I have said it before and I will say it again…I am a self-proclaimed pasta addict. If I could, I would eat pasta every single day. However, I know that carbs and I (read my butt and thighs) don’t necessarily see eye to eye on this idea. I would likely be the size of a house if I ate pasta every day! I have to be mindful of the amount of grains I consume, I am starting to learn. Healthy, whole-grain, gluten-free or otherwise, I tend to find myself feeling more bloated and heavy when I eat a lot of carbs. I have been trying to be a bit more aware of this fact as of late. So, if I have a sandwich or a wrap for lunch, I will skip out on any starch with dinner, if I know dinner is going to be pasta, I will have a big salad for lunch!
As of late, with the insane amount of vegetables we have from our CSA, I have really been enjoying the challenge of what to do with everything. With all of the lettuce, we have been eating salads like they are going out of style but I have been trying to be a bit more creative with the other foods we have gotten. In this past Saturday’s share, we got 9 zucchini, 4 yellow squash, a huge handful of green beans, some radishes, green onions and some more lettuce. On Sunday, I decided I wanted to experiment and try using my mandoline slicer to make these delicious zucchini noodles and it worked out great! I decided to blanch them quick in boiling water, to make the noodles a bit more tender, but feel free to go totally raw, too – just sprinkle a little salt on the noodles and let them sit for a bit to drain some of the excess moisture off, squeeze off the water and serve with your favorite sauce. It would be just as delicious.
If you don’t have a mandoline slicer, you can also use a vegetable peeler to make ribbons. I do that often to add some of the raw zucchini or yellow squash to my big green salads, I love how the yellow squash adds color and texture. They also make julienne peelers, which I have never used, but would likely provide similar results to the mandoline slicer.
I was pleasantly surprised at how perfect the zucchini lent itself to being eaten as noodles. I tossed the noodles in some of the garlic scape and Swiss chard pesto that I had previously made and it was a super refreshing and simple lunch, ready in minutes! I enjoyed it so much that I made them again last night and tossed it with a little roasted garlic marinara and fresh basil from the garden. It was perfect, light and super simple.
- 1 large (or 2 medium-ish) zucchini
- 1 cup sauce of your choice
Using a mandoline slicer (vegetable peeler or julienne peeler) run the zucchini on all four sides across the mandoline slicer on the 1/8″ julienne setting, slice the zucchini until you reach the seeds in the middle and then stop (the seeds will cause the noodles to fall apart). Use your fingers to separate the strands from each other and if you wish, you can place them in between paper towels to bring out some of the excess moisture, or you can lay them in a colander or strainer and sprinkle with a little salt to do the same. I have made them both ways (with salting and without), and I didn’t notice a huge difference.
Bring a large sauce pan of salted water to a rolling boil, add the zucchini noodles and allow them to cook for just two minutes. Remove the noodles from the boiling water and add them to a serving bowl with sauce. Toss gently and serve immediately. I have also read then you can quickly cook them in a pan with a little olive oil, again just for a minute or two. I will have to try that soon.