Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Low Carb Zucchini & Yellow Squash Linguini With Garlic and Tomatoes - It's Gluten Free Too!

Zucchini & Yellow Squash Linguini served with
LC, GNS-Free Salmon Croquettes make a perfectly light meal.
Get Behind Me Satan (er, oommph, I mean Pasta)!

In the old, pre-low carb days – you could call it my PLC Days, I was a pasta ho.


People on the street inelegantly called out to me, “Hey, Pasta Ho. How ya doin? I see you’re wearin’ last week’s pasta on your booty today!”


It was true. I could “look” at pasta and simply bypass my mouth, tape it to my thighs and call it a day. Pasta was my kryptonite. And I would have happily eaten it every day and frequently did, alas my 314lbs of fluffiness. There was something about twirling and dancing with it. It was as much about the habit as the taste although my pasta was TDF! TDF! TDF!!!!

And dangit, I almost did. Die for it. By the time I found low carb living I had pre-Diabetes, hyperinsulinemia, asthma, chronic pain, osteoarthritis and was well on my way to brewing up a case of breast cancer. All the inflammation, all the rampant insulin, all the sugars…I was an accident looking for a place to happen. And the lovely pasta was my pusher. My drug pusher. My junkie-dealing scumbag.

Lucky for me, I found this FUN-ctional Food. Yep it’s a FUN-ctional food post again. Yaay! Hurray! Not long ago on LCF, a poster asked for our favorite kitchen tool. (And it could be argued given my narcissism, I must be my favorite kitchen tool...) 

Well my smug, fluffy self, chimed up, “It’s my sharp knives in 5 sizes.” *sigh* I’m such a liar.

This week's favorite tool - the julienne veggie peeler!
My favorite kitchen tool is the one I’m using the most on that particular day or meal or week. My FAVORITE kitchen tool this week happens to be the $4 buck julienne veggie peeler I found at Walmart a few months back. It came with 2 blades, julienne, and plain peeler. It has a lovely Y-Shape, maybe my favorite shape for a veggie peeler. And until this week, sat forlorn and neglected in the back of a drawer collecting rust.

Then the cravings started. I started having dreams of dancing pasta whispering to me to come play. It wanted me back. Surely the break-up wasn’t permanent. There must be something it could do to get me back.

In desperation I woke up, searched every drawer until I found it and proceeded to peel that dream right outta my head. I went to work. I julienned dang near everything in sight to the point where Denny and the boys looked nervous.

The winner please? Yep. My lovely summer squashes – the yellow squash and zucchini won the experiments. I should have known that since my previous grudge match with the zucchini zoodles. It makes perfectly twirl-able FUN-ctional pasta substitutes. But it’s more angelhair-esque. I wanted something with a bit more bite.

My favorite pasta shape has always been linguini. Soooo, out comes my favorite pasta recipe that’s so easy it’s almost an un-recipe. There’s no measuring. No angst. Just a pure, dead easy, 10 minute quick meal – a handful of this, a pinch of that, a sharp knife here and baddabing, baddaboom, forgeddaboudit, you’re eatin’ linguini with garlic, fresh tomatoes and basil.

And don’t forget all good pasta is little more than a parmesan delivery system.

I hope you will try this recipe. It’s very easy. And if you don’t have a julienne peeler, simply peel thin strips with a conventionial veggie peeler. You will have tagliatelli or pappardelli shaped strips instead and they too taste drop dead delicious. Take that alliteration!

Zucchini & Yellow Squash Linguini With Garlic and Tomatoes
You could eat a whole plate of this low carb "linguini"
without wearing it on your fanny!
Yield – 4 Side Dish Servings
Prep Time – 10 Minutes
Cook Time – 5 Minutes
Hip Time – NONE, this “pasta” will not live a lifetime on your hips!
Difficulty – Easy

1 Medium to Large Zucchini
1 Medium to Large Yellow Squash
8 Grape Tomatoes
3 cloves Garlic
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1c Baby Spinach (optional)
1 Tbsp Basil, fresh (optional)
Kosher Salt & Red Pepper Flakes to taste
Parmesan Cheese to taste

Wash and dry veggies.

Julienned zucchini and yellow squash threads make zero-
waste. Everything gets used from peel to seed cores!
Run julienne peeler down the length of the squash in strips until you reach the seed core. The younger the squash, the fewer the seeds.

You may choose to throw the core of seeds away or chop and use them in another dish. I simply take a knife and make thin slices from the core. Flip the slices flat side down and cut julienne strips. You can see in the photo that the hand cut strips are thicker and uneven because the squash slip sometimes when you stack them for cutting. That’s ok. They eat just the same and James Beard isn’t in my kitchen looking to give me any awards.

Cut the grape tomatoes in quarters – cut lengthwise, then turn 90° and cut again into the quarters.

Slice garlic into thin strips or press with garlic press. Slices will taste milder and give a better texture to the dish. Slices are milder than pressing.

If using basil, prepare the basil by cutting into thin ribbons or julienne. You may use dried basil here as a substitute if you prefer.

You can see the steam rising from this pan. Cook it over
blazing high heat and cook it quickly and lightly.
Don't over cook it or you will end up with mush. YUCK!
Heat sauté pan over high heat. This is a quick cook method over high heat.

Add olive oil and garlic and stir for about 30 seconds until garlic starts to brown very slightly on the edges.

Add squash and sauté for 2 minutes until it barely starts to wilt.

Add tomatoes and spinach, remove from heat and continue to toss. They will be heated through by serving time.

Add the best parmesan you can afford. Quality can be tasted in this recipe but I will tell you, when I can’t afford it (which is often), the Green Can Parm tastes just dandy. No worries mon!

Salt and pepper to taste. I like using Red Chili Flakes here (cracked red pepper) instead of black pepper in this recipe but you may use whatever you have on hand.

Nutritional Information

Zucchini & Yellow Squash Linguini With Garlic and Tomatoes – Full Recipes

Zucchini & Yellow Squash Linguini With Garlic and Tomatoes – Single Serving

SusieT’s Notes
Truth? I have been known to sit down and eat half of this all by myself. Ok, who am I kidding? I’ve eaten a full recipe of this all by myself before. *blush* 

It’s good.

Sue me.

Alton Brown’s Food Police are telling me I have to make the following disclaimer:
Of course it doesn’t TASTE like pasta. It’s squash. It’s zucchini! It’s yellow squash! How could it taste like pasta!?!! But it is almost as pleasing and comforting as eating a fattening plate of pasta. 

Ok, so we have that out of the way. But I can’t wait to make white clam sauce and use the linguini to make low carb linguini and clam sauce. Screw you Food Police!

My friend Dottie, has a fantastic recipe over at LCF for Zucchini sautéed with ground meat, tomatoes and feta. *slurp* *drool* I will be making it soon!!! And it occurs to me, you could easily add the beef and sub the feta for the parm in this recipe and make it a main dish meal. Thank you Dottie for your great recipe!

I have eaten beef with chopped zucchini for a hamburger helper type meal and it's always comforting and satisfying, but I haven’t done Dottie’s yummy twist with the feta and tomatoes. I wish I didn't have pork shoulder in the fridge waiting for me to finish cooking it for tonight's meal.

I come back to the pasta though, because there is something about the linguini shape that just makes this plain easy dish FUN-ctional to eat! I even get to twirl a little bit with my dancing fork. If it lasts that long…which it doesn't.

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