real food. real life.
I have been wanting to try this for so long!! And finally, having an abundance of zucchinis in the fridge forced me to get to it!
We had some zucchini's from the farm and some from Lee's garden. I've been using them in pretty much every dish I've made this week. Stir Fries, pastas, omelettes, soups, bbq, etc. Normally, I would use the rest in muffins. But I remembered something about zucchini pasta, so I looked up a bunch of ways to prepare it online for some inspiration. And here it is! My own version of zucchini pasta. Yum.
I needed a bit of guidance, as I didn't really know if there was 'special' way to cook them, or just as you would any slice of zucchini. So, after some searching around, It turns out - yay! - you just cook it as you would zucchini for anything else. I usually sauté zucchini, and it doesn't take long, so I did this with the pasta noodles as well. I knew if I was going to make Lee eat this, it had to taste good the first time. Vegetables as a pasta - not a hot sale around here! Best to add some meat and his favourite spices - oregano and basil. I also had a bunch of grape tomatoes from his garden - perfect for light sautéing in pasta.
You'll notice that I added an optional step of 'sweating' the zucchini noodles to help dry them out a bit. I'm not sure if this made any difference or not. One recipe online called for it, but others did not. I don't think I would do it next time. Just seemed to take extra time and they weren't a whole lot dryer after using the oven technique.
You don't really need any fancy tools, either. You could just slice it with a knife, although that would take longer. You could also use a basic box grater. I used a fancy julienne peeler than Lee's mother bought me for a gift last year. I don't get a chance to use it often and it was perfect for this! So happy I had one! If you have a mandolin, that would work, too, or a spiralizer, whatever that is!
Alright, here it is. Try it! It's not hard and turned out really good. I was definitely impressed that I liked it so much. I am a huge pasta lover, so this was a welcomed healthier version!
Total Time: 20-30 minutes
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Chicken Breast, chopped into pieces
Handful or two of Grape Tomatoes
Few shakes of dried oregano and basil. Would taste better with fresh herbs!
Red pepper and green onion would be good, too. I didn't have any..
What to do:
1) Hold zucchini laying flat against cutting board. Hold at zucchini's stump. Slide julienne peeler along the zucchini to peel off one layer of noodles. Push aside and continue peeling/pushing aside until you see the seeds. Roll zucchini and repeat around all sides. You don't want to use the seedy-middle for noodles as they are too watery.
2) This next step is optional, but does give you a more 'pasta-like' noodle.
Place all of your noodles in a colander, separating as you place them. Put some paper towel underneath and a heavy bowl on top to squeeze out any water in the zucchini noodles. You can let it sit like this for 15 minutes or so. To speed up the process, you can place the noodles in the oven, on a low temperature, 200 degrees fahrenheit, laying flat on cookie sheets for 10 minutes. This will make the noodles harder and more 'pasta-like'.
3) Saute chicken with oil until no longer pink. Add garlic and tomatoes and stir until fragrant. Then add your zucchini noodles and spices, and more oil if needed. Cook, stirring around, for only a couple minutes until the noodles start to go limp, like normal spaghetti noodles. Be careful not to let them cook too long or they will turn to mush!
4) Plate and enjoy! You can add some parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast for some added flavour.
We really cooked these things. From scratch. On weeknights. And we even had time to do the dishes.
They have real, simple ingredients that you'll find in your cupboards. They're healthy and delicious. No lies.
Thanks for reading. Leave a comment below!
Here's a pic of me and my babies. Just because.
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