indulge in my Banana Bread Muffins and lunch consists of a baked sweet potato or a small vegetable dish or a green smoothie, which is amazingly more filling than you think. Then I’ll give myself a break for dinner and eat meat, but I’m trying *really trying* to take smaller portions. Bikini season is just around the corner, right?
So this week I’m bringing a light, and flavorful shrimp noodle recipe to you. This Sweet Chili Shrimp Noodle Bowl is easy to prepare and full of nutrients. The zucchini pasta is beefed up with an addition of cucumber and cilantro that adds just the right touch of summer vegetables and flavor to the “pasta”. I would caution you against using farmed shrimp, though. Shrimp has been known to be one of the most highly toxic fish when farmed with antibiotics and chemicals. It’s definitely a fish that you get what you pay for, so buy wild caught shrimp whenever possible. Not only will you be doing your body a favor but I guarantee the taste will be noticeably delicious.
With a simple marinade, the shrimp turns out with just enough sweet chili flavor to make your tastebuds dance. Light and crisp “noodles” give the impression you’re eating heavy but when you finish your plate you won’t have that heavy, sluggish feeling. This is a perfect light dish for spring or summer nights at the patio, full of friends and great conversation. And a firepit wouldn’t hurt, either.
- 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 1 Tbs coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1 Tbs rice vinegar
- 5 tsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbs sweet chili paste
- 4 zucchini, peeled and spiralized
- 1 cucumber, peeled and spiralized
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, coarsely chopped
- Red pepper flakes
- One to four hours before, combine water, sugar, lime juice, vinegar, fish sauce and chili paste in a small bowl. Add shrimp and mix to combine. Place bowl in the refrigerator to marinate until ready to cook.
- Fill a medium saucepan with water and heat to boiling on the stove. If not already done, use a spiralizer to make ribbons of “pasta” with the zucchini. Once the water is boiling, add zucchini and cook for 5 mins. When done, drain water and place zucchini on a paper towel-lined pan to soak up excess liquid.
- In the meantime, heat up a wok or saute pan over medium high heat and add the shrimp. Cook 4-5 minutes or until the shrimp are pink. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the spiralized cucumber, cilantro and cooked zucchini noodles. Split noodles into four bowls and top with as much shrimp as your stomach can hold. Top bowls with extra sauce and cashews for an added crunch, and red pepper flakes.