Wednesdays are hard. They are in the middle of the week and you always have something to do for the next few days. Whether it’s preparing for an exam, running out to a meeting, hanging out with friends or just needing a little me time. Who doesn’t love a simple recipe that takes 10 minutes to throw together for dinner? Also, spending money in college is always difficult, so who doesn’t love a cheap dinner? You can customize this recipe however your heart desires. This dish is vegetarian, healthy, affordable and overall delicious. It also doesn’t matter the time of the year; this recipe is great in any season no matter if it is scorching hot or brutally cold. This dish is trendy and will definitely become very popular. I’m really excited about this recipe because it is so simple and so delicious.
Photo credits: The Food Network
First, let's discuss what zucchini is and where it comes from. Zucchini is a summer squash, which can be almost a meter in length. The color can range from a very light green to a dark hunter green. Zucchini is treated as a vegetable even though botanically they are fruits. They have their ancestry in America but were developed in northern Italy. Zucchini is one of the latest and greatest food products to date. It is inexpensive and is a phenomenal healthy alternative to dense pasta. Zucchini is a great source of vitamin C, A and B12 as well as potassium, phosphorous, foliate and manganese. This is also completely vegetarian for our vegetable lovers.
Secondly, let's discuss the latest and greatest kitchen appliance, a spiralizer. This appliance is used to swirl vegetables such as zucchini. These spiralized strands can be used as a healthy alternative to pasta. Spiralizers became very popular in the Fall of 2014 and have grown from there. They contain three blades, a round blade for spaghetti, a small flat blade for ribbons, and a large wide blade for spiral strands. You then clamp the vegetable between the blade and the crank. As you turn the handle the vegetable is pressed between the handle (which is turning) and the blade. This then cuts and spirals the vegetable. Spiralizers are often used when cooking vegan or vegetarian meals or to make a lower-calorie or lower-carbohydrate version of a standard dish. These increasingly popular devices range anywhere from $9-$99 and can be purchased at Wal-Mart, Williams-Sonoma or Bed, Bath and Beyond. Companies such as Kitchen Aid and Cuisinart make excellent spiralizers.
I would recommend purchasing this spiralizer from Kitchen Aid. It can be purchased at a store such as Bloomingdales.
This recipe is as easy as it gets. All of the ingredients can be found at any grocery store at a low price. You need the following ingredients for this recipe:
Serves 3-5 people
1 medium-sized yellow or green zucchini
1/3 cup of pesto
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 cup of red onions, chopped (optional)
1 ounce of feta cheese
Salt and pepper
Additional spies (optional)
One Spiralizer (can be purchased on amazon, at any local food appliance store such as Williams-Sonoma or even at Wal-Mart)
Start off this super easy recipe by taking your spiralizer and spiralizing your zucchini into a bowl. Make sure that when you spiralize the zucchini it is at a consistent thickness so your "pasta" is the same. I would recommend thicker pasta over thinner pasta.
Photo credits: The Food Network
Slowly add the pesto into the zucchini pasta with your hands or spoon. You can then start massaging the remaining ingredients. Make sure that the pesto is distributed evenly throughout noodles. I would recommend using Classico, Barilla, Tesco or Delallo.
Photo Credits: Delallo Co.
Next, it is time for the colorful additions. Add, tomatoes, and feta cheese to the mixture. You can also add red onions in if you are an onion lover. These ingredients give the recipe a lot of color, a lot of nutritional benefits and provide a great texture. Tomatoes are very low in sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol. It is also a very good source of Vitamin E, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, as well as being a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium and Manganese. Feta Cheese is a great source of Protein, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12, Calcium and Phosphorus. I would recommend adding the onions because red onions are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. They are also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium and Manganese, and an excellent source of Vitamin C.
Photo credits: Foodie.com
Finally, add a pinch of salt and pepper (and any additional spices) and enjoy this delicious, easy and healthy entree. Other spices I would recommend are “21 seasonings” found at Trader Joes or Tarragon found at any local grocery store.
Photo Credits: Foodie.com
Zucchini noodles are very trendy and make a healthy and easy dish for busy days. You can jazz this recipe up by adding anything you would like such as a different vegetable or sauce. Some vegetables I would recommend are broccoli, green or red pepper, carrots, kale and spinach. Any type of bean such as kidney beans or chickpeas would be a nice addition too that is still vegetarian but provides some additional protein. This meal is very easy to transport because you can eat it cold or warm. You can easily bring this to work for a quick and easy lunch or enjoy at home. This recipe is also a very easy clean up.
I would recommend pairing this dish with a glass of white wine such as Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc or Albarino. These wines all compliment the dish and add a great taste. If you are not of age, I would recommend having a lighter soda with it such as sprite or seltzer to add a little carbonation.
Nutritional, Efficient & Simplistic
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