Zoodles: Pasta Made Smart

sb10062327v-001When you’re in a hurry to make dinner, pasta is a tempting option, especially in the summer months when fresh herbs are everywhere you look. Pesto, anyone? Unfortunately, pasta every day wouldn’t be a great idea—even whole-grain pasta still packs a plate with carbs. But what if you could have noodles that weren’t so carb-forward? You can! They’re called “zoodles,” or zucchini noodles. They’re great any time of year, but they’re even better in the summer when zucchinis are overrunning home gardens and everyone is trying to figure out what to do with their squash bounty.

To make zoodles, all you need is an inexpensive spiralizer. (Handheld versions cost under $15 and are available online and at housewares stores like Bed Bath & Beyond.) Most spiralizers come with two blades, one for thick noodles and one for thin noodles, and it only takes a minute or two to twist zucchini into strands. Once spiralized, you can serve your zoodles raw or you can briefly sauté them to get a more traditional noodle-like texture. (Raw zucchini noodles are crunchier than standard noodles, which makes them ideal in chilled noodle salads.)

And zucchini isn’t the only thing you can spiralize into noodles! Also try:

  • Carrots
  • Daikon radish (great with Japanese dishes!)
  • Parsnips
  • Sweet potatoes (you may have to cut it into long quarters first)
  • Beets (you may have to cut them into long quarters first)
  • Yellow squash
  • Hard winter squash like buttercup (remove skin and seeds and cut flesh into rough batons before spiralizing)
  • Apples
  • Underripe pears (they need to be firm)

Once you have your zoodles ready, you can treat them as ingredients for a slaw or salad, or you can treat them like regular spaghetti and top them with everything from marinara sauce to pesto. Some fun mix-and-match toppings for zoodles include:

  • Chopped raw or toasted nuts and seeds
  • Grated cheese
  • Sautéed veggies that you can’t spiralize, like peppers and onions
  • Sautéed chickpeas
  • Cooked and chopped meats/cooked seafood and fish
  • Homemade yogurt-based dressings and sauces
  • Hummus
  • Baba ganoush
  • Fresh herbs
  • Pesto
  • Marinara, bolognese, or alfredo sauce

Another perk of zoodles over noodles is that zoodles don’t get starchy and stiff when chilled, so you can stash your carb-free pasta in the fridge and keep enjoying it for days—no reheating needed!
Try this spiralizer!

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