So much is going on in life right now! Blaine is finishing up his last year of classes at the Lipscomb School of Pharmacy and prepares for a year of “clinicals” before graduating, meanwhile I am nannying full-time. We don’t spend a lot of time at home these days.
In order to keep eating food that nourishes rather than what’s quick and easy, we usually plan and prepare a few meals for the week on Sunday afternoons. It is something that is so worth working into our busy schedule. The biggest ways we prepare are by making weekly meal plans and shopping lists.
Before the busy week starts, we prepare a few meals that we know we will need to eat in a hurry or take along with us. This week I made one that I was especially excited about! It does take a good 30 minutes of prep and cook time, but it’s worth it and it keeps well in the fridge so you can make it for lunch or dinner the next day and save yourself some time!
Zoodle Kung Pao
We love Chinese take out food around here. We don’t eat it often because it’s so sugary and fatty, so we make our own versions at home pretty frequently (with our own healthy spins to it.)
- 4 zucchini squashes, julienned or “spiralized” (see instructions)
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1lb chicken tenderloins, cut into bites
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger (or 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
- 1 tbsp dry roasted peanuts, crushed
- 1 tbsp green onion
for the sauce:
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos, tamari, or soy sauce
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce (or less if you can’t handle the heat) (this is found in the ethnic section of the super market. Find one without sugar added)
- 2 tsp coconut sugar (a low glycemic and unrefined sugar alternative) or honey
- 2 tsp tapioca flour
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp fish sauce (optional)
Start with the chicken. Heat a large pan or wok with olive oil over med-high heat and add chicken pieces seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook chicken until done and set aside.
While the chicken is cooking, whisk together all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
Dice the bell pepper, grate the ginger, mince the garlic, chop the green onions, and noodle the zucchini!
For those of you who don’t know what a “zoodle” is, get with the program! A zoodle is what we call it when we julienne a zucchini squash to make noodle-like strands! This has become a pretty popular thing amongst the low-carb, gluten-free, or paleo communities. So popular, in fact, that there are even products that you can buy that are made specifically with zucchini noodle making in mind! (I.e. The Zoodle Slicer or The Veggetti)
I use a handheld julienne slicer and it works just fine for me!
After you’ve set aside the chicken, add the sesame oil, garlic, and ginger to the pan and reduce to medium heat (and take a glorious whiff of that harmonious smell.) Add bell peppers and the sauce mixture and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer for about 3 minutes.
Add the zoodles and stir together until they soften up a little bit and then add the chicken, crushed peanuts, and green onions and stir until well combined!
This stuff seriously rocks. We kept ours in the fridge for the next day and it heated up in the microwave just fine and was still just as pretty! Well worth the veggie prep!
This one will be going in the books! The perfect meal for a busy week!
Kaitie Holley, housewife.