Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Zucchini Zoodles Knock Out Pasta In Round One

Functional Food With a One-Two Punch!

Find Printable Recipe Here


Zucchini Zoodles coming out
of the Vertical Spiral Slicer
 Pasta represents a huge ooga-booga bear. I’m weak-willed and more than a little slutty when it comes to pasta. I want it badly. I beg to go steady with it. I text and phone it incessantly. It is my heroin and I have few defenses against its seductive allure. In fact, put pasta up against any kind of sweet you can imagine and pasta will win before the match begins.

I love it that match.

I covet my neighbor’s pasta is what I do. I’m a coveter.

And the only two things that get me past “my preciouses” are my totally functional food buddies: zoodles and the handy, dandy Konjac noodles whom you’ve already met.




Disclaimer Alert!

Disclaimer - Zoodles Don't Taste Like Pasta
OK, I’m gonna get the disclaimer out of the way first, then we can concentrate on the good stuff! Of course zoodles or zucchini noodles don’t taste like pasta! Whadayudoin – magical thinkin’ again?

It’s zucchini!

It tastes like zucchini.

When you sub zucchini noodles for high carb noodles, you won’t be able to close your eyes and magically teleport to your Italian grand mamma’s kitchen like in your BLC (Before Low Carb) Days. You just won’t. OK?

Done.

We clear on this?

Zoodles Taste Delightful In Their Own Right!
So now that we have that out of the way…zoodles, my lovely zucchini noodles, taste delightful in their own right. Zoodles deliver an “experience” – seeing as how we are all experience beasts these days. These lithe, slightly toothsome twirly bundles of olive oil and toasted garlic joy make my mouth sing with happiness.

(Parmigiano reggiano cheese,
image by Dominik Hundhammer, 2004 {{GFDL}})

Add freshly grated parmesan cheese, a sprinkle of sea salt and some fresh ground black pepper and you have the makings of a truly great sauce delivery system...
Er - I mean side dish!

Even the most devout squash hater would be hard pressed to find fault with a pile of these noodilicious zoodles covered with rich delicious cheese!






Wha, what? You don’t want to read nerd stuff?

Go directly to
Printable Recipe



Ok, pardon me while I go Nerd Herd on your bu-ttocks…Yeah, so I said experience.

I’m convinced that over half of our food obsession stems from the action or experience we get from eating that food than from the actual taste of the food.


When we go on a diet, often times, we feel like we must break up with the foods we love the most. We start out strong and suddenly we’re eating hamburgers with a fork and knife, wrapping sandwich innards up in a lettuce leaf and pretending it’s as satisfying as a sandwich made with freshly baked Wonder bread.

We eat spaghetti on top of a pile of spinach in our morally superior, smug manner – because dammit! We’re eating healthy, by gorsh! Then we hit the invisible rope called diet boredom and the real fight begins. The honeymoon is over and suddenly, what began so swimmingly a few weeks ago is now dull, and boring. Overnight, your quest begins to look a lot like work and deprivation of the up-hill kind.



The cravings for our old habits die hard and become powerful opponents. Let one little aspect of daily life turn hinky and before we know it, we’re face down in a plate of pasta, self-medicating and ridding the world of evil.  And it sure doesn’t help that this phenomenon is more than in our heads. We have millions of starving fat cells sending out neurochemical cease-and-desist orders – emphasizing their demand for satiety. 





Click For Larger Image
White Knuckle Dieting Sucks!
How do we get around them? How do we combat these evil foes and defeat these seductive sirens? We don’t want to cheat. We’re not inherently weak-willed and self-indulgent. We’re rational adults and understand the concept of needing to lose weight.

What do we do? I believe you can only white-knuckle diet for so long before the fall. Trouble is the first cut is the deepest (thank you Rod Stewart) and each successive fall makes it that much easier to go off track.


Enter the functional food.
Functional foods are rough, estimations of former, deadly luscious food morsels. Functional foods provide the sustenance we need to address multiple senses. We want that experience of picking up our burger and feeling the juicy wonder roll down our wrists. We want to capture the pleasure of twirling a strand of sauce enrobed pasta around our forks. We want to re-live the days when a fry was not verboten.


Functional foods don’t even have to taste as great as their HC (high carb) counterpart. (But zoodles do!) Heck, they don’t even have to taste “like” their mirror image. They simply have to get the job done. 


Functional Foods Have Fun-ction!
In my mind, functional food is kinda like the ugly car. She may not be as spicy and revved up as that cute little Beamer in the other lane, but she’ll get you to the dance. She gets you from Point A to Point B. And that’s all you expect out of her.

