Tuesday, May 7, 2013

So I guess we're supposed to eat better now...

I guess I have to stuff myself into a wedding dress at some point so I started boot camp, hot yoga and running again. All of that work is nullified if you aren't eating healthy foods either. Damn.

But I swear this blog won't get boring.

I made a super simple and refreshing dish last night for dinner that can be tasty, healthy and for you crazy people, gluten free and paleo.

Zucchini Noodles

This is so ridiculous easy to make, you'll have no excuses not to cook at home.

Bring a pot of water to a boil; salt it if you'd like.

Take a zucchini and simply strip it with a vegetable peeler or a mandolin lengthwise until you get thin strips of zucchini. It's easy to peel on one side, then flip it over, peel the other side and simply switch back and forth until you can't peel anymore. It will look like this:

You might not be able to peel all of the zucchini when it gets too thin in the middle; it's ok. Just leave the center bit for now.

Add to the pot of water like you would pasta but only cook it for 1-2 minutes so it's only a little tender. Drain and rinse in cold water to prevent the zucchini from continuing to cook. You can also do the same with orange sweet potatoes but sweet potatoes tend to break down more quickly and get soggy/mushier a little more easily.

If you want to be fancy, you can get a spiral vegetable cutter like this one but a vegetable peeler works well too.

You can serve the zucchini with any sauce you'd like or dress it up with a pesto:

Pesto, chimichurri or stuff you throw into a food processor

Pesto is ridiculously easy to make and I don't use a recipe or measure anything. You sort of throw things into a food processor and taste it.

If you buy a big package of basil, just throw the leaves in a food processor along with some extra virgin olive oil, a clove or two or garlic, a dash of salt and pepper and a handful of nuts. Traditionally, pesto is made with pinenuts but you can also use walnuts or almonds or whatever is on hand. If you're not eating paleo, shave a bunch of parmesan or romano in as well.

Let it go in the food processor until it resembles pesto. Taste it and see if it needs a little more salt or nuts or garlic you'd like a nuttier or more garlicky pesto.

You can even throw in the zucchini centers you couldn't slice and make a zucchini pesto.

A chimichurri is essentially an Argentinean pesto. Instead of basil, you'd blend parsley, garlic, oregano, olive oil, a dash of vinegar, salt and pepper and red chili flakes.

Play around with whatever herbs and veggies you have in your house to make your own pesto. I'll next try an Asian-inspired one with cilantro, peanuts, a dash of fish sauce and chili flakes.

I tossed the zucchini noodles with a pesto I made with basil and almonds. It would have been paleo if I didn't shave parmesan in as well. This can be used as a pasta replacement for a main dish along with a protein or you can use it as a good picnic side dish or even a starter salad.

Happy healthy eating!

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