Tis the season when zucchini and summer squash are plentiful. What to do with all these squash? Of course you can grill, sauté, bake, freeze, make bread or leave some on your neighbor’s porch when they’re not looking. But did you know you can make a delicious substitute for pasta?
Zucchini noodles, or zoodles are a healthy, nutritious alternative to pasta. Using a tool called a spiralizer; zucchini is cut into thin ribbons like spaghetti. Zoodles can be sautéed, steamed, or added to salads. What a great way to add veggies to your diet. They’re low carb, paleo friendly, gluten free, unprocessed and a delicious vehicle for pasta sauce. Oh, cheap and easy, too. What’s not to love?
Here are two of my favorite spiralizers that I can personally recommend:
If you’re a numbers person –
1 cup cooked pasta is 221 calories and 43g carbs
1 cup zoodles are 25 calories and 4.6g carbs
Not to mention the additional vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants not found in processed pasta.
Just to prove I don’t put bacon in everything, here’s my healthy take on spaghetti and meatballs. I swapped zoodles for pasta and made delicious meatballs with turkey, spinach, garlic and Parmesan.
ZOODLES WITH TURKEY AND SPINACH MEATBALLS
Yield: about 50 mini meatballs Serves: 4 Time: 1 hour
What You’ll Need:
For the meatballs:
- 1 (10 oz.) box frozen spinach
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup soft bread crumbs – if you’re Gluten Free just replace the bread crumbs with more parmesan
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 3 medium zucchini or summer squash – spiralized
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 roma tomato
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with foil. Defrost the spinach. Use a clean towel to wring it dry and run your kitchen scissors through it to finely chop the spinach.
- In a bowl, mix together the ingredients for meatballs with your hands until just combined. Form into 50 or so mini meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter.
- Place on the foil and bake for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.
- While the meatballs are cooking, spiralize the zucchini into zoodles.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and butter. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the zoodles and toss well to coat.
- Cook until the zoodles soften slightly, tossing often, for about 5 to 6 minutes. You can decide how soft you want them. I like mine with a little crunch but my boys prefer them quite soft.
- Top with the lemon juice. Add thinly sliced, seeded tomato and toss to warm through. If you add the tomato earlier it will release its moisture and dilute the pan sauce you’ve made, not a big deal as it will still taste amazing.
Serve the meatballs on a bed of zoodles. Top with extra Parmesan.
By the way, those meatballs are crazy delicious and would make a great party appetizer.
To find the best, fresh, locally grown produce visit your local Farmer’s Market. You get to meet the farmers, ask questions and purchase high quality produce that you know was picked within the last 24 hours. Many farm organically and you’ll find unusual produce to spice up your weekly meals. That’s where I found the beautiful orange zucchini I used for the photo. Orange zucchini, who knew?
Premium Vegetable Spiralizer Bundle
Veggie, Zucchini Spaghetti Pasta Noodle Maker – Black
Paderno World Cuisine A4982799
Tri-Blade Vegetable Spiral Slicer.