When it comes to healthy eating, the freshest wave isn’t a wave at all. It’s a spiral. Ever hear of vegetable “pasta?” It can be made from fresh veggies, often zucchini, in a fraction of the time it takes to open and cook a box of dried pasta. So for dinner tonight, why not try Zucchini Pasta?
But, why make zucchini noodles when boxed wheat noodles are fine? The simple answer is that it can add pizazz to your plate. But, there’s more to it. Zucchini is a low-calorie vegetable with only 17 calories per 100 grams. It’s a decent source of folate, potassium, and Vitamins C and A. It has no saturated fat or cholesterol and is a good source of dietary fiber. So, the real question should be “Why NOT zucchini noodles?”
All you need is a gadget to “spiralize” vegetables and a skillet. Spiral vegetable slicers range from being very simple hand held tools to being more complex countertop contraptions. The basic ones work fine on zucchini and won’t set you back financially.
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You can find one that works for around $10.00. If you want to try spiraled veggies without committing to buying the special tool right away, ask to borrow a friend’s. There are lots of these cohabiting in cabinets these days with juicers and blenders. It takes less than a minute to turn a zucchini into a pile of “noodles.”
Here’s a Super Simple Recipe For Zucchini Pasta; Presto Pesto Style.
In addition to a healthier noodle, this recipe uses a heart healthy olive oil based pesto instead of a butter based version. The basil in the pesto is a good source of Vitamins A, C, K, manganese, folate and more. Likewise, the walnuts render a nutritional punch with protein, Omega 3’s and other nutrients.
- 2 Cups Fresh Basil
- ¼ Cup Walnuts
- 3-4 Cloves Fresh Garlic (to taste)
- ¼ Cup Olive Oil
- ½ Cup Finely Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Salt (to taste)
Place olive oil and garlic in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add salt. Add ½ cup basil and the walnuts. Blend until smooth. Gradually add in the rest of the basil, stopping the blender to scrape the sides. Add a bit of water or vegetable broth if needed to make it smooth. Remove to a bowl. Stir in parmesan.
Zucchini Presto Pasta:
- 2-3 Medium Green Zucchinis (Leave the peel on.)
- Spiralize the zucchini.
That’s it. You can eat it raw! If you want to cook it, heat one tablespoon olive oil in a skillet; saute noodles; DO NOT ADD SALT! Remove from heat when zucchini is al dente.
The amount of pesto you put on pasta is a personal thing. Add ¼ cup of the pesto to the noodles and mix gently. Add more to taste. Store unused pesto in the freezer to use for a future noodle fest. Place Presto Pesto Pasta on a serving plate. Top with optional halved cherry tomatoes, black olives, red bell pepper or whatever sounds good.
Add your own creative twist to the spiral mix!