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Lemon Garlic Chicken and Zucchini Noodles

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This recipe is the sixth in my month-long series of healthy, weeknight recipes from all around the web. This is stuff I make time and again, usually with some modifications, and still love! Check back (or follow this blog) to see all of the recipes I’ll be featuring this month!

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This recipe is a concatenation of a few recipes from other food blogs. The ingredient inspiration comes from this Inspiralized dish and the flavors come from this chicken and rice recipe on MidEats. I love the combination of the two. The flavors are light and fresh – a perfect pairing for the veggies. I know it isn’t exactly (or even close to) zucchini season, but even in the winter I still enjoy cooking and eating this dinner.

If you are new to spiralizing and/or making zucchini noodles see my post here about making zucchini noodles. I go through a couple extra steps to get zucchini noodles with a great texture. It takes a little longer because you have to let the “noodles” sit and drain for a little while, but I promise the results are worth it. Plus, this is still a quick meal, even with the extra steps. You’re looking at about 30-40 minutes, with only about half of that time actually being active cooking.

In terms of healthfulness, it’s hard to beat this dinner! Lean chicken, protein packed spinach, and a few zucchinis. I top mine with a few feta cheese crumbles, but that hardly ruins a healthy meal. I can’t give any guarantees or promises that this is a kid friendly meal, but I can say that both adults in this household love eating this!

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Lemon Garlic Chicken and Zucchini Noodles

Ingredients

  • 3 zucchinis
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 T + 2 t olive oil, divided
  • 3 T lemon juice (or juice from 1 lemon)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 t cumin
  • 4 large hand fulls spinach
  • feta cheese for topping, optional

Directions

  1. Spiralize each of the zucchinis. Place the zucchini noodles in a stainer in the sink. Sprinkle with salt. Let sit for about 30 minutes.
  2. While the zucchini is soaking, cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Add 2 T olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and cumin. Stir to coat chicken. Put in the refrigerator to marinate for 15 minutes (up to overnight).
  3. After at least 15 minutes, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken + marinade to the skillet. Cook, stirring every few minutes, until the chicken is done and all the juices are absorbed, about 10 minutes. While the chicken is cooking use a thin towel or cheesecloth to wring out the excess liquid from the zucchini noodles (more detail on this step can be found in this post).
  4. Remove the chicken from the skillet to a plate. Add the remaining 2 t of olive oil to the skillet.Give the oil a minute or two to warm, then add the zucchini noodles to the skillet. Stir constantly for about 2 minutes, to let the noodles heat up.
  5. Add the chicken and the spinach to the skillet. Keep on the heat just long enough for the spinach to wilt.
  6. Top with feta cheese crumbles before serving, if desired.

Serve this with

  • NOTE: This skillet can be a stand alone meal. As is, the recipe is grain free and paleo. Personally, I feel lousy without whole grains in my diet, so I usually include a quinoa side dish with this meal. Feel free to serve the skillet on it’s own if that works for you!
  • Quinoa Pilaf
  • Lemon Risotto
  • Coming soon . . . quinoa patties.
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Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

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I told you that I would have at least one pumpkin recipe – here it is!

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I really do enjoy pumpkin! For as long as she made it, and I could eat it, I always loved my Grandmother’s Pumpkin Pie. It was nothing more than a store bought, gluten containing, crust and the pie directions on the back of the can of pumpkin puree, but it was pumpkin and it was good!

In my imagination I’ve had thoughts of making all sorts of pumpkin-pie-like desserts this fall, but the only thing that has come to fruition are these Pumpkin Pie Pancakes. See, dessert is not exactly a required meal of the day, so making a pie often seems less fun than, say, getting a full 8 hours of sleep. Breakfast, on the other hand, is totally needed before I go spend my day wrangling children and musical instruments. Putting pumpkin in my breakfast has been an easy way to enjoy the fall flavor without spending extra time baking something special.

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These pancakes are soft and melt-in-your-mouth, just like regular pumpkin pie. They are grain free, thanks to coconut flour, and easily dairy free if you use almond milk (which I do). I tried a few different sweeteners in these pancakes and maple syrup was the clear winner. It compliments the pumpkin perfectly! Of course, if you want to avoid refined sugar use 100% pure maple syrup (which is what I keep on hand and used each time I’ve made these pancakes).

I feel super cliche just mentioning this, but obviously I put pumpkin pie spice in these pancakes. As this awesome article from the Kitchn brings up, pumpkin and pumpkin spice are two different things. Us Americans have somehow been convinced to think that pumpkin tastes like pumpkin pie spices. It doesn’t.

I’m the I-do-what-I-want type of person and avoid cultural trends I don’t like or agree with. I don’t have a legit pair of skinny jeans or a personal facebook account. Proof enough right there. Pumpkin spice is not a trend I’m into. I’ve had zero pumpkin spice lattes, zero pumpkin spice oreos, and whatever other pumpkin spice this or thats are out there. I just like pumpkin pie. So, please, don’t think I’m trying to be all cool and trendy here, and come up with the greatest pumpkin spice recipe this year and be all Pinterest famous. No. I just like pumpkin pie, but don’t have time to make a pie, so I made pancakes instead.

Now that that is out of the way . . .

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With maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice I think these pancakes are perfectly flavored on their own – no syrup or toppings needed! This recipe serves 1 because I have a spouse that doesn’t like pumpkin. Bummer, I have to eat the whole batch of pancakes myself! Although I haven’t actually tried doubling (tripling, quadrupling, etc) the recipe I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t work.

One important thing to note before you start making these pancakes – most of my pancake recipe cook kinda like normal pancakes but for whatever reason these don’t. Cook them on a lower temperature for longer. It works best for me when my burner is on medium low. By the time the pancakes are finally cooked through the fresh pie-like smell will probably be driving you crazy, in a good way!

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

Ingredients (serves 1)
  • 1/2 c pumpkin puree
  • 1 T coconut flour
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T pure maple syrup
  • 3 T almond milk (or other milk of choice)
Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until combined. The batter will be smooth, and a bit thick.
  2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium low heat. Pour about 2 T of batter per pancakes onto the skillet. Use the rounded bottom edge of a spoon to smooth the batter into a cicle.
  3. Cook over medium low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the edges of the pancakes have set an the top of the pancake is opaque, not shiny.
  4. Flip and cook for another minute or two on the second side, until golden brown.
  5. Repeat with remaining batter.

 

 

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