A love letter to Zoodles…
I’ve discovered a new diet food that has pretty much changed everything. Yes, I realise that sounds dramatic. I also realise that I may not be in a position to give trustworthy diet advice. If you’ve been following the 10 Pound Race, you’re probably thinking: “Wow, 72 days and you still haven’t lost 10 pounds? Channing Tatum could have lost 10 lbs 1,264 times by now.”
Okay, true. But hear me out. It’s all about ZOODLES. Zucchini noodles. It’s basically just zucchini (Or courgette, depending on what side of the Atlantic you live on. Coodles?) sliced really thinly so it looks like spaghetti noodles. Then you can treat them exactly like pasta and make all sorts of super low-calorie, low-carb meals. If you’re counting calories, there are only 17 in an average zucchini – so even if you go mad and eat four in one sitting, that’s only 68. For someone who LOVES pasta, this is a pretty epic discovery.
In case you want to try this, I’ll break it down a bit more specifically. Here’s what you do:
1. Buy a load of zucchini. Seriously, they shrink up – so you’ll eat a lot more than you think. MR and I like to eat 3 or 4 per person for dinner.
2. Peel them with a vegetable peeler. This step isn’t mandatory, but it gets rid of the dark green colour so you can trick yourself a little more into thinking it’s real pasta.
3. Slice ’em up. We use a mandolin to slice lengthwise, rotating as you go. When you get to the middle bit where the seeds are, throw it out.
4. Cook them in a nonstick pan with a tiny bit of oil. It shouldn’t take long because you don’t want them to get too soft – maybe 6 minutes or so.
5. Drain them and then either serve or put back in the pan and add your sauce.
So far we’ve tried them a few different ways…
Zoodles and homemade bolognese sauce
First up, we had them with a homemade bolognese sauce that we had leftover in the fridge – so basically just tomatoes, veg and ground beef. Result? Super yum.
Zoodles with lemon pepper chicken
Next, we went a different route and did the zoodles with a lemon pepper chicken and a side of brussel sprouts and bacon. I loosely followed this recipe from BBC Food, but I’m often too lazy to measure anything, so I like to just throw things in and see what happens. I combined Dijon mustard, honey, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice and lemon zest. I coated the chicken in the sauce and then roasted it in the oven. Then I cooked the zoodles and added the remaining sauce. Also yum.
Zoodles with creamy cauliflower ‘alfredo’ sauce
For the next zoodle night we got real crazy. I had heard about making Alfredo sauce with cauliflower and I wanted to give it a try. I found this amazing recipe from The Detoxinista and kindly asked MR to make it for me while I worked late. (He’s so nice.) I got home just as he was finishing up and it was amazing. We added skim milk at the end to thin it out a bit and added nutmeg. Then we poured it onto the cooked zoodles and added fresh spinach, bacon and sundried tomatoes. It was seriously so good. And so filling. I couldn’t even eat all of mine, which pretty much never happens.
Zoodles with meatballs
And just in case you weren’t convinced that we have a bona fide zoodle addiction, I have one more to share. We made this one tonight – and it definitely did not disappoint. It was super easy – we bought pre-made Waitrose beef meatballs and a can of Dolmio bolognese sauce. We heated the meatballs in a frying pan (with about 1/3 leftover), added the sauce and the zoodles and then topped with a bit of shaved parmesan cheese. Again, delish.
The addiction has gotten so dire that MR even Googled whether there are any adverse effects of eating too much zucchini. We haven’t found any yet, but he’s still not 100% convinced.