Caliente Chicken & Zoodles

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At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Are they zucchini lobbyists like VEEP’s Dan Egan?”  Well… that would be a cool job, but we’re pretty invested in anesthesia school.  Zoodles aren’t too complex to make and are an easy way to get some extra vegetables in your life (never a bad thing).  In terms of flavor, they add a subtle earthiness, but also take on the flavors you’re trying to highlight in a dish.  The spices (chipotle, paprika, and cumin) shine and if you’re looking for a even more heat, toss in a pinch of cayenne or use hot instead of sweet paprika.

This recipe is adapted from another Pinterest find… The original inspiring recipe can be found on Mrs. Happy Homemaker‘s blog.

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Caliente Chicken & Zoodles

Adapted from Mrs. Happy Homemaker blog
Ingredients: 
  • 2 large zucchini
  • 1 tsp of Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp safflower oil
  • 8oz chicken thighs, cubed
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp Frank’s hot sauce
Instructions: 
  1. Prepare your zoodles. See this post if you don’t know how.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken to the pan and toss with the spices and 1 tsp of lime juice. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, still over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove the chicken from the pan. Do not clean/wipe out the pan.
  5. Add the zoodles to the pan and cook uncovered for 2 minutes.
  6. Return the chicken to the pan. Add the hot sauce, remaining lime juice, and chopped cilantro. Stir to combine.
  7. Cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Makes a light dinner for two.

How to Make Zoodles

Have you wanted to jump on board the zoodle craze train, but aren’t really sure how to make them? Well this is the post for you! Luckily, preparing zoodles is very easy and just requires an extra step or two that you might not anticipate.

Zoodles

The key is to draw some of the water out of the zucchini before you cook it like a noodle. If you skip this step, your dish will likely come out very watery and you’ll be like, “Well this sucks; I hate zoodles.” Don’t be put off by the salt. It doesn’t translate to an overly salty dish in my experience. With that being said, I would taste your final product before finishing it with any extra salt!

What You’ll Need

  • Zucchini
  • Salt
  • Strainer
  • Spiralizer*
*You can make zoodles without a spiralizer. You can use a vegetable peeler, or your amazing knife skills to slice these thin ribbons. I use a fairly cheap manual spiralizer. I think it cost like $12. It’s easy to use, but now that I know we love zoodles I might upgrade to one of the fancier ones one of these days.

How You Do It

  1. Rinse off your zucchini. Slice off the very ends.
  2. Using your kitchen utensil of choice, slice the zucchini into ribbons.
  3. Place all of your ribbons of zucchini in a strainer over the sink. Sprinkle with salt and toss with your hands. [I use a ratio of 1/2 tsp of salt per zucchini.]
  4. Let it sit for a minimum of 15 minutes. The longer you have to let them sit, the more water you’ll draw out.
  5. Pick up the zucchini and squeeze the ribbons in your fists. You won’t destroy them, and you’ll be amazed at how much more water you can squeeze out!

Now you have zoodles that are ready to be used in whatever recipe you’re working on!