Shrimp Zoodles with Avocado Pesto

Version 2This has been a pretty crazy week for Jesse and me, with me working late at the mall and Jesse having meetings on the nights I didn’t have to close, we were finally going to be able to eat dinner together last night! I had the day off and wanted to make something delicious, but I could not decide what. I finally decided to make something similar to a dish I made last summer that was inspired by a recipe on the TODAY show. I couldn’t find that exact recipe, so I looked at another similar one, but ended up just sort of winging it. It worked out, because dinner was YUM!

First, I spiralized about two zucchinis and half of a yellow squash. I use this spiralizer that I bought at Walgreens a while ago. Way worth the investment! It is so awesome.

Then, I blended up about 2/3 of an avocado, 3 cloves of garlic, a handful of fresh basil leaves, the juice yields from about 1/3 of a lemon, and 1 tablespoon of pine nuts. As you can see I was not being very exact, just sort of throwing it together. Well I was definitely pleased with the results! I added water until I got a nice creamy, saucy consistency. When it was just to my liking, I tossed it to evenly coat the zucchini noodles.

After this, I used my grill pan that my mom bought me a while ago from Sur la Table to grill up fresh shrimp that I bought (on SALE!) from Whole Foods. I just seasoned them with a little salt and pepper, sprayed the pan with a little olive oil, and they were done in a few minutes.

Once I added the shrimp to the zoodles, I chilled it all in the fridge until we were ready to eat. I think this is definitely a best-served-cold dish, but you could try it warm! It was the perfect light, summery, fresh meal after a hectic week. You have to try this one!

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Festive 4th: Burgers and Fries

Black bean burger and sweet potato fries (1).jpg

Happy 4th of July!! I hope everyone is having a great day off; I know we are! Jesse and I had been contemplating what to do for July 4th for the past week or two, and we thought of going to see the Flying Squirrels baseball game in Richmond or even the Nationals play in D.C. We decided against going to D.C. because I just got home from a big trip to Puerto Rico, and when we went to buy Squirrels tickets, they were sold out. We were pretty bummed, but we woke up to a rainy day and we had a nice relaxing day instead!

Jesse has been saying for months now (I’m not kidding you – MONTHS) about how he realllllllly wants to have a hot dog on the fourth of July. He kept randomly bringing it up and I knew we had to make it happen. We thought we’d be at a baseball game so it would be no problem getting him one, but change in plans! We were going to cook our own American meal at home. I am not a big fan of hot dogs, but have been wanting to attempt black bean burgers for a while. I made a batch about a year ago that were just not that good. They were crumbly, fell apart, and it was really hard to get them to cook all of the way through. The ones I made tonight were perfect! I mostly stuck to this recipe, except for I used Cholula hot sauce instead of sriracha and I left out the worcestershire sauce. I also “mashed” my black beans together with the spices in my food processor. I think this was the key step that made them perfect! They were soooo easy to form into patties and held together really well. I think that was a big reason that my last attempt failed. Thank you food processor!

This was also the first time that I have ever used a flax “egg.” If you don’t know what that is, it’s a substitute often used in vegan cooking where you mix ground flaxseed and water and let it sit to create a gel-like consistency that can be used to hold things together instead of eggs. It worked great! I hope to try using that in other recipes. I hesitated to even post about the flaxseed because now when Jesse sees that he is going to be freaked out, but it does not add a weird taste or anything! (Side note: he doesn’t like beans so has not tried my burger; however, he says these look pretty good and he may actually have one. Here’s hoping!)

I cut up a sweet potato for me and a regular potato for Jesse and tossHot dogs and homemade fries (1).jpged them with some olive oil, salt, and garlic powder and baked at 450 degrees for about 35 minutes. You can see that Jesse bought some festive poppers from the store! We both were extremely happy with our finished plates and cut up a watermelon for dessert. Who says you have to be at an All-American baseball game to really celebrate the fourth?! I’m pretty excited because making a batch of burgers means leftovers!!! Which means eating yummy, healthy food and not having to cook. The best. Okay, well happy fourth everyone! I hope you try out these awesome black bean burgers and enjoy them as much as I did!