The wonders of getting creative with natural food!
I think I know what you are having for dinner tonight...
This way of making pasta is simple, but it takes patience and time if you are going to do it by hand as I did. I use a small vegetable peeler with blade teeth. Like this one:
Or you can use a regular vegetable peeler to make Fettuccine noodles.
To save a lot of time, specially if you enjoy eating pasta often, you could invest in a Vegetable Spiral Slicer machine. They come in various sizes and different prices. There are also some that make different shapes of noodles!
Just search on the internet for "Vegetable Spiral Slicer" and have fun picking one out :)
So this makes a healthier version of the regular pasta we find at supermaket stores because we are using food closer to its natural state, and making it low in Carbohydrates for those people who don't tolerate Carbohydrates well or are wanting to eat less calories and loose weight.
Zucchini: Is a mild tasting vegetable (which makes it a perfect candidate for noodles) with low calories because of its high water content. Its high Potassium and Magnesium content provides good blood flow circulation in the body. It is a good source for Vitamin A, Folate, Potassium, Vitamin C, Protein, and Manganese. Manganese is an essential nutrient that keeps the internal body functioning properly, facilitates absorption of fat and carbhoydrates, and provides a healthy nervous system.
The regular pastas at the supermarket are made out of hard to digest grains (leaving us bloated and puffy feeling), genetically modified organisms if not organic (corn, soy, potato, and wheat flours), have added preservatives, and during the manufacturing process the ingredients may become oxidized once they are exposed to air and light making it devoid of nutrients.
Grocery stores have now started carrying pastas made out of better ingredients and no preservatives. You can now find pasta made out of Quinoa flour, Amaranth flour, Buckwheat, and whole Spelt flour as the main ingredient a long with a few other natural ingredients such as sea salt and water. What is nice about these besides not having unhealthful ingredients is the beautiful earthy and elegant color they have as well as they fill you up more than the regular "white" pastas.
However, I personally belief that eating too many whole grains that have not been prepared properly has health consequences. Some people get very negatively affected from eating whole grains that have not been soaked and sprouted. Ancient cultures even went as far as fermenting their whole grains before eating in order to make them easy to digest and to remove the toxic anti-nutrients found in them. Some people may experience bloating issues, digestion issues, and other more serious health issues that they have found to have disappeared once they stopped eating whole grains. Whole Grains are a new food crop, meaning that it is a food that our bodies have not yet adapted to consuming. Keep in mind though that you may be one of those people who do fine digesting higher quantities of whole grains and get away with it. Not everyone is allergic to gluten. Some people can handle eating carbohydrates, and others have digestion issues with it. Find what works for you.
Done with my short rambling on whole grains! I will go more in depth on a new post later. Okay, you want pasta!
So when you make your pasta out of Zucchini, you don't have to worry about eating a lot of carbohydrates, calories, and anti-nutrients. You can have the pleasure of making it a raw spaghetti meal if raw food is your thing, or steaming the zucchini noodles for a more real pasta meal texture. I'm not a big fan of eating raw zucchini, so I do like to steam the zucchini noodles. What is fun about making zucchini pasta meals is that you can add any condiments, healthy oils, and vegetables, and it will come out tasting delicious. Forget about measurements! Add anything you want to it and as much as you want and the flavors will all come together. I've played with toppings such as sauteed mushrooms in Olive Oil, parmessan cheese, sweet bell peppers, caramelized onions, melted butter, chopped olives, tomato sauce with meatballs, pesto sauce....have fun experimenting and trying new flavor combinations!
What is best about making this is that YOU are making it. Your pasta did not come from a factory and was not sitting in a box for years. You get to use your hands for this recipe and really connect with your food and feel proud of what you have accomplished, as well as providing health for others.
If you don't want the noodles to look green you can peel off the skins and discard them. I chose to use the green skin of the zucchini for that Christmas color, but the flesh of the zucchini has the color just like pasta :)
For this Christmas recipe, I used olive oil to coat the noodles, soaked sun dried tomatoes, ground grass-fed meat, caramelized onions, fresh basil leaves cut thinly, pine nuts and sea salt. After cooking the zucchini noodles and ground meat, I mixed everything together in a pan to warm it all up. I then sprinkled good quality parmessan cheese on top. Mmm deliciously comforting.