Don’t you love it when you discover a new tool or technique and you ask yourself, ‘how did I EVER live without this?!’ I stumbled upon an ‘aha’ moment of this caliber when I found the julienne peeler. Sure, it’s a small and humble little gadget that’s probably already sitting in the back of your cookware ‘junk’ drawer, but this thing is capable of making the single best dish I’ve created this year: zucchini noodles!
Don’t roll your eyes, all you spaghetti devotees! Do zucchini noodles take JUST like regular pasta? No. But they also don’t give you that stuffed, miserable, bloated feeling after chowing down on a bowl of fiber-less carbs either. By using the julienne peeler, the dark green skin and pale flesh of the zucchini is transformed into strings that give the mouth feel and texture of al dente pasta while offering your bod some seriously great nutrients. In fact, a cup of zucchini contains vitamin A and C (known for anti-inflammatory properties), 10% of your RDA for fiber (colon cancer fighter), and 19% of your RDA for Manganese (a trace mineral that helps the body metabolize protein and fat).
Zucchini noodles can be used the same way you would any regular wheat pasta–but just make sure you only cook them briefly so they don’t get soggy. Another cool tip? Pat the noodles down before sautéing It will help keep the ‘sog’ down to a minimum as well. If you love shrimp, then my Zucchini Noodles recipe below is going to become your new favorite go-to. If shrimp doesn’t float your boat, then just sub in chicken, tofu or any other protein you like.
Zucchini Noodles (serves 2)
- 4 organic zucchini, washed and julienned into long strings
- 1 cup of organic grape tomatoes
- ½ pound of raw, de-veined, peeled shrimp
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Garlic powder
- Red pepper flakes (to taste)
- Salt (to taste)
1. Heat up a skillet with 1 tbsp of grapeseed or olive oil.
2. Season the shrimp with salt and garlic powder and sauté until barely pink.
3. Add in zucchini noodles and grape tomatoes and sauté for 2 minutes.
4. Finish with lemon juice, salt and red pepper flakes.
Oh! And don’t throw away the seeds and flesh in the middle of the zucchini that you just julienned. I’ve found that this watery part of the fruit (yep, this emerald green beauty is actually a fruit) adds bulk to your juices. I process the scraps through my juicer along with kale, cucumber, apple and lemon for a green juice that is the perfect start to any day.
Photo credit: Zsuzsanna Kilian