I had so much fun plating these garlic shrimp zucchini boats for the pictures, and couldn’t resist the urge to stand the basil leaves up like sails on a sailboat. Of course, the nautical theme continues with the simple fact that the main ingredient is from the sea as well! This recipe is a great way to use a late summer bountiful zucchini harvest and to create an all-in-one meal that will entice the whole family.
Is shrimp nutrient-dense?
Have you ever heard that we should limit the amount of shrimp we eat because it is high in cholesterol? If so, put that old outdated notion out of your mind. It is now known that for the vast majority of people, the amount of cholesterol you consume has little to do with the cholesterol levels in your blood. In fact, this study found that adults who ate 300 grams of shrimp daily increased their “good” HDL cholesterol levels by 12% and decreased their triglycerides by 13%. This is likely because shrimp is a good source of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids and also provides the antioxidant astaxanthin, which impacts not only heart health but may also protect against inflammation throughout the body and support the brain.
I recommend all of my clients to eat a minimum of 3 servings of fish or shellfish every week, and encourage them to enjoy shrimp as part of that, particularly if we’ve identified their thyroid as a high priority for support. Shrimp is one of the best food sources of iodine and also provides 48% of your daily recommended intake of selenium. It also provides vitamin B12 and niacin, and other critical minerals including iron, zinc, and magnesium. (Source)
AIP Reintroduction Ideas
This dish as written is compliant with the elimination phase or the autoimmune protocol (AIP), but it another recipe you can easily adapt if you are ready to expand your horizons. Here are just a few ideas…
- Season zucchini boats with salt and pepper (stage 1) in step 3.
- Use ghee (stage 1) or butter (stage 2) instead of olive oil in step 6.
- Grate parmesan cheese (stage 3) over top the shrimp mixture before returning boats to the oven in step 7.
- Chop up a medium tomato (stage 4) and add to the skillet with the reserved zucchini insides in step 6.
Do you need a refresher on the reintroduction stages and the best way to test these foods? Check out this blog post by my friend and mentor Angie Alt – Reintroductions on AIP: The Definitive Guide.
Garlic Shrimp Zucchini Boat Recipe
- 2 large zucchini
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt, to taste
- ½ pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- juice from 1 large lemon
- 8 basil leaves for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Cut zucchinis in half lengthwise and use a spoon to gently scoop out the seeds and inside flesh, to form 4 "boats."
- Set insides aside to use later. Place boats in large baking dish and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Bake 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the shrimp. Peel and devein if needed and then chop into bite-sized pieces.
- Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add chopped shrimp and garlic, cook for about 3 minutes and then add the reserved zucchini insides. Continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes until shrimp is pink and mostly cooked, zucchini is soft, and garlic is fragrant but not browned. Set mixture aside.
- Remove zucchini boats from oven and distribute the shrimp mixture evenly to fill them. Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and squeeze lemon over all four boats and garnish with basil leaves before serving.
Did you enjoy this recipe? Want to be the first to hear about new AIP-friendly, gluten-free, Paleo recipes? Please sign up for my weekly email newsletter to stay in the loop!
Looking for more recipes for shrimp? Try these from my archives…
- Easy Shrimp and Asparagus Stir Fry
- Thai Green Curry Shrimp
- Lemon Garlic Bok Choy & Mushrooms with Shrimp
- Grilled Curry Shrimp
- Easy Shrimp and Avocado Ceviche
Looking for a one-stop shop your entire AIP journey, including reintroductions? I recommend ShopAIP!
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