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Last week was especially busy for my kids, thanks to Girl Scout cookie booth sales, play dates with friends, a birthday party, and preparing a tri-board presentation for school on land animals in Australia (Australian animals are strange, FYI). It has left our already tight schedules begging for mercy, especially when it comes to dinner prep.
Oh, and did I mention that my husband is currently on a restricted diet to see if his body is intolerant of particular foods? It makes meal planning absolutely critical, and yet so many of the recipes I find assume that you have at least an hour to give up to the kitchen.
I definitely DO NOT have that kind of time to spare!
A large part of my strategy for weeknight meals includes finding key shortcuts that will save me big chunks of time while also increasing the odds that the meal will be well-received by everyone at the table. One brand I love to turn to is SeaPak® because seafood is something my husband can eat, and this company knows how to make it so, SO yummy (and I should know, because their Popcorn Shrimp has been MY JAM since I was a kid, myself!).
Last week the meal that got the highest praise from my family was popcorn Shrimp over zucchini noodles. It came together lightning fast and tasted amazing, if I do say so myself! Also? I got my kids to eat piles and piles of vegetables, which is a feat in and of itself! Since SeaPak® Popcorn Shrimp pairs so beautifully with Black Box Sauvignon Blanc, I also treated myself to that delicious wine, sipping on it as I put together the meal, and finishing off my glass at the table.
Popcorn Shrimp Over Zucchini Noodles
- SeaPak® Popcorn Shrimp (have a large family? get the family size box!)
- zucchini noodles, spiralized (2-3 large for a smaller family, and increase as needed)
- 1/4 cup jarred pesto
- avocado (1/2 needed)
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- 1 lemon
Begin by preheating the oven to 450 degrees (as directed on the box). While the oven is heating up, bring 6 cups of water to a boil on the stove. Using a spiralizer, turn your zucchini into zoodles!
Side note: I’m not big on having too many specialized gadgets in the kitchen, but I HIGHLY recommend picking up a spiralizer on your next trip to Walmart because I’m shocked by what veggies I can get my kids to eat when I’ve spiralized them! I’ve also tried to make my own zoodles just using a knife and the amount of time that a spiralizer can save you is HUGE, so if you are on the fence, busy mom to busy mom, my recommendation is to go for it.
At this point the oven should be ready, so add those beautiful popcorn shrimp and bake as directed (10-12 minutes).
When the water on the stove is boiling, add your zoodles and cook for just 90 seconds. This helps them to be less crunchy and closer to al dente. Taste the zoodles at the 90 second mark and decide for yourself if you want them to go 30 seconds longer or not. Drain the noodles in a colander and return to the pot.
Add the pesto to the zoodles and mix well to combine. Now cut your avocado into bite size chunks. Add the zoodle mixture to a serving plate,and then add the avocado bits around the edges of the plate.
Once the shrimp are ready, add a heap of them to the center of the zoodles. More shrimp can be added to individual plates, as desired. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if you like. Serve your dish and give each person a slice of lemon to squeeze over the shrimp (it’s a really easy way to add more fun to the meal and to encourage reluctant eaters to play with their food a bit!). Now pour yourself a glass of Black Box Wine Sauvignon Blanc. Cheers to you for putting together a fantastic meal is about 15 minutes, flat!
I picked up everything I needed to make this meal at my local Walmart. More often than not I actually use the Walmart Grocery Pickup service, which easily saves me 30 minutes of my day every week. But last week I popped in the store to pick up what I needed. If you have never used the Walmart grocery pickup service, you are in for a really special treat. Give it a first try between March 1st and mid-April and you’ll get an awesome goody bag from Walmart as a thank you gift, and it includes a fantastic recipe book from SeaPak with 40 meal solutions to help busy parents like you and me get our grocery shopping done faster and put together delicious meals quickly. And if you are already a Walmart Grocery Pickup veteran, you can find the booklet online here (and high-fives to you, savvy mama!).
And the next time you are in the store, be sure to check out the diverse seafood options that SeaPak offers and pick up a few boxes to have on hand when the weeknights leave you super short on time to make dinner (I also scooped up the family size package of popcorn shrimp since I know everyone loves to eat it!). SeaPak can help you come up with a recipe solution in less time than it would take you to hit up the drive-thru and make it back home. Don’t forget to print out this awesome coupon. That’s right: SeaPak wants to help you save time AND money. Aren’t they awesome?!
And don’t forget to cruise over to the beer and wine aisle, too. Note that Black Box wines have snagged a whopping 50 Gold Medals and 29 Wine Enthusiast Best Buy awards. It can be intimidating to try a wine you’ve never tried before (I can think of several times I bought brands that looked pretty but tasted not so great). Let all those awards put your mind at ease! The Sauvignon Blanc I picked up is bright and beautiful and took the food I was eating to the next level. Not a bad thing to have happen on a super busy weeknight! I also love that Black Box wines contain the equivalent for four 750ml bottles of wine at a price point that is about 40% less than what you would expect to pay for comparable wines. It stays fresh for 6 weeks which means I’ve got plenty of opportunities to enjoy one glass of wine after a long, crazy day!
Let me know if you give this yummy, time-saving recipe a try. I’d love to hear what you think!
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