My latest food obsession is Zucchini Noodles. Turning Zucchini into ‘noodles’ is a great way to make a meal healthy and they are so versatile! Basically, any recipe you would use with pasta, you can substitute zucchini noodles for. Genius!
Zucchini boasts a rich nutritional profile, and it offers health benefits thanks to its phytonutrients, mineral and vitamin content. You can read more about the benefits here.
The best way to make zucchini noodles is with the Paderno Spiralizer . I bought the Spiralizer a year ago, thanks to a suggestion from a friend, and my life has never been the same! It’s very reasonably priced and it works really well for what it is (mostly plastic). It’s also really easy to clean and has three different blade sizes for different size noodles. The sizes range from an angel hair pasta size to ribbon like noodles.
My favorite resource and website for all things spiralized is http://www.inspiralized.com/. Ali’s blog is an insanely useful resource for how to use the Spiralizer and she has amazing recipes. I have recently been experimenting with her recipes and I have loved them all! Here are a few of my favorites (and one that I made my own twist on). I am eager to try recipes with other vegetables, besides Zucchini… you can seriously spiralize anything- sweet potatoes, butternut squash, you name it!
Roasted Pork Chops with Pistachio-Parsley Pesto Zucchini Pasta
This recipe was seriously delicious! I can’t say enough about the pesto and the zucchini noodle combination. The parsley and pistachio give off such a nice flavor, but not too over powering.
For the pesto:
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup roasted and salted pistachios (deshelled)
1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup grated pecorino romano
1 garlic clove, minced
pepper, to taste
For the rest:
2 tbsp olive oil
3 boneless pork chops
salt and pepper, to season
garlic powder, to taste
3 medium zucchinis, Blade A
Season both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper and a pinch of garlic powder. In batches or using two skillets, sear the pork chops. To do so, place about 1/2 tbsp in the skillet per pork chop and let cook, without moving, for 3 minutes and then flip over and let cook another 3 minutes.
Once the pork chops are done searing, place them directly into the oven (still in the skillet). Cook for about 8 minutes or until pork chops register at 140/145 degrees (using a thermometer).
While the pork chops are cooking, prepare your pesto. First, place your pistachios into a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Then, add in the rest of the ingredients and pulse until creamy.
In a bowl, place in your zucchini noodles and top with your pesto. Toss to combine. Once noodles are coated with pesto, divide them into three plates and top each with a finished pork chop. Enjoy!
ROASTED RED PEPPER ZUCCHINI NOODLES WITH SAUSAGE
(Modified from this recipe)
Ali’s recipe on Insprialized.com, called for butternut squash and chicken for this recipe. I did not have any butternut squash around, so I subbed for zucchini and it came out really well! I also get sick of eating chicken all.the.time so I used sweet Italian chicken sausage from whole foods instead. It was fantastic! (not the prettiest picture below, but you get the idea:) )
2 whole red bell peppers
3 Zucchinis Blade C
olive oil, to drizzle
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3/4 cup diced white onion
1/3 cup chicken broth, low-sodium
1 pound sweet Italian sausage (I used the chicken sausage from Wholefoods, less processed)
1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the bottom and tops off the bell peppers, remove the seeds inside and place on a baking tray lightly coated with cooking spray. Place the peppers insides up. Roast for 25 minutes.
When the peppers are done roasting, place them into a food processor and pulse until no major chunks are left. Then, place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Add the sausage (with casing removed) and break into pieces, cooking until browned. Then, add in the garlic, red pepper flakes and onions. Let cook for about 3 minutes and then add in the pureed red peppers. Stir to combine and then add in the chicken broth to the pan. Once everything is combined, add the zucchini noodles and parsley to the pan and heat up for a few minutes (careful not to cook too much, they will get mushy). I had mine with a size of broccoli, yum!