Pesto Spinach Cauliflower Alfredo Zoodles with Scallops
Creamy Pesto Spinach Cauliflower Alfredo sauce that tastes just like traditional Alfredo sauce, but much healthier; light in calories, fat, and sodium. Not to mention the low-carb factor with zoodles! Very easy to make and guaranteed to be your new favorite way to enjoy your favorite sauce guilt-free!
Servings 4 servings
Garlic Butter Scallops:
- 1 pound jumbo scallops, thawed and patted dry
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 medium head of cauliflower, 1 lb 11 oz cut into small florets
- 4 cups unsalted vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2-1 cup reserved vegetable stock
- 3/4 cup Fage 2% plain greek yogurt, 7 ounce container
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, more or less - to taste
- 1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt, more or less - to taste
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan and romano cheese
- 3 tablespoons basil pesto sauce
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
- 2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
Veggies and Garnishment
- 6 medium zucchinis, spiralized
- freshly grated parmesan cheese
- freshly chopped parsley
Add vegetable stock to a medium pot and bring to a boil. While you're waiting for the broth to boil, cut cauliflower into small florets. Once boiling, add the cauliflower, cover, and allow to boil 5-6 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender enough to be pierced by a fork.Remove from heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove the florets and transfer them to a blender or food processor. Do not dump the stock. You will use this to thin the sauce. In a medium pan, melt the butter for the sauce. Once melted and hot, add the diced onions and saute until caramelized. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds, or until fragrant.Remove from heat and add to the food processor with the cauliflower. Add the pan back to the burner over medium heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray (if needed). Add the spiralized zucchini and allow to cook 3-4 minutes or until desired texture is met. Don't cook them for too long or they will be soggy! I prefer an al dente texture. Especially for storing and reheating (they will continue to soften when reheated).Remove to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
To the food processor, add the yogurt, crushed red pepper flakes (optional), salt and pepper (both to taste). Starting with 1/4 cup of reserved vegetable stock, pour into the blender. Blend down and add more stock, 1/4 cup at a time, until the sauce reaches desired consistency. I used 3/4 - 1 cup.
Replace the medum pan back over medium-low heat. Once heated, pour the sauce into the pan and allow to warm while adding the parmesan romano cheese, pesto sauce, and parsley.Stir and cook until the cheese has melted. If you need to add more broth, add it now. Add the chopped spinach and cook 2-3 minutes, or until it has wilted. Season scallops with garlic powder. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the scallops, seasoned side down (see notes below on pre-cooking tips!).Sear each side for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add the cooked zoodles to the sauce, tossing with tongs to thoroughly coat and rewarm.
Serve topped with seared scallops, freshly grated parmesan cheese, and additional parsley.
HELPFUL COOKING TIPS
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: If you're not a fan of heat, you can either omit or use the Crushed Red Pepper Flakes sparingly - a little goes a long way.
- Vegetable Broth: Aim for the low-sodium or salt-free so that you can control the amount of sodium that goes into this dish.
DON'T discard the broth the cauliflower cooked in! Use it to process the cauliflower and thin the sauce out. Tons of flavor!
- Jumbo scallops work best in my opinion, as they are easier to handle, hold more flavor, and easier to flip while searing. Aim for jumbo, if you can find them.
- It’s important to thoroughly thaw the scallops overnight in the refrigerator before cooking them. The less moisture when they go in the pan – the better.
- When ready, place the scallops onto a few paper towels. Use additional paper towels to pat them dry. You want to remove as much moisture as possible. It is a little easier to place a scallop inside a dry paper towel and squeeze/press gently.
HOW TO COOK SCALLOPS
- Place a large cast iron skillet with oil (one with high smoke point) or butter over medium-high heat. Once the oil/butter is hot, add the seasoned scallops in one at a time, seasoned side down.
- The pan needs to be hot enough that it sizzles when you add the scallops. If they are not sizzling, the pan is not hot enough.
- Sear each side for 2-3 minutes. Easy peasy!
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 446kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 1035mg | Potassium: 1410mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 2603IU | Vitamin C: 134mg | Calcium: 140mg | Iron: 4mg