Spiralizer Zucchini Noodles Meatless Monday
After a big holiday weekend, I always feel like a light dinner is in order. Time to break out the spiralizer I was recently given and try some zucchini noodles with a tasty broiled tomato on top. The farm is overflowing with all kinds of delicious looking squash, zucchini and paddy pans. Let’s see what we can rustle up for a Meatless Monday dinner substituting zoodles for the pasta.
There are many ways to make zucchini noodles, but I have big hopes for this new kitchen gadget. If it’s going to take up real estate in my kitchen, it’s got to be productive! A smaller and less expensive option is a julienne peeler, which has a serrated blade to create thin strips. The spiralizer machine couldn’t be easier to use and clean. I’m sure there are many different ones on the market. To begin, it’s a little awkward to get the push and pull of the crank down, but after a few tries, I had noodles spiraling out of control! My M.O is to usually go overboard with new tools, so soon enough my family will be craving the real noodle and telling me to bring the carbos back. For now, I’ll make good use of all the fresh veggies available to experiment.
The 411 on Squash and Zucchini.
You may be used to seeing a vegetable that’s green and speckled, but there’s also a yellow variety of zucchini, and it’s easy to confuse with yellow squash. Zucchini is a member of the squash family. The easiest way to tell the difference is to look at the shape. Yellow squash usually has a tapered neck, either crooked or straight, whereas zucchini of any color looks like a cylinder from end to end. Some people claim the golden zucchini has a sweeter flavor than the green kind. Both retain their color in cooking, making them a great addition to any dish.
Squash are extremely versatile and are found in a wide variety of food dishes. Everything from muffins, to breads to casseroles. Then there are the fried zucchini blossoms stuffed with fresh ricotta. If you haven’t tasted them-do so-they are divine. Because squash are not sweet, they usually are used as vegetables, but they are fruit by botanical definition.
Whether eaten raw or cooked, there’s so many ways to enjoy it and still get a solid amount of a few vitamins and minerals you need. Since zucchini falls under the umbrella of summer squash, which are squashes that get harvested before their rinds harden — unlike, say, pumpkins and butternut squash, they don’t have to be peeled.
It’s ultra-low in calories.
Zucchini makes the perfect light side dish for a heavy meal: One cup of sliced zucchini has about 19 calories. That’s 40 to 50 percent lower than the same serving size for other low-cal green veggies like broccoli and Brussels sprouts. (but keep those in your diet too!) And because it’s so versatile, you can enjoy this low-calorie food in so many different recipes, from baked fries to pesto roll-ups. Of course, you can always grill zucchini with herbs for some savory flavor, too. A stack of grilled squash, tomato and fresh mozzarella is a summer hit.
Squash provide a good source of:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- antioxidants and beta-carotene
Ingredients: (for 4 people)
- 1 zucchini, 2 yellow squash or any combination available at the farmer’s market
- 1/4 ” red onion
- 1 large tomato + a few cherry tomatoes
- 5 slices provolone cheese
- grated parmesan cheese for garnish
- 1/4 cup basil chiffonade
Using spiralizer, take about 1/2″ off a round red onion. Sauté in olive oil. Make zucchini noodles according to instructions. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté noodles in a pan after onions have wilted. Cook for approx. 3 minutes. Pour sautéed spiralizer zucchini noodles and onions into baking container for finished dish. Cut tomatoes into large rounds. Intersperse with smaller tomatoes if using. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper, and top with cheese. Sprinkle entire surface with grated parmesan. Broil until cheese is bubbly. Finish with basil chiffonade.
Have you ever tried a spiralizer? I could see how this machine could be very addicting for a visual person. It makes everything so pretty. Any ideas on other vegetable combos that would be interesting to use?