Sometimes the phrase ‘better late than never’ is exactly what applies to my food theories. For a while, I was against noodles made from vegetables.
Well, that’s only partially true. YEARS ago, when I would dabble in raw foods, vegetable noodles were standard, and have even been documented on anutritionisteats.com! (Please forgive my hideous post and pictures, I cringe looking at them!) But in the last few years, veggie noodles have become more and more popular and commonplace in the average kitchen.
And I’ve resisted. Because I fully believe that if you want pasta, you should have pasta.
Then I started saving and pinning zucchini noodle recipes and then I bought a little vegetable noodle contraption (I have an OXO hand-held spiralizer*), and then I started creating noodles out of vegetables. THEN I realized that every day I attempt to feed a toddler vegetables, and that vegetables in the shape of a noodle might be brilliant. (Spoiler: it is.)
I can also see the good in zucchini noodles. If you want pasta, you should have pasta. But not every single day. Right? Enter zucchini noodles. There is plenty of room for zucchini noodles every single day. You could actually have zucchini noodles for every single meal! Zucchini noodles in eggs for breakfast, zucchini noodles on a salad for lunch, and THIS recipe for zucchini noodles with chicken sausage for dinner.
Because more important than good or bad; paleo or not; low-carb or full-of-carbs – is how it tastes. And this combination is SO tasty! (Zucchini noodles are not fresh, carb-y pasta, I will not lie to you, but they are tasty. I prefer to think of them as a vegetable, instead of trying to trick yourself that you’re eating pasta. You’re smarter than that, I know you are!) I’m not sure if it was the shape, or that it was served with a yummy chicken sausage sauce, but Demi loved the whole meal.
So let’s get to these zucchini noodles!
After a little research, I learned that there are a few tricks to zucchini noodles and that if not prepared correctly, they can turn watery and soggy – not ideal! Here are some easy tips:
- after you spiralize the noodles, blot them with paper towel to remove any water
- lightly stir-fry noodles (DO NOT ADD SALT!)
- drain cooked noodles and blot again
- don’t top with a watery sauce (which is why I used tomato paste – extra-concentrated flavor without any liquid)
It’s so easy. Spiralize the zucchini. Sauté the chicken sausage (casings removed!) with some garlic and a little tomato paste. Then quickly sauté the zucchini noodles and strain in a colander. Top the noodles with sauce, and maybe a sprinkle parmesan and fragrant fresh basil. DONE! A healthy, fresh and simple dinner is served.
Because the calories are so low on this meal, you’ll probably need to have some whole-grain baguette or something on the side. Because who says you can’t have noodles AND bread? Not me!
- 2 lbs zucchini (about 5 medium-sized)
- 1 + ½ Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb italian fresh chicken sausage (with casings removed)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- optional: basil, parmesan, red pepper flakes, salt
- Spiralize your noodles and set aside on paper towel.
- Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add chicken sausage to skillet, stir and break up into crumbles until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and tomato paste, stirring until combined and cook for another 2 minutes. Set aside and wipe out skillet.
- Pat noodles dry and heat remaining ½ Tbsp olive oil.
- Add noodles and cook, tossing frequently, for about 3-4 minutes.
- Set noodles in a strainer and pat with paper towel.
- Divide noodles into bowls, top with chicken sausage and basil, parmesan and red pepper flakes if desired.
- Season with salt to taste.