I had a bunch of fresh veggies (mostly from the farmer’s market) and a rumbling tummy. All these things didn’t seem like they would go well together, but I was determined to make it work: rainbow chard, zucchini, green onion, asparagus and baby artichokes. Well, I took everything out of the fridge and just looked at it all for a minute until I just started chopping and things fell into place.
I pulled out some frozen shrimp (weighed it with one of my most-used kitchen tools – the scale)
I seriously use this thing for all my cooking now. I originally wanted it for baking because some recipes call for grams or ounces and measuring cups and spoons don’t always cut it. Now I use it for vegetables, proteins, carbs… you name it. Helps me keep my portion sizes on point.
With my shrimp thawing in the sink and a little cool water, I grabbed a notepad and my phone. I always get inspiration from the recipes I’ve pinned; then I just create something similar with what I have on hand or what I think sounds better at the time.
I have never made (or had) baby artichokes before so I hadn’t the first clue how to prepare them or cook them. Good thing there’s the internet! Did you know you can just peel the stems and eat those too?
So peel the stems, cut them in half and slice the top 1/2 to 1 inch off the top petals. Put those adorable little babies and my asparagus on a cookie sheet (lined with my trusty silpat) and set the oven to 400 degrees.
I tossed them all in the last of my blood orange olive oil (I could just drink that stuff straight!) and a little salt and pepper. Threw on a few garlic cloves too, for good measure. Can never go wrong with roasted garlic.
So while the asparagus and ‘chokes were roasting in the oven, I got to preparing the rest of my goodies.
I always cut out the stem from my chard and saute it first for a few minutes with onions, garlic or both. This night it was chard stems, green onion and some chives from last week’s farmer’s.
I think the roomie and I use this next tool the most in the kitchen. The citrus juicer. Makes life SO much easier.
It squeezes out all the juice and keeps the seeds behind (at least the big ones). You definitely want to make sure to zest the lemon/lime/orange etc before using the juicer though. It’s pretty much hopeless if you try to do it after. Can’t really zest a smooshed lemon!
Now this guy is my favorite kitchen-related gift I’ve ever gotten:
My spiralizer! Turns zucchini (or carrots, sweet potato, squash, potato…) into NOODLES. Or in this case “zoodles”. Hahaha I love it. I had never taken to zucchini before using this fancy contraption. Now I can’t get enough of ’em. Health pasta… what’s not to love?
So I spiralized two medium zucchini and laid them out on a paper towel sprinkled with a little bit of salt to pull out some moisture. Zucchini is pretty watery if you’re not careful. Mushy noodles are NOT on the menu.
I pulled the artichokes out of the oven first, but left the asparagus in there for another 5 minutes because they weren’t quite soft enough. I whipped up a little dip for them while I waited. Threw in some mayo, yogurt, mint, lemon zest and juice.
I tossed the artichokes with some chives, mint, lemon zest and juice as well. Mmmmmm…
I didn’t get any pictures of it, but I like to just throw my shrimp in some boiling water, remove from heat and immediately pull out onto paper towels or into some kind of sauce. They cook very quickly this way with no extra calories from oil or butter.
So without further ado, shrimp and chard zoodles with roasted baby ‘chokes and asparagus!
3 oz asparagus (about 5 spears)
6 oz baby artichokes (I had 5 very small ones)
4 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 Tbsp Blood Orange olive oil (or whatever flavor you have)
4 oz frozen/raw shrimp
4.5 oz rainbow chard (about 4 leave or 4 cups total)
One large green onion
7 oz zucchini (2 medium)
Zest and juice from one lemon
1 Tbsp light mayonnaise
1 Tbsp nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp fresh mint – chopped
2 Tbsp fresh chives – chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel artichoke stems, halve lengthwise and chop off the pointy end about 3/4 inch. Peel off the outer couple of petals. Trim asparagus.
Toss artichokes, asparagus and garlic cloves with oil and salt and pepper. Please on a cookie sheet lined with silpat or parchment paper and roast for 15-20 minutes. I found that the asparagus took a little bit longer, so I pulled out the ‘chokes at 15 minutes.
While those are roasting, chop green onion, chives, and mint. Zest and juice the lemon. To prepare the chard, fold leaves in half lengthwise and trim along the hard stem center to remove. You can then chop the leaves and stems separately.
Slice the ends off your zucchini and spiralize. Alternatively, if you don’t have one of those you can slice thinly with a mandolin or even just use a regular vegetable peeler to get ribbons. Or, if you have the patience, you could very thinly slice and julienne the zucchini to have long straight noodles. Place the noodles on a couple of paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Let sit until ready to use.
When the artichokes are ready, pull them out and toss with half the chives, mint, and lemon juice and zest. Set aside.
Bring a small pot to boil and spray a medium saute pan with cooking spray. Add chard stems and green onion to the pan on medium high and saute a few minutes until they begin to soften. Add in the chard leaves and zoodles. Reduce heat to low and slowing cook until wilted. Toss shrimp in the boiling water and immediately remove from heat. They should become opaque almost instantly so pull them out right away to a bowl or plate to avoid over cooking.
Grab the asparagus and garlic from the oven – and don’t forget to turn it off! I always have a problem with leaving the stove or oven on because I try to do so many things at once…
Now you can assemble the plate however you’d like. I put down the zoodle/chard mixture and topped it with the shrimp and some fresh cracked pepper. Asparagus draped over the side and artichokes in a separate little side bowl.
To make the dipping sauce, combine roasted garlic (mashed first with a fork or the side of your knife), mayonnaise, yogurt and the rest of the mint, chives, and lemon juice and zest.
And all this yummy goodness clocked in at only 400 calories!