After a brief hiatus – traveling back to the States and returning to reality – I’m back with a tasty new recipe. This meal was inspired by 1) Patton Oswalt’s stand up comedy routine on KFC’s “eating my lunch in a single bowl” (warning: NSFW) and 2) every noodle dish that you miss when you eat Paleo. Zucchini noodles form the base of the bowl…wait, what’s that? No julienne peeler? Try kelp noodles or test your patience at julienne by hand instead (or honestly, just make the veggie / shrimp combo and eat that because it’s TASTY). Almond butter, coconut aminos and fish sauce combine to make the creamy, umami-powered sauce in this comfort dish. For my friends living abroad: I just spent 3 weeks in the UK and realize that ingredients like coconut aminos are harder to find than Nessie or a prancing unicorn. You could substitute something like gluten-free tamari instead. Also, if shrimp isn’t your thing, substitute any cooked protein. The quantities listed below made about 6 cups of veggies + shrimp and another 2-3 cups of zucchini noodles.
4 medium-sized zucchini
1 lb (0.5 kg) raw shrimp
1/2 of a small green cabbage (I used savoy – wrinkly leaves)
1/2 of a white onion
3 green onions
4 oz. mushrooms (I used shiitake)
1/2 cup snow peas, optional if you are strict Paleo…to me, they are almost entirely pod so it’s irrelevant
1/4 cup smooth almond butter
3 tbsp coconut aminos
1 tsp fish sauce (I like paleo-friendly Red Boat)
Cilantro for garnish, optional
1. Make the zucchini noodles by using a julienne peeler. Put noodles into a strainer and sprinkle generously with salt. Let the noodles sit for at least 20 minutes until they soften and water drains out. [Science nerd alert: you’ve created a hypertonic environment with the salt which pulls water out of the plant cells via osmosis.] Rinse the noodles well and squeeze gently to remove the excess moisture. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, peel and devein the shrimp if needed.
3. Prep the veggies: slice all the veggies into pieces of roughly the same thickness.
4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat: add the coconut oil and when it’s hot, sauté all the veggies until softened but still a bit crisp, about 5 minutes.
5. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 2 minutes.
6. Add the almond butter, coconut aminos and fish sauce to the pan. Stir until the almond butter is well incorporated.
7. Plate the zucchini noodles on the bottom (I like them uncooked but you could heat them through) and the shrimp / veggies on top. Garnish with cilantro.
8. Delight in the fact that you’re eating your lunch from a single bowl. Yeah!