Updated: Jun 12, 2019
The sun is finally showing and the flowers are blooming outside...I love this time of year! Want to know why else I love it!?.... ZUCCHINI NOODLES!
It truly is best to eat seasonally, that is when the fresh fruits and vegetables are their freshest, most natural and highest in living enzymes. Whenever it starts to warm up outside, I get my spiralizer out! Now, I currently just have an inexpensive hand held spiralizer like this one shown below.
It gets the job done, but does limit what all you can spiralize. However, it is a great one to start with and works perfectly for this Zoodle pasta. You can choose between thin or thick noodles, I like to go with thick. It is easy to clean and store without taking up a lot of space. If you would like a spiralizer that can spiralize all vegetables and is easier on the wrist, I have heard great things about the crank handle ones. I have a few friends who use it and love it. It is my next upgrade.* My only hesitation is that it takes up slightly more storage space. The nice part is, it makes many more shapes of noodles! I searched and found the more cost effective one on amazon, which comes with a nice storage caddy for the blades. A win, win. See below.
If you aren't a fan of zucchini, just hear me out on this. My husband HATED zucchini unless it was fried and breaded from an italian restaurant. Knowingly, the first time I made a zucchini pasta salad for him (it was a chicken recipe that time), I took out all the green-skin pieces so it was just the pale inners that look more like the color of regular pasta noodles. I served it to him and is buddy (to go) when they were leaving to work on an all day job site. Next thing I know I am getting texts from his buddy saying that it was amazing and asking what it was. Followed up by a text from my husband saying it was really good and he loved how FRESH it tasted. I grinned so big that day. . .
The next meal I made it with he walked into the kitchen during the process and halted me asking what I was doing and saying, "Do NOT put zucchini in mine! You know I HATE zucchini!" . . . And this is where I broke the truth to him.
He was SILENT.
So what made this zucchini different? Well... I served it raw and crispy. He was used to cooked zucchini. Cooked zucchini = mush. Yuck. The RAW counterpart is crisp, light and refreshing. It takes on the flavor of whatever you are making. I now always serve the zucchini noodles raw. Even in hot dishes like spaghetti. Just heat up the sauce and put it on the raw zoodles. You want a quick meal... there you go! Healthy can be SO. MUCH. QUICKER. Might I also mention, raw is best because it keeps the enzymes in the food alive! These enzymes help us break down our meal and nourish our body. They give life and are oh, so, precious.
After that day, I started making pasta with all noodles for me, and half noodles and half chickpea or quinoa/rice noodles for him. It was a nice way to ease him into it. Plus he needs the extra calories because he tends to eat only 1-2 meals/day and his body just burns up everything. Now though, he will take a whole plate full of Noodles without a single complaint :-).
For this recipe I used 2 medium sized ORGANIC zucchinis that are slender enough to fit in my spiralizer. It is worth getting organic because zucchini ranks towards the top in sprayed, pesticide crops. Better yet, grow your own! I can eat an entire zucchini as zoodles so I used 2 for my husband and I. Add more zucchini for your household size. This is optional, but for added taste I like to toss the zoodles in garlic powder.
This BLT pasta can be made in many different ways, but my two staples are always the Paleo Sugar Free Turkey Bacon and the Zoodles. This bacon is literally the only one I will buy. I avoid all pork. That is entirely another discussion. Maybe for a later date. I also avoid sugar, and yes I check my meat for added sugar. I was SO HAPPY when I found this bacon. It was like it was made just for me. Sugar free, made from turkey and PALEO. It can be a little pricier, but its worth it. The slices are thick and it is even better tasting than typical bacon (in my opinion). You get way more meat too because standard bacon is mostly just fat. Ew.
Where do you find this bacon? I am not sure where all it is sold, so I can only tell you about my local stores I know who sell it. I believe it is becoming more and more available though. I first found it at OutPost (Wauwatosa/Milwaukee). I always wait until it goes on sale, and it does all the time. It's like half the cost then. The other place I recently found it at was Fresh Thyme. I know it is also offered through Instacart. Heres a photo of it so you know what to look for!
