GLUTEN-FREE | PESCETARIAN | CAN BE DAIRY-FREE | CAN BE PALEO*
What a week! I returned from a trip on Monday night, and have been go-go-go ever since. Adulting, as they say, is hard. With little sleep and a full workload, my body is desperately craving comfort food (read: carbs). But after an indulgent trip, I know what my body really needs is clean, healthy food.
Enter: zoodle shrimp pad thai. I think I’ve made zoodles twice before I made this recipe, and as much as I wanted to be soooooo in love, they always released too much water and thus didn’t hold sauce like I wanted them to. I decided to give them another chance though, for the sake of creating a quick, comforting dinner that would support my #healthgoals.
On Tuesday, I had tickets for a Tori Kelly show (yay!) that started at 7:30, so I needed to get home after work, workout, eat, and get ready quickly.
I had no time or patience for watery zoodles, so I did a little research: The Pinterest Gods said using smaller zucchini, sprinkling them with salt and drying them out after spiralizing them, and then giving them a good squeeze before cooking would create a zoodles that would actually stand up against real noodles.
They were a great success! I spiralized the zucchini, hopped downstairs to the gym, and hopped back up to finish the meal. By the time I finished my workout, the zoodles had released some of their water and were ready to become pad thai. The cooking process took a total of 15 minutes — winning!
This meal was described as being indistinguishable from the noodle version, which is the best complement any wannabe meal can ask for. It’s spicy, peanuty, savory, and slightly tangy. This will definitely be a weeknight staple!
(PS — Tori was AMAZING! Pictured here with guest Hunter Hayes, who was tolerable.)
Tip #1: To dry out the zoodles as much as possible, I spiralized the zucchini, laid it out on a cookie sheet with paper towels, tossed them in some salt, and then set it in front of the window to dry out in the sun. I let them sit there for about 30 minutes, then gave them another squeeze with paper towels before creating the rest of the dish in about 15 minutes. If you don’t have time to wait, just squeeze the living daylights out of your zoodles with paper towels before cooking them.
Tip #2: Zoodles cook in no time at all, so it’s important to make sure that all other elements are cooked through before you add them. (Just follow the instructions in order and you’ll be in paleo Thailand in no time!)
Tip #3: Buy peeled and deveined shrimp to reduce total prep time.
Tip #4: Chop all ingredients as instructed before beginning the cooking process — it moves quickly!
Tip #5: This sauce is super easy to make because you use a tablespoon of each ingredient. I like a touch of spice in my pad thai, so a full tablespoon of sriracha was perfect for me. If you’re not as into spice, reduce to 1 tbsp. or eliminate the sriracha completely (but serve some sriracha or crushed red pepper on the side if you have a spice lover in the house).
- Large skillet
- Cookie sheet
- Sauce: 1 tbsp. each: rice wine vinegar, sriracha, soy sauce/coconut aminos, fish sauce, lime juice, crunchy peanut butter/almond butter for paleo**, coconut sugar/brown sugar
- 2 small zucchini
- 1 small white onion, chopped
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 2 eggs
- 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup fresh mung bean sprouts (available at Whole Foods)
- grass-fed butter* (or olive oil for dairy-free)
- cilantro, rough-chopped (as garnish)
- green onion, chopped (as garnish)
- lime wedges (as garnish)
- chopped peanuts** (cashews for paleo) (as garnish)
- Prepare a cookie sheet with paper towels.
- Spiralize your zucchini and lay them out on the cookie sheet. Give them a good squeeze with the paper towels to remove excess liquid. Allow to dry while you do all the next steps.
- Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and adjust as needed. Set aside.
- Whisk your eggs together in a small bowl with a pinch of salt. Heat butter or olive oil in a large skillet. Pour the eggs onto the skillet and cook over medium-low heat until scrambled. Break the eggs up with a spatula. Remove eggs from skillet and set aside.
- Add a little more butter or oil to the skillet, and heat over medium-high heat. When the butter/oil starts to sizzle, lay the shrimp down flat and cook for 2-3 minutes (until pink). Flip the shrimp over and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until shrimp are totally opaque. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Add a touch more butter/oil (over medium heat), and cook the shallots and onions until translucent. Add the zoodles and the sauce, and allow the sauce to steam-cook the zoodles (about 1-2 minutes). Add eggs and cooked shrimp and stir around until everything is coated in the sauce, then add the mung bean sprouts and cook, stirring constantly, for another minute.
- Serve with lime wedges, crushed peanuts/cashews, cilantro, and green onion. Enjoy!