Shrimp & Vegetable Marinara Zoodles

zoodle pasta 4

Surely over the last couple weeks, you have seen some pigs flying, right?   Because here I am, STILL COOKING and loving being in the kitchen.  Gone are the days of heavy carb and calorie laden meals.   My Hy-Vee grocery list has shifted from processed foods to mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, accompanied by lots of lean protein like fish, chicken and turkey.  We’ve spent the last several weeks trying out new recipes, learning what works and what doesn’t. 

One of my struggles with this lifestyle change is finding healthy substitutions for meals I like to eat.  One of the substitutions I am really loving right now is using zucchini noodles — or zoodles— in place of spaghetti. They are so tasty and actually can be made even quicker than boiling water and cooking the spaghetti.  The meal creation I wanted to share with you today is Shrimp & Vegetable Marinara Zoodles.  

{say that three times fast!}

So how do you make the zoodles?   Well, I’m learning that with any recipe, there’s a gadget for that!

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A few weeks ago, I bought this great new kitchen gadget–the Vegetti Pro Table Top Spiralizer. They can be found at Wal-Mart, Target and are even sold on Amazon.   I bought the full-size Pro version, but they also have a smaller handheld Vegetti that’s a little cheaper.  Take a look at the video below and see how easy-peasy it is to spiralize your veggies! Thankfully, you can’t tell that I was standing at the kitchen counter in my pajamas when I made this video.   

 

Seriously, see how easy that is?  

Now that the zoodles are ready, it was time for all of the other veggies.  I got out my cutting board and my favorite paring knife (seriously, you need one of these!) and got to work.   In this particular attempt, I used red and green peppers, fresh mushrooms, snap peas, green onions and shrimp.  But use whatever veggies you have in your fridge– we’re going to coat everything in marinara sauce anyway!  

If you’re counting Weight Watchers points, so far we are up to ZERO points for the veggies and ONE point for the shrimp ( I used 10 large shrimp, remove the tails and cut the shrimp into thirds). Seriously, you can eat a helluva lot of shrimp for one point!

zoodle pasta 1

I turned my burner on medium-high heat and sprayed the pan with cooking spray.  When the pan was hot, I dumped in the veggies and the shrimp.  I also added a little bit of crushed red pepper to give everything a little bit of kick.  

 

zoodle pasta 2

Once everything was heated thoroughly, I poured in 1/2 cup of marinara sauce.   Still keeping track of Weight Watchers points?   We are now up to 1 for the shrimp, and 2-3 for the sauce, depending on which brand you use.  

I keep stirring, making sure that the sauce gets hot and everything is coated with marinara.  It smells so good now!

Once everything is HOT, it’s time for the zoodles!  I don’t cook them for very long, because I don’t want them to get mushy. I dump them into the pan, and keep stirring just long enough to coat them in sauce and get them hot.  

Next, it’s just a matter of scooping them into a bowl and digging in.  

zoodle pasta 3

I’ve seriously been making this once or twice every week, because I love it so much.   I’ve used carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, any vegetables that I have in the fridge that can be dumped into the pan.   If you don’t like the shrimp, you can substitute shredded chicken breast, turkey pepperoni– the possibilities are endless!

zoodle pasta 4

And if you’re still here tracking the Weight Watchers points, we’re talking 3-4 points total, depending on the sauce you use.   Also, add an additional point if you use turkey pepperoni or shredded chicken instead of shrimp (2 points vs. 1).  

Add a side salad with some light Italian dressing, a bowl of fresh fruit… and you’ve got yourself a filling meal!

ENJOY!

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