Get Creative with Spiralized Zucchini
In the battle to eat more vegetables, a good quality spiralizer is an invaluable ‘weapon’! A spiralizer is a simple and affordable tabletop tool that utilizes a blade and a rotating mechanism to trim veggies into unique shapes. It can (almost) instantly transform (almost) any vegetable into fun, easy-to-cook, and easy-to-eat noodles or ribbons. The resulting “voodles” (or veggie noodles) work well in almost any traditional pasta recipe, and pairing certain vegetables with certain recipes becomes a fun ongoing kitchen experiment.
Zucchini noodles (zoodles) are probably the most popular spiralized product, and for good reason. Since zucchini are so soft, they’re easy to spiralize, and the resulting noodles have a mild, approachable flavor and texture. Plus, zucchini is super affordable and available year around everywhere – most people have more than they can handle. Zoodles can be steamed, stir-fried, boiled, or roasted, just like ‘regular’ zucchini.
This recipe for cold sesame zucchini noodles turns an American Chinese food favorite into a healthy side dish. Instead of a huge plate of refined grains, cheap oils, sugar, and sodium – AKA typical sesame noodles – this recipe offers a hefty dose of veggies, some protein in the form of peanut butter, and a healthier sauce made with vitamin-rich coconut aminos and all-natural coconut sugar. It’s mild enough to be enjoyed by kids and sophisticated enough to please even the most discriminating adult palate.
Learn More About the Health Benefits of This Recipe
Zucchini is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, potassium, and fiber. It’s extremely low-calorie, but since it’s full of water and fiber, it promotes feelings of fullness more than processed low-calorie foods. Pair this sesame zoodle salad with a lean protein source and a small serving of healthy carbs to create an incredibly energizing and satiating meal.
Coconut aminos are more than a gluten-free substitute for soy sauce – they’re a superfood in and of themselves, packed with all of the amazing health benefits found in other coconut products. Coconut aminos are made with two ingredients: coconut tree sap and sea salt. Coconut aminos have been shown to improve heart health, strengthen the immune system, and benefit mental health as well. Use coconut aminos in any recipe that calls for soy sauce for a simple, healthy swap. They add the perfect salty, savory note to these zoodles.
Fresh ginger has been shown to reduce nausea, decrease muscle pain and soreness, fight cancer, and even improve PMS symptoms! It’s an amazing, affordable ingredient with an addictive zingy taste. Pair it with garlic for the ideal calorie-free one-two-punch of fresh and healthy flavor in any Asian-inspired dish.
Sesame Zoodles (Makes 4 servings)
1 tablespoon peanut oil
5 tablespoons sesame seeds
5 tablespoons coconut aminos
¼ cup chunky all-natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sriracha
- Trim and spiralize zucchini, using spiralizer’s thinnest noodle blade.
- Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini have reduced by half. Drain off any excess liquid using a fine mesh strainer, then return zucchini to pan.
- While zucchini is cooking, prepare sauce: Toast sesame seeds in a dry nonstick pan over medium-low heat until golden-brown and fragrant, approximately 2-4 minutes. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the sesame seeds.
- In a blender or food processor, combine remaining sesame seeds, coconut aminos, peanut butter, rice vinegar, coconut sugar, ginger, garlic, and sriracha. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes, or until mixture forms a thick, creamy sauce.
- Pour sauce over zoodles and toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining sesame seeds. Enjoy warm or cold. Store leftover zoodles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
- To up the veggie content of this recipe, add stir-fried red bell pepper, baby corn, carrots, scallions, pea pods, peas, or other veggies of choice.
- These zoodles make a great cold packed lunch. Add diced chicken or tofu to form a complete meal.
- Soy sauce works fine in lieu of coconut aminos, and brown sugar in lieu of coconut sugar, if those ingredients are unavailable.
- Turn this recipe into cold thai peanut zoodles by topping the finished dish with chopped peanuts, scallions, jalapenos, and fresh lime juice.
- Use leftover sauce as a salad dressing, dipping sauce for sushi or egg rolls, or marinade for chicken, pork, or tofu.
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