When the zucchini noodle craze first came out, I will be the first to admit I was not a believer. Zucchini noodles intended to replace your pasta? Why? I just honestly love and appreciate good pasta way too much to try and substitute it for this healthy alternative. I was just not ready for it. But the more you keep seeing something and hearing everyone rave about it, you begin to change your thinking a bit. Then one day (there’s always a “one day” story, right?) I saw this being demo’d with zucchini as well as other fruits and veggies at my local Williams Sonoma store and just could not believe the result. People were going bonkers and buying it for them as well as for their moms and friends. Ok, I was now intrigued. I was so sure that I was going to try it at home and prove everyone wrong. There was no way zucchini could taste like spaghetti.
Now, despite the many desserts that I post on this blog and the fact that I love to bake, admittedly I do love to eat healthy. In fact, for the most part I try to eat fairly healthy everyday (but of course I also believe in having a treat on occasion). As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that certain foods affect my body and my health more than they used to. So choosing a healthy alternative to pasta was now more of a need now than it used to be. So I caved and purchased the spiralizer. The first dish I wanted to test out was the zucchini noodles. The sample I tried at the store was served with a basic bottled marinara sauce, so I thought I would create a sauce at home that was super simple yet packed with flavor using only a few ingredients. My goal with this dish was to add variety to my very mundane and otherwise boring/same “mom” lunches that I have everyday.
This machine is easy peasy to use. I like to cut the very ends of my zucchini off and place both ends at each end of the spiralizer. You simply turn the handle and push a bit to send the vegetable through. And it spiralizes into a beautiful spiral shape. The spiral comes out in one big piece, so you will need to chop it in half. Now, there are many devices on the market that spiralize, so feel free to use whatever you’d like. This is simply the one that I have and use for this recipe.
This recipe serves just one, so you can easily add to the recipe depending on how many people you are serving. The ingredients are easy; use 1 medium sized zucchini, 1 large garlic clove, minced and about 1/2 cup of ripe cherry tomatoes sliced in half diagonally.
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat with 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Do not let this overcook or it will burn leaving a bitter taste. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until the tomato softens a bit (about 2-3 minutes).
Add the spiralized zucchini and cook until just heated through, about another 3 minutes. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. That is it friends!. And guess what? The taste is out of this world and the noodles suprisingly have that “al dente” pasta-like texture that yes, tastes like you’re eating spaghetti. I’m not even kidding, I promise it’s so good. This is hands down one of my favorite dishes to make when I want a quick and super healthy lunch. You can serve it for your family (if they are not as picky as mine) with a side of whole grain bread rolls or serve it alone.
Any way you serve it, it will be a recipe you want to eat over and over again! Here are a few key things to keep in mind. Take care not to overcook the noodles, they go from al dente to mushy really fast. Don’t cook the garlic more than 30 seconds, if you cook any longer it will start to lose that wonderful flavor and it will take on a bitter taste.
The spiralizer can be used for so many other vegetables, I love to use it to add variety to my salads. I use carrots, beets and even apples for salads. But it also has a blade for slicing thin slices which is great for apples and cucumbers. I hope you love this recipe as much as I do.