I met Meredith when I was in 7th grade. I was the new kid in town, experiencing public school for the first time. Fast forward 13 years (through high school, college, the beginning of adulthood, and all of the wild adventures in between), and here we are. She’s the kind of friend that I see only a few times a year, but it’s so easy to pick up right where we left off. She’s a fiercely talented woman, and she’s loyal to her core. She’s a bright ray of sunshine on any gloomy day, and I’m so thankful to know her. (Fun fact: She once took to her own blog to celebrate 30 of her friends in 30 days. I was fortunate enough to be one of them, and I reread the words she wrote every time I need a reminder of who it is that I am and want to be.)
For the past few weeks, I’ve been following Meredith’s Whole30 journey on Instagram. The Whole30 program is essentially a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system by removing sugar, alcohol, grains, most legumes, carrageenan, MSG or sulfites from your diet for 30 days. From the research I’ve done this morning, the concept seems like less of a fad diet and more about healthy living (and eating). So yesterday evening when I saw Mere’s photo of her Whole30 dinner, I asked if she’d write about it. Thankfully – because she totally rocks – she agreed.
Follow her food-filled Whole30 journey on Instagram @MeredithJanel or #MeresWhole365!
Hey y’all! Meredith here. I’m just a good-time-seeking, adventure-loving foodie, who began this “eat good and good-for-me food” thing a few months ago. That also means I haven’t had wine in over two months, so please forgive me if I seem crankier or more cynical than usual. Wine is my love language, after all.
I live in a small town north of Pittsburgh, and my job doesn’t create much room for consistency. In fact, it creates the opposite of consistency. That’s where Whole30 came in! My first year in role was one of the most chaotic years of my life. I had like 3 friends in town (and one of them was french fries), and trying to get a grasp on paying every institution in the country back for my Bachelors/Masters programs created a less than ideal situation for self care. I finally decided that in a job that I have so little control over, what I cook and what I eat could totally be in my control. It’s changed my life… and not in the same way yoga pants did.
Something important to know about me: Making food for my friends and family is one of my top five favorite things (right under drinking wine, and right above avoiding anything that requires hand-eye coordination). So as I began this take-control-of-my-health thing, taste was a must. A non-negotiable. I’m convinced the best way to get people to eat healthy is to have them try good, fresh, unprocessed foods, and the rest will fall into place.
That’s how this recipe came into play. It’s Shrimp Zucchini Pasta. Due to my unnatural love for Italian food (as I am German and Irish), creating something that even looked like pasta is a gigantic win for me!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 10-12 shrimp
- 1 zucchini
- 2 tsp (4 cloves) chopped fresh garlic
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- Optional: Artichoke hearts and mushrooms
Here’s what to do:
- Get yourself a Zoodle or Veggetti. (I happen to have one of each, because my dear friends celebrate me by buying kitchen gadgets.)
- Cook the shrimp over medium heat and set aside.
- Use your Zoodle to create thin pasta strands from your zucchini.
- Heat your EVOO in a large skillet. Add zucchini noodles, garlic, basil, and any optional, flavorful, Whole30-approved additions you’d like.
- Cook for about 5-7 minutes, then add your shrimp back in. Toss well.
- Let everything blend real nice.
- That’s it! ENJOY!
Seriously, it only takes about 20 minutes. The longest part of your dinner making will be telling your neighbors they can’t join you once they catch a whiff of its gloriousness (1. Because you wanted to binge watch Breaking Bad tonight; 2. Because you’re gonna eat it all).
With love and olive oil,