Zoodles With Lemon Parsley Pesto, Tomatoes, And Shrimp

* – from Natural Grocers

INGREDIENTS

1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped Natural Grocers Brand Bulk Walnuts
1 bunch organic Italian parsley
2 teaspoons organic lemon zest from one medium organic lemon)
2 tablespoons organic lemon juice
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons Natural Grocers Brand Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 (16-ounce) package frozen peeled and deveined shrimp, thawed
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 medium organic zucchini, spiralized
1⁄2 pint organic grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise

DIRECTIONS

For the pesto

  1. Toast the walnuts over medium-low heat in a large sauté pan for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted. Transfer to a plate and wipe the pan clean.
  2. Remove parsley leaves from the stems and add them to the bowl of a food processor. Discard stems. Pulse until the parsley is well chopped. Add the toasted walnuts, lemon zest, and salt and process until the mixture is uniform, scraping down the sides as necessary. With the machine running, slowly add the lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Set pesto aside.

For the shrimp and zoodles

  1. Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel and remove tails if desired.
  2. Heat the large sauté pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the garlic. Sauté, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the shrimp, salt and pepper to taste, and cook, flipping shrimp about halfway through cooking time, until the shrimp are pink and curled, 4-6 minutes total.
  3. Add the zoodles and cook for one minute, stirring frequently. Add the pesto and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes and give the mixture one more stir to fully coat the veggies and shrimp with the pesto. Serve immediately.

Note: If your pan is not large enough to hold all of the shrimp and zoodles at the same time, remove the cooked shrimp from the pan before adding the zoodles. Cook the zoodles for two minutes, stirring frequently. Combine the cooked zoodles, reserved shrimp, pesto, and tomatoes in a large serving bowl and stir to evenly coat the veggies and shrimp with the pesto.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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LOCALLY OWNED JUST TASTES BETTER

Featuring farm-fresh, from-scratch foods served in a bright, cheery and contemporary atmosphere, BLD (Breakfast Lunch Dinner) is the latest South Chandler dining destination. Open all day, every day, this casual neighborhood hangout features over-sized roll-up windows overlooking a spacious, stylish outdoor patio. Meanwhile, a convenient drive-thru window dispenses barista-made beverages, protein shakes, smoothies, and top-notch to-go foods.  –  (from their website)

I finally made my rerun to BLD in Chandler. It has been quite some time since I first visited here. They are not only a restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner all day long. They also have a drive-thru window where you can order coffee beverages, protein shakes, smoothies that are made by a barista. My son and I have been here a couple times now and enjoy the large variety of food on their menu that you can choose from. Our waiter was a friend of my son’s and he hooked us up. BLD is located in the Shops at Pecos Ranch which is home to many of Chandler’s good eats. They also have a great happy hour with discounted prices.

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Green Chili Queso Dip & Barrio Rojo

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Fried Chicken and Waffles

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BLD Steak Salad

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Mozzarella Bites

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Texas Style Wood Smoked Beef Brisket Tacos

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Community Table

The Coronado PHX

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I love the Coronado neighborhood and the restaurants that line 7th St. I dropped by here for a quick bite on my way to work. This place was once the Coronado Cafe and is now just The Coronado Phx (owned by the same owner that managed Bragg’s Factory Diner on Grand Ave). The converted home they operate out of has a lot of history in the area and makes for a nice relaxed dining experience. The Coronado is counter service and they have both indoor and outdoor patio seating. The menu is vegetarian and consists of breakfast, small bites and sandwiches. The counter area serves wine/beer/alcohol and is a full espresso bar. I ordered the Red Potato & Garbanzo Burger and really enjoyed the flavor of the agave mustard they top it with. The street corn was quite delicious as well. The atmosphere was super laid back and they do a great job of creating a nice community feel while you are here. Some people were here for dinner, some on laptops and others playing board games or just having a conversation. My only gripe was that there wasn’t a whole lot of pastries to choose from (probably because I came just before closing time).

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Red Potato & Garbanzo Burger (blurry – sorry)

Coronado PHX Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sausage and White Bean Soup with Winter Greens

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  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 package (12 oz) chicken sausage, sliced
  • 1 can (16 oz) white beans
  • 1 can (15 oz) “no salt added” diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
  • 1 can (15 oz) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups chopped baby kale, spinach or chard
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add sausage slices and cook 2 minutes. Add undrained beans, undrained tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Add greens and cook just until they are bright green and tender, about 2 minutes. Season with pepper to taster.

Açaí Bowls

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Açaí Bowls have become the newest hip thing. We have a lot of places here in Arizona that serve them. I use Sambazon frozen Açaí to make my Açaí Bowls. I usually find it at Sprouts or Whole Foods. Açaí is a berry that grows on a species of palm trees in South America that contains powerful antioxidants and healthy omegas. Here’s the recipe found on the back of the Sambazon package for a traditional bowl.

2 Sambazon Original Smoothie Packs

1/2 Banana

Dash of Lime Juice

1/8 c Apple Juice

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Scoop into a bowl and top with granola and banana slices.

