Zucchini, Summer Squash & Scallion Pancakes w/ Cajun Shrimp


Nutritional Information

Pancakes: (Serving size: one 3.5" pancake) Calories: 45 | Fat 1g | Protein 2g | Fiber 1g | Carbs 8g | Sodium 196mg | Cholesterol 36mg

Cajun Shrimp: (Serving size: 6 shrimp w/ half of pepper, onion, bacon mixture) Calories 200 | Fat 5.7g | Protein 31g | Fiber 1g | Carbs 6g 

Spicy Ranch: (Serving size: 1 oz) Calories 21 | Fat 1.1g | Protein 1.1g | Carbs 1.4g

Looking for something a little different to make for dinner tonight that's both healthy and full of flavor?  Well look no further...  I mean how cool does this dish look?  Vibrant green pancakes topped with plump, spicy shrimp, little bits of bacon and a cool, spicy ranch sauce drizzled over top.  I dove into this dish and loved every single bite.  The leftover pancakes were even delicious cold right out of the fridge the next day.  

The pancake portion of this recipe is taken from the cookbook that came with our newly purchased Vitamix Professional Series 750 and the minute I saw a new and different way to incorporate zucchini and summer squash into a meal, I was instantly intrigued.  If you don't have a Vitamix, you could certainly use whatever blender you have or even a food processor.  I decided these pancakes would make the perfect base for something spicy on top, which led me to this Cajun shrimp creation.

I also like that you can really fit this recipe easily into your macros depending on how many pancakes you choose to eat, the amount of shrimp you make, and the portion of ranch you garnish it with.  Personally, I have begun carb cycling and designating some days as "high carb/low fat" days and other days as "low carb/high fat" days.  Each day I stay within my chosen number of calories and just choose which type of diet I'll be eating that day.  I began carb cycling to better fuel my increased weight training while still working to reduce body fat.  It also really opens up my options when figuring out what to prepare for dinner each night.  

Give this recipe a shot and let me know what you thought!  

Zucchini, Summer Squash & Scallion Pancakes w/ Cajun Shrimp
Serves 2 (with a few leftover pancakes)

2 cups yellow summer squash cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups zucchini cut into 1 inch pieces
3 scallions cut into 1 inch pieces
2 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
Light olive oil for the pan to cook the pancakes 

2 strips thick cut bacon, chopped
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press
12 large shrimp, shells & tail removed, deveined
1 tablespoon cajun seasoning (I used Emeril's Essence)
A couple shakes of dried parsley flakes or fresh chopped parsley

Spicy Ranch:
3/4 cup mayo
3/4 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon (or more depending on your heat of choice) Sriracha
1 1/2 heaping tablespoons Ranch seasoning
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

To make the pancakes, place the squash, zucchini and scallions into your blender and blend for around 10 seconds.  Add eggs, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper to the blender and blend again for another 10 seconds or until smooth.  

In a hot skillet, add a little light olive oil and add your desired amount of pancake batter.  Don't make these too big or you'll never be able to keep them together to flip.  Cook until golden brown, then flip and cook until golden brown on the other side.  Repeat until all pancakes are cooked.  I kept mine warm in a 200 degree oven while I made the rest of the dish.  

To make the shrimp, add the raw chopped bacon to a hot skillet.  Cook until crispy and the fat has been rendered.  Add the chopped bell pepper and onion and cook for a few minutes until tender.  Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.  Next, add the shrimp and the Cajun seasoning and cook just until the shrimp firms up a bit and turns pink.  

Prepare the spicy ranch by combining all ingredients together and stirring until smooth.  

To serve, lay your desired amount of pancakes onto the plate, top with half of the Cajun shrimp mixture, and garnish with the parsley and spicy ranch sauce.