Zucchini Noodles with Chicken in Zesty Tomato Sauce

With summer coming, I decided to start a 28-day challenge to avoid certain foods and add some extra physical activity to try to be in a little better shape and to feel better as I have a busy summer ahead.  I am simply doing it to feel healthier and nothing more.  Amongst the foods that I am avoiding are the following: carbs, dairy in general, sugars and even fruit.  This limits my diet to mainly protein and vegetables, and some limited legumes (but even these I am keeping to a bare minimum).  This has made me more conscious of how dependant I have become to some of these foods, but by limiting these ingredients, I am developing a whole new creativity in the kitchen... that's where this recipe comes from.

 

It is still early in the challenge, so I am still craving some of these things, like pasta.  I decided to dive into the vegetable "noodle" craze and make some zucchini noodles.  Give this recipe a try, and I promise this will satisfy your pasta crave.

 

 

 

Yield: 2 servings

 

Ingredients:

 

2 ea               Chicken breasts, skinless/boneless, diced small

1 Tbsp           Grape seed oil 

2 tsp              Dried basil

3 ea               Zucchinis, cut into thin noodles

1 1/2 Tbsp    Garlic, minced

3/4 cup         Cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise

2 tsp              Dried oregano

1 tsp              Chili flakes (add more or less depending on preference)

2 1/2 cups    Tomato sauce (use your favourite one or make your own)

1 1/2 tsp       Worcestershire sauce

To taste         Kosher salt

To taste         Fresh ground black pepper

 

Procedure: (click on the images below to get step by step visual directions)

  1. Dice the chicken small.

  2. Sauté the chicken in a hot pot with grape seed oil.  Wait for the pot and the oil to be hot before adding the chicken to prevent the chicken from absorbing the oil.  Season with dried basil, salt and pepper.  Cook until starting to brown.  Add minced garlic towards the end.

  3. While chicken is cooking, cut the zucchini into thin noodles using a mandolin or a vegetable noodle maker.  If using the mandolin, remember to use the attachment to also make transversal cuts.  Be sure to use the guard to stay safe and apply even pressure.

  4. Add tomato sauce to the chicken adjusting thickness with water if necessary.  Add dried oregano, chili flakes, Worcestershire sauce, and very little salt & pepper.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes on low heat to develop the flavours.  Mix every few minutes so it doesn't burn.

  5. While the sauce is cooking and reducing, Cut the cherry tomatoes lengthwise.  Do not used the same cutting board that you used for the chicken, or wash it afterwards.

  6. Add the cherry tomatoes to the sauce and cook for 3-5 minutes longer.

  7. Add zucchini noodles to the sauce.

  8. Mix everything well, cover & let cook on low until desired doneness of noodles.  Around 5 minutes more.  Adjust for consistency, spiciness and flavour.  Season with salt and pepper if necessary. 

  9. Serve immediately...

  10. ...and enjoy!

 

 

 

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#1 

Prep, cut and measure ingredients before you start cooking to ease the process.  Organization is key and lists are your friends.

 

#2

Put a dish towel or a damp paper towel under your cutting board to keep it from slipping and moving around.

 

#3

Grate garlic and ginger with a microplane instead of mincing them with a knife.

 

#4

"Clean as you go" so you are not overwhelmed when you are done.  Find those down moments to wash utensils, pots & pans, and wipe counters, so you can enjoy your food and not have to clean all at the end.

 

#5

Use fresh herbs at the end of the cooking process to add freshness and flavour to the dish, but add dry herbs at the beginning to extract the most flavour possible.

 

#6

Season in layers...  this means to add a little salt and pepper every time you add a new ingredient to the pot/pan.  This will ensure all your ingredients are well seasoned and you will just have to adjust seasoning at the end.

 

#7

Recipes are just guidelines.  Feel free replacing ingredients with similar ones you like.  And remember, time and temperatures may vary according to sizes of the food and your appliances.

 

ABE'S COOKING TIPS & POINTERS

© 2016 by Abraham Wornovitzky for On My Table Today