Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Oodles of "Zoodles"

Hello again folks! I know it's been a long time since I posted anything on here. I'm shaking off the dust, clearing the cobwebs, and trying my hand at this whole recipe blogging thing again.

Here's a brief update as to where I've been and what I've been up to: I am still living at home with my Dad; however, I'm in the process of searching for a home to buy with my man. I've since given up the goal of becoming a massage therapist. Instead, I'm going back to school part-time for Physical Therapy this fall. It's going to take me a fair amount of time, but will be totally worth it in the end. Hello introducing myself as Sarah Bartz, Doctor of Physical Therapy...

I'm still follow a Paleo style diet, with addition of some gluten free treats, white potatoes, peanut butter (GASP! Yes, I eat it every once in a while because it doesn't bother me and it tastes delicious), and the occasional white rice. I've tried the whole low carb/high fat thing and tried higher carb. Now it's pretty much all about making tasty food that nourishes my body.

For instance, eating something great made with zucchini noodles or "zoodles." These have become one of the primary ways to get my pasta fix (without the gluten bomb) and to add a nice dose of veggies to my diet. You can pretty much load them up with any type of sauce that you would traditionally use on pasta and they'll taste yummy!

The easiest way to I found to attain zucchini noodles is to have some sort of Spiralizer. This is the one I have; however, they come in many brands, shapes, and sizes. You could also just use a traditional vegetable peeler to create long fettucini-like strands. If you're going the peeler route, I'd stop when you got to the seedy core of the zucchini.

I then like to take my fresh zoodles, put them in a large colander in the sink, and sprinkle them liberally with sea salt. I'll let them sit there for a half an hour or so brfore pressing them lightly and doing a quick rinse off. Zucchini has a fairly high water content. This extra step of salting the zoodles and letting them sit will cause them to wilt somewhat and drain some of their water. It's like how you'd sweat onions. You can totally skip this step, but you will find that you'll have to drain your zoodles after cooking. (They end up in a big pile of water...)

With those tips being said, here's a delicious variation on the zoodle:

Asian Peanut "Zoodles"

  • coconut oil
  • 3-4 medium zucchini
  • 2 medium bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (you could easily use sunbutter or almond butter...)
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red chili powder, depending on the spiciness you desire)
  • salt/pepper, to taste
  • Prep your zoodles: Spirulize the zucchini or use a vegetable peeler to peel them into strips. You can use my method of letting them sit in the colander for 1/2 hour prior to cooking. Press them lightly to get excess water out.
  • Heat coconut oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chopped onions and peppers to the pan. Let these saute for a few minutes, or until they're softened.
  • Add the zoodles to the pan and let them saute for a minute or two. If you didn't salt them/let them sit, they will release a fair amount of water. You may need to strain the zoodle mixture and add it back to the pan.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the pan and stir until evenly combine. Let everything cook until it is heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings, if need be.
You can eat your Asian Zoodles as is, or top with your favorite protein source. I topped mine with a yummy homemade, grassfed burger. They'd taste great with chicken, fish, or even eggs. I'm a big fan of topping my leftovers with fried eggs...

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