Start by pan frying the PALEO bacon with a little bit of olive oil since it is extremely low fat you will need to add a little grease. Flip to brown both sides. This takes 2-3 minutes. You can also bake them in the oven or conventional oven/toaster. Once they are done, just dice them up and add to the zoodles. For this recipe I used 1/2 the pack of bacon but you certainly could use more or less.
I had some fresh cilantro and curley parsley on hand so I decided to add them to my avocado dressing this time. I was hesitant but I am glad I did because it added an amazing punch to the meal. You can choose to chop it up ahead and sprinkle it on at the end and just mix it in, or just rip a handful off each bunch and stick it in the blender with the rest of the sauce and ingredients.
Mayo isn't a complete deal breaker for me... it can be homemade paleo really easily. As long as you use good oil and free range eggs, it is actually made with all healthy ingredients. I vowed against mayo for many many years though. I thought it was gross and so fatty. Now, I do enjoy it on occasion. I am SO OVER the low fat stigma. BUT, even better...avocado mayo or dressing! Avocado dressing is much easier and fail-proof then making homemade mayo. It can be made just using blended avocado with lemon juice and salt or dressed up a lot more.
In this recipe, I dressed it up. Like I mentioned previously, I added cilantro and curly parsley. It is so simple. Just stick 2 medium sided ripe avocados into your blender, squeeze 1 lime or lemon into it. I actually tried it with 4 small mexican key limes this time! I also like to use the COSTCO bottled pure lemon juice because I used it a lot, it stays fresh and it saves time. If you go that route just add 1/4th-1/2 cup depending on your taste and how much pasta you're making. Add 3 shakes of salt (pink himalayan or sea salt). If you like a little tang add 1-2 tbs of Apple Cider Vinegar. I did not use it this time, but another option (that makes it really delicious) is to add 1-2 fresh pieces of garlic or a few shakes of organic garlic powder. Blend this all up on medium-high speed in your blender. Stop it, then add the fresh cilantro and parsley and pulse it a few times or blend on low. Scoop it out with a spatula and add it to your salad by mixing it in.
The last main ingredient is the tomato. There are two options here. You can either slice grape tomatoes in half or dice up whole tomatoes. I had whole tomatoes so I diced them up and added them in at the end so they don't get mushed around.
Finish with an optional* few dashes of black pepper. For a little kick add a few dashes of red pepper flakes.
I hope you love this recipe and find it a great addition to your grain-free, anti-inflammatory or whole foods venture! It is so refreshing and light but filling. This BLT Zucchini Pasta makes a great lunch, dinner or side dish!
Click Title for Printable Version*
2 Whole Organic Zucchinis, Medium
Paleo Sugar Free Turkey Bacon, 1/3-1/2 Pack
1 Cup Grape tomatos, sliced in half
Ground black pepper, 2-3 dashes
Organic garlic powder, 2-3 dashes
Avocado, 1 large Hass or 2 small
1/4th Cup Lime or lemon juice, fresh
Cilatro, 1 handful
Curly Parsley, 1 handful
1-2 Tbs Apple Cider Viegar, to taste
Himalayan salt, 2-3 dashes
Garlic, optional, 1-2 fresh cloves or 2-3 dashes powdered
Pan fry bacon with olive oil or bake in conventional oven
While bacon is cooking, spiralize zucchini into a bowl. Toss with garlic powder (optional).
Dice bacon into bite size peices and add to zoodles
Add all ingredients for the sauce except the parsley and cilatro to a blender or food processor, blend on medium to high until creamy. Remove and add cilantro and parsley. Pulse a few times or blend a few seconds on low until the herbs are chopped up. Spoon the sauce onto the zoodles with a spatula and mix in.
Cut grape tomatoes in half or dice up whole tomato, fold into the zoodle pasta.
Finish with a few dashes of ground black pepper. (optional)
Serve cold/room temperature.