March 11, 2014 04:48

Squash the pasta and sneak veggies into your family's dinner tonight

Are spaghetti and meatballs on the menu this week for the family? If so, here's an idea to ditch the starchy noodles and sneak some veggies into your family's diet. Zucchini is a mild tasting member of the squash family and can be used a variety of ways to replace traditional noodles - think of them as "zoodles."

For speed and efficiency, check out one of the spiral slicers sold over at E's Kitchen in Parc Lafayette or you can use a mandolin or julienne slicer to achieve a similar result. The end product will yield thin strips of zucchini that make a tasty bed for just about any sauce and meat combo.

Left: Zoodles made with a spiral slicer
Right: Pappardelle zoodles made with a basic vegetable peeler

If you don't have any fancy kitchen gadgets on hand, you can always use a regular vegetable peeler to make flat zoodles resembling pappardelle pasta. Zucchini noodles are also an excellent substitution for those living a low-carb lifestyle or people who cannot eat pasta due to gluten intolerances.

Cooking your zoodles is a breeze - just place the green goodies in a microwave safe dish and zap them for no more than 5 minutes in the microwave. There is no need to add water as they will produce their own moisture. If you cook them too long, however, they will become mushy so cook with caution.

For a real St. Patty's day treat, toss your zoodles with some pesto and you'll have a quick dish fit for the luck of the Irish.

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