Edmonds Healthy Eating: Zucchini noodles a nutritious and delicious option

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Zoodles and pea pesto.

I believe that zucchini is underrated and underused in the kitchen. So many people overcook it and then wonder why they don’t enjoy eating it. Here is a way to use zucchini in a fun way and enjoy it with spring vegetables (or whatever you have on hand or pick up at the Farmer’s Market). Zucchini noodles are a lighter, low-carb noodle alternative that you will love with this tasty pea pesto!

Zucchini has a good amount of potassium folate, vitamin A, and the antioxidant vitamin C. These nutrients may help to protect cells from the harmful chemicals that can lead to colon cancer. Peas are little powerhouses of nutrition. Green peas are a very good source of vitamin K, manganese, dietary fiber, vitamin B1, copper, vitamin C, phosphorus and folate. Spinach is considered a powerful antioxidant and and anti-inflammatory vegetable.

This simple and delicious meal will leave you feeling light and energized. You can eat it hot or cold. Consider adding sauteed garlic, onion, carrots, tomatoes or other vegetables to change up the flavor profile. Also consider that this recipe is: Dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian, vegan. You can change that by tossing in some shredded Parmesan or perhaps feta cheese.

ZOODLES & PEA PESTO

Ingredients

3 medium size zucchinis

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1/2 cup baby spinach leaves

1/2 cup mint leaves or 1/2 cup basil leaves

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

A spiralizer makes it easy to create the zoodles.

Preparation

1. Spiralize the zucchinis. If they are too long, cut into smaller strands. (If you do not have a spiralizer you can use a carrot peeler to create long noodles. I have a very simple spiralizer (under $10) but like anything you can go fancy). You can eat them raw or you can lightly steam or saute the noodles. Just be careful not to overcook them.

2. In your food processor mix the peas, spinach, mint leaves, basil and sea salt, slowly adding the olive oil.

3. Taste and add more salt according to your liking.

4. Toss spiralized zucchinis with pea pesto and cherry tomatoes.
Use your imaginations to create your own variation.

— By Deborah Binder

Deborah Binder lives in Edmonds with her family. She is “dancing with N.E.D.” (no evidence of disease) after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009. She is a foodie who loves to cook from scratch and share here experiments with her family and friends. She attended culinary school on the East Coast and freelances around town for local chefs. Her current interest in food is learning to eat for health and wellness, while at the same time enjoying the pleasures of the table. As Julia Child once said, “Everything in moderation including butter.” Deborah can be contacted at jaideborah@yahoo.com.

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