Recipe Alert: The Zoodle Remix
Not too long ago I took a poll on my Instagram for a recipe that I threw together for a quick weekday, meatless dinner option that is packed with flavor and savory goodness. You guys were stoked about this recipe so I decided to share it on here so you can have it as a reference point. Let’s jump in!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
1 skillet pan
1 medium sized saucepan
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Trader Joe’s Grilled Veggies (Eggplant, Zucchini and Red Peppers)
One of the main feats of this dish is the zucchini noodles. Let me preface by saying, I LOVE PASTA. Like adore. However, it doesn’t love me as much so I welcome a healthier alternative by sometimes substituting pasta with zucchini noodles. Not everyone likes zucchini noodles though, although I really believe it’s all about how you prepare/season it to your taste palette. If you’re not into the idea of zucchini noodles, feel free to use your favorite pasta or maybe use a veggie-infused pasta for added nutrients.
Remember, this dish is all about flexibility. Do what you want sis! (or bro, I see you fellas. haha)
Chop a quarter cup of onions and 2 cloves of garlic (adjust the amount to your liking).
Sauté your grilled veggies using extra virgin olive oil on medium heat. If grilled veggies are not your thing, feel free to add your own mix of veggies to the mix. If I’m not pressed for time, I grill my own veggies but if my time is constrained, I use this grilled veggie blend by Trader Joe’s which is one of my favorite gems from there. Sauté the veggies for 8-10 minutes—I like mine well done! Lol When the veggies are done remove them from the skillet and place to them to the side.
Pop your skillet back on the stove adding a bit more extra virgin olive oil. Make sure the heat is not too high (medium-high heat will do) on the stove and add your zucchini noodles to the skillet. Sautéing zucchini noodles is almost somewhat scientific because you don’t want to overcook them and risk them being too wet since zucchinis are so water-dense. One of the tricks to keeping your zucchini noodles from being too wet is not covering the pan so that the noodles don’t get the opportunity to sweat. Another trick to keep your zucchini noodles in form is to not add too much salt to the skillet. Naturally, I don’t cook with a lot of salt, at all. Salt will draw out the liquid from the zucchini and make it wet as well so steer clear of heavy amounts of it for your health and for the presentation of your noodles. Seasoning your noodles are important though since you want them to taste good. Go on and add your favorite dry spices to your liking. These include (but are not limited to): garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, etc. Sauté your noodles for 5-7 minutes, to your liking and remove them from the stove as well.
Next up, is our marinara sauce. You can either make your own from scratch or you can use your favorite jarred marinara sauce—it’s completely up to you and what your time allows. Whether jarred or fresh, put some extra virgin olive oil in your medium saucepan on medium heat. Once warm enough add your chopped onion and garlic to the pan, letting it simmer for 2 minutes tops. Add your sauce (or create it using the onions and garlic as a base) and let it simmer, stirring it occasionally for up to 10 minutes. Don’t forget to add some more dry spices (options listed in the previous step) for taste—you can even throw some oregano in there for some Italian flair. I like my sauce hearty and thick!
If I’m feeling really healthy, I might add some ground flaxseed to my marinara sauce for added fiber and nutrients. I buy the already ground/powder form of the flaxseed and it disappears into the sauce. You don’t see it or taste but the nutrients are certainly there!
This is when it all comes together. Get your plate sis. Lol Plate the zucchini noodles first and top it with your marinara sauce. You can then add the grilled veggies on top and in surrounding areas of the plate. I usually drown my plate in the grilled veggies because they are SO GOOD! You can even add your favorite cheese over top if you want. Then…eat up!
Now, the caviat of this dish is while it is heavy in nutrients, packed in flavor and time/cost-effective, it is not necessarily rich in protein. Still, you can incorporate whatever protein you’d like to this dish if you ever so please. If you want to keep it meatless, you can add meatless meatballs, vegan Italian sausage, vegan “chik’n”—the options are endless!
Bon appetite and enjoy!