Let’s talk zucchini noodles. One of my go-to healthy, inexpensive meals.
Raw. Vegan. Gluten free. Vegetable-licious.
Honestly, I don’t really crave real pasta. Except ravioli, apparently. But I do crave italian flavors – tomato, basil, herbs, you name it.
And cheezy sauce, too.
[[They can be ribbons, too - not just spaghetti!]]
So, let’s get started. There are many ways to make zucchini noodles, depending on the tools you have. The best, easiest method is to use a spiralizer - if you have one. Which I don’t. The next best method is a mandolin slicer with a julienne function. Which I also don’t have. If you want to make ribbon noodles (like in the photo above), you can just use a regular potato/vegetable peeler. Or, you can spend a couple of dollars on a julienne peeler to make spaghetti-style noodles – my method of choice.
If you’re not peeling your veg, make sure to wash it really well. I prefer not to toss the peel – maximum nutrition, minimum waste.
Cut of the bottom – I keep the little stem for something to hold when julienning. I like to work on a cutting board (as opposed to peeling right into a bowl) for more space.
Start with one side, peel as far as you can – until you get to the seeds. Then rotate the veg, until you get as much off in noodle-strips as possible.
Pile o’ noodles! I usually take this opportunity to munch on the core bits that I couldn’t peel.
Now it’s time for the sauce. What you use is totally up to you. My favorites include: any jarred or homemade marinara, simple crushed tomatoes, salad dressing, or a creamy vegan sauce.
While your sauce is chilling, it’s time to chop up whatever else you feel like adding to your dish. I usually throw in a protein, and a few other chopped veg. My favorite protein options: tofu, beans, hemp seeds, quinoa, and occasionally a vegan mock meat. This is a rare thing for me, as I try to stay away from processed foods, but once in a while it’s worth it.
I found this gem at my favorite grocery store here. For a processed vegan product, it’s got pretty good stats – nothing weird and chemical-y. Win! Anyone else like creamy pasta with sausages?
I also added some peppers and cherry tomatoes for some more flavor and texture.
Now, time to put it all together!
I like using a giant mixing bowl – then you don’t have to worry about spilling and losing anything. Yes, I know the sauce looks a bit odd, from the green color of the avocado. It’s hard to make vegan sauces look pretty sometimes.
Toss it all together – I like to add the peppers at this stage, so they soak up some of the sauce.
Of course you could just put the noodles in a bowl, add sauce on top, and then toppings. But if you do that make sure to separate the noodles first, as they will be joined from the way the peeler works.
Add toppings, plate, eat. Healthy, vegan “comfort food”. I love.
Spaghetti goodness. With a delicious sauce and topping, you won’t even remember that you’re eating zucchini.
Have you ever tried zucchini noodles? What’s your favorite topping/sauce combo?
Do you have a favorite “healthy comfort food” recipe? Please share! (links welcome)