Functional food does that for me. It HELPS ME, ok? (In fact, Functional Food is really MVP – Most Valuable Player in my dishes) Especially when those cravings for "normalcy" and the poor-me pity party starts. In fact, Functional Food stops pity parties in their tracks!

If I can eat that burger on a Revolution Roll, or toss those zoodles with homemade marinara or Alfredo sauce, or eat a bowl full of twice baked smashed cauliflower, then I'm OK. With funtional foods in the ring on my side, I have the power to go one more round, one more day, one more mile, and it keeps the Mean Hungries - those deprivation zombies knocked out -

Ka POW! Zucchini zoodles to the rescue.


Zucchini Zoodles

Find Printable Recipe Here

Serves 3
Difficulty –
Easy Peasy
Prep Time – 5 Minutes
Cook Time – 5 Minutes
Ingredients:2 Large Zucchini
4 Large Cloves Garlic
Kosher or Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper


Optional Mexican Spices (We did this version to eat with Four Chile Grilled Chicken) – Spice it up any way you like!
1 tsp Cumin
½ tsp Coriander



Get your Zoodler Out – (This is a vertical spiral slicer you can buy online or at any kitchen store. I got mine at Surly Table = Sur La Table)


Click Here To Sur La Table



















Ready, set, go!






















Do the Zoodle! (But don't zoodle your poodle or PETA will be maaaa-aaad!)





















Cut zucchini in about 3 chunks (whatever fits in your spiral slicer)


















See how cool zucchini noodles look?

 














Don't forget to julienne the little left-over zucchini stumps.
( I add those to whatever I'm cooking at the moment. Mine went into the Four Chili Chicken saute'.)



Zoodlin' done! We're ready to cook!


















Now heat a pan to screeching hot. (Yeah I was cooking outside - again!)Add olive oil and garlic and let it sizzle wizzle.

















Add zucchini and spices. Now walk away. Alton says, “Walk Away!” (too many people fiddle with their food.)

















At two minutes on screeching hot heat, toss zucchini, then walk away again. (You know you can do this inside on your stove, right? I was already outside so cooked mine there!)
















One more minute (a total of three minutes) and it’s done! Voila! Now how easy, right?


















Remove it from heat and serve with anything you can imagine. I used Feta to go with the Four Chile Chicken, but queso fresco would work or Cotijilla, parmesan, asiago, anything sharp!

Four Chile Grilled Chicken With Zucchini Zoodles and Feta












Find Printable Recipe Here

Serves 3
Difficulty –
Easy Peasy
Prep Time – 5 Minutes
Cook Time – 5 Minutes


Ingredients:2 Large Zucchini
4 Large Cloves Garlic
Kosher or Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Optional Mexican Spices (We did this version to eat with Four Chile Grilled Chicken) – Spice it up any way you like!1 tsp Cumin
½ tsp Coriander


Cut zucchini in about 3 chunks (whatever fits in your spiral slicer). Crank the handle and run it through your spiral slicer.

Now heat a pan to screeching hot. The secret is getting the pan really HOT before putting in the zoodles.

Add olive oil and garlic and let it sizzle wizzle for a minute or so.

Add zucchini and spices. Now walk away. Alton says, “Walk Away!” (too many people fiddle with their food.)

At two minutes on screeching hot heat, toss zucchini, then walk away again.

One more minute (a total of three minutes) and it’s done! Voila! Now how easy, right?

Remove it from heat and serve with anything you can imagine. I used Feta to go with the Four Chile Chicken, but queso fresco would work or Cotijilla, parmesan, asiago, anything sharp!

SusieTs Notes:
Nutritional Information Entire Recipe





















Nutritional Information Single Serving



Now don’t go cooking this zucchini to kingdom come or I will personally hunt each of you down like a rabid dog and bite you! Zoodles need to be cooked to al dente (or to the tooth) which means, it has to have a little bite or texture to it. If it’s mushy, send it back to the chef! Ick!

Twirl it and swirl it. Eat it with sauce or by itself with the olive oil, garlic and spices. And it will go with any protein! It’s very versatile this love bundle of functional – our oodles and oodles of zoodles. I love that I could eat this whole plate and not have to spend 15 minutes in a confessional with my priest!

Oh and if you don't have a zoodler, go knock the cobwebs off the potato peeler and start peeling long strips along the length of the zucchini. You will then have tagliatelli or long strips about 3/8" wide that look a lot like fettucini and provide the same sauce delivery system functionality these zoodles provide!

Hey, btw, zoodles go great with Four Chili Grilled Chicken!

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