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Great Finds

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My friend and I love looking for good finds at Trader Joe’s. She is the master at coming up with great party snacks from there. Here are a couple of recent items I picked up lately. The first is their pesto and quinoa in a jar. I love putting this on chicken or salads. Quinoa is obviously a big thing these days and I enjoy coming up with new recipes that include it. But to pair it with pesto (one of my favs), I have enjoyed this product. The Kale sprouts have been a great new side item for me. I made them for a friend the other night and we both agreed they are a hit. I’m looking forward to digging up some more extra goodies at the Joe’s.

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Chicken with pesto quinoa and kale sprouts

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Pesto quinoa on salad

 

Beckett’s Table

I’ve been doing Restaurant Week for years. It’s my way to check out new restaurants at a good price. I’ve had a few on my list that I have been wanting to go to and the hard part for me planning them throughout my already busy week. But Beckett’s Table came highly recommended and my friend Lisa Marie was available to join. You get a choice from a 3 course dinner menu for $30. I started off with the achiote citrus poached n chilled shrimp with avocado puree and black beans. For my main course, I tried the cola braised pulled pork with cole slaw. This was amazing! The meat was so tender and I loved the cola aftertaste that followed. For dessert, I tried the bacon chocolate s’mores with caramel sauce and peanut butter mousse. Now I’m not quite getting the bacon flavor trend going on, but I can see how bacon and chocolate are paired up. You get this rich chocolate flavor at first followed by a bacon aftertaste – very interesting. I loved the peanut butter mousse. This was an amazing experience and I look forward to visiting again.

* – From Restaurant Week website 

Beckett’s Table is a new class of American eatery with chef driven food, an awarded wine list, and exemplary service. Chef Justin Beckett pairs sophisticated comfort food and international wines with genuine hospitality in a relaxed urban ambiance at an exceptional value.

Click to add a blog post for Beckett's Table on Zomato

Inside the Bungalow

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Downtown Mesa is really taking shape these days with the art center and all the cute little shops everywhere. Inside the Bungalow is both a cafe and a wedding venue and has been downtown for some time. It’s an old house with cozy furniture with a large grassy outdoor area. The cafe serves up a variety of sandwiches, salads and pasties that are cooked up daily. In their coffeehouse, they use Fair Trade coffee that is roasted locally. This place is a beautiful location for weddings as they have an outdoor courtyard big enough to accommodate a large wedding party. I had a nice quiet day studying here in one of their rooms and enjoyed looking at some of the old books on the bookshelf.

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Inside the Bungalow Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

BLD

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BLD (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) serves made-from-scratch, farm-fresh food. It was opened by Cork’s Robert and Danielle Morris and executive chef Brian Peterson. The Shops at Pecos Ranch is a fairly new upscale retail strip in Chandler and features a variety of restaurants and local business. BLD is one their newest tenants and has a “virtually everything” concept that includes a drive-thru window. From the drive-thru you can order barista-made beverages, protein shakes, juices, smoothies and some foods. The interior is upscale casual contemporary and features an indoor/outdoor bar. Dinner includes a wide variety of choices that includes comfort foods like fried chicken and waffles, meatloaf, burgers and pork chops. Lunch includes sandwiches, burgers, salads and tacos. Breakfast includes Eggs Benedict, hashes, waffles, burritos (including the BLD) and Hawaiian French Toast Captain Crunch style. I came here with my son for a wine tasting during happy hour. I sampled some wines and we ate light appetizers for our first visit here. It’s nice to have something so close to home.

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BLD Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Crab Cakes and a Caprese Salad

Tonight it was Crab cakes. This was a light delicious meal from a recipe on Pinterest. We actually mixed and matched with another recipe, but the main recipe is posted below. The caprese salad was the perfect side item to go with it. A little wine and some chocolates made for a fun night of cooking.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces shelled cooked crab $
  • 1/4 cup finely diced celery $
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise $
  • 1 large egg $
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups panko (see notes) or fine dried bread crumbs $
  • Roasted Pepper-Chive Aioli (recipe follows)
  • Fresh chives, rinsed and cut into 1-inch lengths

Preparation

  1. Sort through crab and discard any bits of shell.
  2. In a large bowl, combine celery, minced chives, mayonnaise, egg, mustard, and hot sauce; mix well with a fork. Add crab and 1/4 cup panko; stir gently just to mix.
  3. Put remaining 1 cup panko in a shallow bowl. Shape crab mixture into 24 cakes, each about 2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Turn each cake in panko to coat on all sides, pressing gently to make crumbs adhere. Place cakes slightly apart in an oiled 12- by 17-inch baking pan.
  4. Bake in a 475° regular or convection oven until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. With a spatula, transfer crab cakes to a platter. Spoon a dollop of Roasted Pepper-Chive Aioli onto each cake. Garnish platter with fresh chives. Serve hot.
  5. Roasted Pepper-Chive Aioli. In a small bowl, mix 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup chopped drained canned roasted red peppers, 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Makes about 1/2 cup.

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