Zucchini & Summer Squash Noodles with Garlic and MintSunday, April 19, 2015
Sunday dinner is in full swing over here! I'm doing a little bit of a Chopped episode at home turning some end of the week scraps and freezer leftovers into a ragu for fresh pasta. With noodles on the brain, I thought I would take a minute to do a quick post on an easy veggie side dish my family has been enjoying lately. One of the challenges many of us face trying to eat healthier foods is making vegetables interesting. I am really good for roasting a pan of vegetables with salt and pepper and calling it a day, and my parents are big fans of those steamable microwave bags. Not that there is anything wrong with either, but it's also a good idea to break up the monotony sometimes. Transforming veggies you already love into a different texture is an easy way to add some variety to your menu. You can still keep things simple and let the vegetables shine.
For this recipe, I mixed zucchini and summer squash which both are mild in flavor and can be julienned easily. I make this as one of the vegetable sides for my parents' weekly meal prep, and the noodles hold up surprisingly well to being reheated. They do release quite a bit of liquid, so if you plan to use them for some other kind of sauce just know you'll need to adjust for that. Although nothing replaces actual pasta in my opinion, this is a really nice alternative if you want something flavorful and veggie-based. I think it's even better than roasting spaghetti squash because the noodles are firmer and don't take nearly as long to prepare.
You may have seen ads on television for vegetable spiralizers (there are several brands) so any of those will work for this recipe. The one at my grocery store is a little pricey so I've always decided against buying it. I'm so cheap about stuff like that. I'll spend $20 on olive oil but avoided buying a rolling pin for years because used wine bottles are free. Anyway, one day I randomly found an unopened julienne vegetable peeler in the back of my mom's junk drawer, and I realized all this time I could have just been using that! I was excited to finally try my hand at zucchini noodles and they didn't disappoint. Even though I seasoned my squash the same way I usually do when sauteing, the texture of the noodles really made it feel like a brand new dish.