Oodles of Zoodles

In the world of healthy eating, zucchini noodles have been all the rage for some time now. Maybe you’ve tried them, maybe you haven’t, but this is one veggie craze that is well-deserving of its fanfare.

Zucchini by itself probably doesn’t seem all that exciting. But consider this: it’s fat-free, packed with vitamins, and full of water and fiber. One zucchini has more potassium than a banana (wow!) and it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities.

Here’s something I didn’t know:

Botanically, zucchini is a fruit!

Sheer craziness.

Zucchini has a nice mild flavor, so it can easily be transformed or combined with stronger flavored ingredients, and since it’s not so heavy, you can pile it on your plate guilt-free.

Anyway, back to the zoodles. Similar to spaghetti squash, you can use zoodles in place of pastas, create stir frys, or serve as a side. The overall process couldn’t be easier. Select a medium to large zucchini. Spiralize. Done.

The easiest way to make zucchini noodles is with a spiralizer. I have a Hamilton Beach Spiralizer/Food Processor that I use pretty regularly. I highly recommend the moderate investment. Of course, there are much simpler (read: less expensive) versions out there. Just make sure you read the reviews. One bad experience can send your dinner plans spiraling out of control! (See what I did there??)

No Problem.

While this seems like a very simple concept, it only takes one hot second to overcook your zoodles and turn them into pure liquid. Like, they just disappear. I’ve learned the hard way to add them in at the very last minute, quite literally. The longer they stay in the heat, the softer they will get. My latest trick has been the easiest: microwave them lightly covered for about 3-5 minutes. They are hot, but still somewhat al dente, and ready to serve.

Parmesan Zucchini Noodles

  • 2 medium/large zucchinis
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter, diced
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese per zucchini, or to taste
  • salt & pepper

Spiralize your zucchini and put them in a microwave safe bowl. (You may want to cut your zoodles a little, as they are pretty long and can be tricky to serve.) Add the diced butter, spacing it evenly on top of the zoodles. Sprinkle the cheese evenly on top. Cover lightly and microwave for 3-5 minutes, depending on amount of zucchini. Gently mix ingredients until butter and cheese are combined – creating a sauce of sorts – and thoroughly coat the zoodles. Add salt and pepper to taste. This will give you a simple side dish for about 2-3 people.

🍀 Feeling Lucky? 🍀

Got the hang of it? Wanna get a little fancy?? I’ve made this next side dish 3 different times for 3 different people and they all RAVED. I served it with chicken, but I bet it would go well with some corned beef this Sunday, too.

Zoodles with Summer Fresh Alfredo

  • 3-4 medium/large zucchinis, spiralized
  • 2 medium vine ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup of corn kernels
  • 3 tablespoons butter, diced
  • 2/3 grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • salt, pepper, onion & garlic powders
  • protein of choice

Layer zoodles, half of the butter, and 1/3 cup of the cheese. Next, layer tomatoes, corn, other half of butter, and remaining cheese. Add seasonings as desired. Cover lightly and microwave for about 5 minutes. Again, gently mix ingredients until the cheese and butter have created a sauce. It’s more of a faux alfredo, but it works with the lighter Summer fare. Top with your protein of choice. Honestly, it goes great with just about anything. Makes about 4-6 servings.

🍀 Happy St. Patrick’s Day!🍀

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