From a young age, I knew I wanted to be vegetarian. I used to feed my dinner meat to the dog or hide it in a napkin and stuff it as far down in the trash as I could so my mother wouldn’t find it.
Only problem was, I hated vegetables! I wasn’t a big fan of fruit, either, which is funny since that's ALL I eat now. I was somewhat of a "pasta-tarian." Come on, who doesn't love pasta?
When my doctor put me on an elimination diet, I thought my life was over. Then I found ... the kitchen gadget that changed my life! Aside from my Vitamix and juicer, this is the one tool I use all the time! I love using it to recreate all of my favorite pasta dishes without all the negative effects of eating processed food.
Introducing the Spirooli slicer, a tri-blade plastic vegetable spiralizer! Unlike crazy expensive kitchen tools, this was $30 on Amazon. (I'm not an affiliate of this company; I just LOVE the product.)
It's fun to use and is a great way to get the kids into eating vegetables! My favorite thing to make is raw zucchini noodles, but it's also great for beets, cucumbers, yellow squash, sweet potatoes, and apples. The noodles are often nearly 2 two feet long and have the same look and texture as regular pasta. They can be eaten raw or lightly steamed or blanched if you prefer. You will feel like you are eating spaghetti when you twirl them around your fork. I have served them to people without telling them and they didn’t even notice!
In the time it takes to boil water, you can have piles of beautiful, raw zucchini noodles. One zucchini makes a whole plateful of "pasta." Simply peel the zucchini (or you can leave the skin if it's organic), then slice it in half so the noodle length isn’t out of control. Fit in onto the spiralizer, crank the handle and voila! If you don’t have a spiralizer you can make ribbon noodles by using a vegetable peeler. It’s a great way to sneak in extra servings of vegetables.
Here's a great kale pesto that's a variation on the classic basil-pine nut pesto, which you can add to your zucchini noodles. You can try other herb-nut combinations as well (e.g. cilantro-almond).Zucchini 'Pasta' with Kale Pesto, Roasted Tomatoes and Artichokes
Kale Pesto Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups Lacinato (dinosaur) kale
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- handful cashews
- 1 clove garlic
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast (in place of parmesan to give cheesy flavor)
- sea salt and pepper to taste
Combine the kale, cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Slowly add in the olive oil until you reach your desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.
Spiral as much zucchini for noodles as you'd like, depending on how many people you're serving. Remember, one zucchini is usually good for a plate of noodles.Coat the zucchini noodles with pesto and add tomatoes, artichokes or any other veggies you’d like.