Nearly lost my noodle making this ‘pasta’…
So here’s something I don’t have in my matchbox kitchen– a mandoline. In fact, prior to starting this blog and learning a little about the wide world of culinary tools, I thought a mandolin was a medieval string instrument. It turns out that my Masters degree has some practical use after all, and I was correct: a mandolin is a cousin of the lute that originated in 15th century Italy (this links to a “history of…” page written by the Pittsburgh Mandolin Orchestra, who I trust as they seem to take their mandolins very seriously).
A mandoline– note the e– however, is a specialized slicer made for cutting noodle-shaped things. This seems like a miraculously useful tool, as my gluteny pasta-eating days are long gone and the idea of trying to julienne anything makes my cuticles recoil in terror. A good mandoline is definitely on my wish list (Mom if you’re reading, I still want a food processor more).
For this dish, though, I spent 45 minutes painstakingly slicing multiple zucchini as thinly as possible. The whole process was really made possible by a Portuguese telenovela that kept me mentally alert the whole time. Beyond the veggie slicing, this recipe was extremely simple: 15 minutes max to brown my chicken and make my zucchini noodles just noodle-y enough, toss both of them in a bowl (let’s be real, I combined everything in the skillet), and add some cilantro and lime juice.
This zesty “pasta” is a perfect summer meal, as the cilantro and lime keep it feeling fresh. I ate the leftovers two days later and the microwave is definitely friendly with this dish– it tasted just as good as the night it was made.
As I’m still blatantly in the “learn by copying other, more-experienced people” phase of my culinary journey, the inspiration for this meal comes from Olena over at iFOODreal. My only real modifications were to make this AIP-friendly by removing the hot peppers and black pepper.
- 3 zucchini
- 1.5 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts-- cut into 1" cubes
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 3/4c chopped cilantro
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 1. Zucchini noodles-- you can either use a mandolin to create noodle-looking noodles, or just thinly chop the zucchini (your prep time will depend greatly on your noodle-making skill/speed).
- 2. Heat 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet and add cubed chicken; sauté until golden brown. Once browned, add the cumin and salt; stir to coat and cook for 1 more minute.
- 3. Turn heat off; tansfer chicken to a bowl and set aside.
- 4. Wipe skillet down with a paper towel to remove any leftover chicken material (doesn't need to be perfectly clean); add the other 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil and heat on high.
- 5. Add zucchini noodles to skillet and sauté for 1-2 minutes, until noodles are 'al dente'.
- 6. Combine noodles and chicken in a serving bowl; add in cilantro and lime juice; stir to mix.
- 7. Bon appétit!