Oh pasta, I love you so. Pasta is always there for me. It’s cheap and easy. It comforts me after a long day whether it is drenched in sauce or cheese…but today we live in a world that has turned against my favorite white flour pasta for sexier, healthier alternatives. For anyone who is trying to maintain a healthy diet, pasta is drenched in guilt. Now when I dive into a bowl of pasta I am left feeling sad instead of satisfied. I have tried to replace my favorite carb with other healthier options but they always pale in comparison…until I met zoodles (zucchini noodles).
Zoodles provide a satisfying pasta-like meal without the guilt. The zucchini has a very mild flavor which allows any sauce to really shine, just like pasta. The mild flavor also makes pairing sauces and toppings easy. Zoodles fill that need for a quick and easy meal at the end of a long day. You can have a satisfying and healthy meal completed from start to finish in 15 minutes.
The only tool you need to make zoodles is a spiralizer. These are becoming more popular and easier to find. You don’t need to invest in an expensive sprializer. My sister found the Veggetti for $15 and I have spotted these at Target and WalMart recently. The Veggetti gives you a thick and thin sized spiral options, but if you want to get fancy there are spiralizers out there with more options for a little bit more of an investment.
You can boil zoodles just like pasta, eat them raw, saute them or even bake them.
Zucchini Noodles with Tomato Basil Sauce
1. Prep your zucchini. You can peel them or leave the skin on, your choice. I like the contrast of green color in my pasta, so I peel most of my zucchini and leave just stripes of skin.
2. Spiralize your zucchini. You just insert the zucchini and start turning and your noodles will gloriously appear. It is as simple as that. Since there is no open blades, this would be a fun activity to do with kids (and get them to eat more vegetables!)
3. Flash boil your zoodles. I say flash because they don’t need much time to cook and these little guys LOVE to soak up water, so the less time in water, the better.
Note: You can eat the noodles raw, boil them like pasta, saute them or bake them. It just depends on your preference for preparing them.
4. Drain your zoodles of as much water as possible. I drain mine in a colander and then squeeze them with paper towels to remove as much water as possible.
5. Top your noodles with tomato basil sauce. I like to keep it simple and use the stuff out of the jar (Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil is my personal favorite). I did a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese in this version but I also love crumbled goat cheese.
6. Enjoy! (Make sure you twirl your fork and enjoy how these zoodles wrap around it just like pasta)
Once you start spiralizing, you will want to spiralize anything you can get your hands on. I’ve seen spiralize carrots, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes spiralized and I will bring you more recipes as I try these out.