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10 Minute Avocado Pesto Zucchini Noodles with Blackened Shrimp

Sharon Muse

There are so many nights where we are completely pooped and the last thing we want to do is cook dinner. We are constantly trying to come up with recipes that take minimal effort and time because lets face it, a bowl of cereal is just not going to cut it. On the days we are tired and feeling run down, there is no better feeling than going to sleep full and knowing we gave our bodies the nutrients to power forward the next day.

This Avocado Pesto Zucchini Noodle dish is the perfect remedy for those long days. It can be made in 10 minutes and the avocado pesto sauce only contains SIX ingredients! Besides being extremely convenient, this dish has some pretty awesome health benefits. It is filled with heart healthy monounsaturated fats from the avocados and olive oil. Monounsaturated fats, also known as oleic acid, is believed to help reduce inflammation, and may have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer. Avocados are high in fiber, low in carbs, and contain more than 20 vitamins and minerals, making them an amazing food for the health conscious eater. It has been shown that diets high in fat have been linked to weight loss since they keep you fuller longer, allowing you to consume less calories while still being satisfied. 

We decided to add some blackened shrimp on top to give this dish a boost of protein, but it also adds a wonderful spicy flavor that perfectly compliments the creaminess of the avocado pesto. Being high in fat, moderate protein, and low in carbs this dish is suitable for anyone who is following the ketogenic or low carb diet. If you opt not to sauté the zucchini to warm it up then it will be a completely raw meal (minus the shrimp of course). Taking the shrimp off will also make it vegan friendly! 

This dish is definitely on our top 5 list of quick, easy, and delicious meals, we hope it becomes one of your go-tos on the night when you "just can't" any longer.

serves 4

Ingredients:

For Blackened Shrimp:

1 pound of peeled and deveined shrimp

1-2 T olive oil

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, ground

1/4 tsp. dried oregano

1/4 tsp. dried basil

2 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 tsp. ground thyme

1/2 tsp. salt

For Pesto Pasta:

4 medium zucchinis

1 cup fresh basil packed loosely

2 ripe avocados

1/4 cup pine nuts

2 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup olive oil + 2 T for sautéing 

1 lemon, juiced

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1.) Combine all the spices for the blackened seasoning in a bowl or mason jar and stir to combine. In a larger bowl, place shrimp and drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil or until coated. Add blackened seasoning and toss until shrimp is completely covered. Place in refrigerator until ready to cook.

2.) Using a spiralizer, make zucchini noodles. Place on a clean kitchen towel or paper towels and squeeze out any extra moisture.

3.) To make the pesto, combine the basil, avocado, pine nuts, garlic, 1/4 cup of olive oil and lemon juice in a food processor or high-speed blender. Pulse or blend on high until smooth - taste and now add in salt and pepper to your liking.

4.) In a large cast iron skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. of olive and add shrimp. Sauté until they become a pinkish color and are no longer translucent.

5.) As shrimp is cooking, heat 1 Tbsp. of olive in a separate skillet. Add zucchini noodles and let cook 1-2 minutes. Then add the avocado pesto, mixing until all the noodles are coated.

6.) Place noodles in a bowl and top with blackened shrimp. Enjoy!