You HAVE Got to Try This!

Seriously. No, I’m not selling something.

I made THE BEST dinner tonight. It was so good, that it will be a regular weekly meal in our house.

A group of friends are doing a Whole30 month (eating only whole foods for 30 days, eliminating sugary processed foods.) I did a Whole30 month last December and liked it for the most part, although I’m not a huge fan in general of eliminating entire food groups. (Whole30 eliminates legumes and dairy, but adds them back in during a reintroduction phase at the end.)

Alicia, a trainer friend of mine, messaged me and asked if I had the cookbook, and to try the Romesco Shrimp. She said it was really good. Sadly, I don’t do shellfish (it’s a texture thing for me) but she thought chicken would work well, too. Eager to try something new and after reviewing the necessary ingredients, I had most all of them on hand. Why not? I’m almost sick of salad and hard boiled eggs at this point anyway.

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Here’s the recipe for the Whole30 Romesco sauce, which would be awesome over fish, or grilled chicken, too!

Romesco Sauce via Whole30:

2 tablespoons cooking fat (I used avocado oil)
½ cup almonds, chopped
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1½ teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

MELT the cooking fat in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the fat is hot, add the almonds and toast for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the chili powder and paprika and cook until the flavors open up, about 30 seconds. Finally, add the tomatoes, mix into the ingredients, and cook, stirring to bring up the tasty bits from the bottom of the pan, until the tomatoes are warmed through, about 2 minutes.

TRANSFER the sauce mixture to a food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend on low speed until the sauce is smooth, then pour into a serving dish or glass storage container.

ALLOW to cool before refrigerating; the sauce will keep for up to 5 days.

Here’s the link for the shrimp version. Below is how I tweaked it!

3 medium zucchini (about 4 cups of “noodles”)
2 tablespoons cooking fat
¼ onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 chicken breasts, sliced into strips
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh
parsley leaves
Romesco Sauce (see above)

Instead of peeling the zucchini first as in the original recipe, I just wash up the veggies really well and use a spiralizer. (Confession: I like to spiralize EVERYTHING! It makes it fun, the kids think everything is noodles and will actually eat them! And, yeah – it kind of looks like curly hair so I’m in!) I have a little hand spiralizer that I picked up at our local grocery for about 6 bucks, and it’s pictured in the little slideshow.

MELT the cooking fat in a large skillet over medium heat, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan. When the fat is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the chicken, toss to coat with the onion and garlic, and cook stirring, for 2-3 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a serving bowl.

The original recipe also called for steaming or boiling the zoodles, but I find sautéing them in a bit of avocado oil with salt and pepper worked just fine. If you choose to boil them, simply drain the “zoodles” when they are al dente and transfer to a serving dish or individual plates. SPRINKLE the chicken with the parsley, toss, and spoon over the zoodles. Spoon the Romesco Sauce over the chicken and zucchini and serve!

If I had had more room in my stomach, I would have eaten more. I would swim in a vat of this stuff and eat my way out! It was seriously that good. Oddly enough, the sauce has an almost parmesan flavor and texture – it fooled my mouth into thinking there was cheese of some kind involved. So good!

It’s the kind of good that as I sit here drooling thinking about my dinner, I’m so excited for lunch when I plan on eating more!!!

Bon appetit!

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