Confessions of a Reforming Carboholic

I admit it. I LOVE bread, pasta, rice and cereal. Foods notorious for increasing blood sugar, and making people gain too much weight when consumed in the quantities normal for most Americans. For women with pre-diabetic conditions, diabetes, or gestational diabetes, these carbohydrate sources wreak ongoing havoc in maintaining stable blood sugars. We can certainly get enough carbohydrates in our diet via vegetable sources.

But what’s a girl to do when she craves something quick, easy and most of all “noodley”? Spaghetti? Pad Thai? Plain old noodles with butter sauce? These are the comfort foods of the carboholic!

In an ongoing effort to curb the carbs, while indulging in late night channel surfing, an info-mmercial caught my eye. Not one for the one trick pony kitchen gizmos, I almost surfed on by…but they were making NOODLES….beautiful looking spaghetti thick noodles…that looked surprisingly appetizing…and they were making them from ZUCCHINI!!!!

It’s harvest time in Alaska…zucchini is at every grocery store and Farmer’s Market. From slender tender zukes to ginormous State Fair Blue Ribbon wanna-bes. And I had a log-pile of zucchinis in my fridge.

I could not get the zucchini noodles off my mind. I HAD to try them, if only to prove that they weren’t anywhere near as tasty as the real deal. So the next day I hurried to the nearest variety store and scooped up the As Seen On TV “VEGETTI”…Great name, eh? $16.99, plastic and metal device about the size of a small coffee cup-without the handle.

Once home, I proceeded to experiment. I found that the Zucchini had to be no more than 2 ½” diameter to fit into the “vegetti”.   Here are my results.

Batch 1: unpeeled Zucchini. Microwave x 2-3 minutes. Topped with a little marinara sauce. Delicious!

Batch 2: peeled Zucchini: Saute’ in olive oll with garlic, salt and pepper and a shake of parmesan cheese. Delicious! Note: don’t saute more than a few minutes or it gets too soft and mushy, still tastes ok but doesn’t have the spaghetti texture.

Batch 3: peeled Zucchini microwaved x 2-3 min then tossed with chopped scallions, sesame oil, 2 tsp melted almond butter, rice vinegar, lime juice, red pepper flakes, grated carrot , chopped cilantro and chopped peanuts …..taste bud explosion! Delicious!

Batch 3: I used a recipe pulled from theclothesmakethegirl.com for Paleo Pad Thai with Sunshine Sauce. I subbed the zucchini noodles for the suggested spaghetti squash. I have to say this has to be one of the most satisfying and delicious meals I’ve eaten. Especially if you like Pad Thai. Seriously it is one of the most frequent requests from the tall hairy guy. You should try it.

Last night, zucchini noodles played a supporting role to chicken and mushroom sauce. Today, they are part of another chilled oriental style salad with ginger garlic chicken.

What they won’t do is bake well…melt and get mushy, nor do they play well in water (i.e. no noodle soup). But if you are looking for a spaghetti or oriental noodle substitute, Zucchini noodles are an easy and healthy alternative!

And the Vegetti (yes, I do like saying that word!), works great on cucumbers and carrots as well, great in salads! There are more sturdy and expensive spiral slicers and one day I will explore the versatility, but for now, zucchini is queen of the kitchen and the vegetti is weapon of choice.

Zucchini! It’s not just for bread anymore!

 

Lisa Weston, ANP, CNM

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