Posted by Bonnie
One of the biggest challenges I felt when first going low carb was what to make my family for dinner. We were so used to baking a frozen store bought something because it was fast and easy and we were busy! The only thing that has changed is that now, we are busier than ever.
We still want something fast and easy to eat but want it to nourish our bodies instead of weighing them down. Enter: zucchini spaghetti. Zucchini noodles have become pretty popular lately (or is it just me?) And it’s probably because they are super easy to make and also really delicious!
One of the awesome things about this meal is that it is super customizable. Don’t like mushrooms? Great. You’re crazy, but leave them out. Really cutting carbs? No problem. Add some cream and make it more like a rosé sauce instead of all tomato. Use whatever veggies you have around. My favorite is cauliflower but adding carrots is delicious too.
You can really add any vegetables you like to this one and with the noodles being zucchini you’re sure to get enough servings to make up for the pizza you’ve been eating the last three days in a row (…. no that never happens!) Check out the recipe below for how I made it last time – we always change it up depending on what is fresh and what we have in the fridge already. If counting carbs isn’t what you’re into, feel free to use your own pasta sauce instead of tomato paste.
- 1 medium zucchini per adult serving (we usually use two, so the amount of sauce reflects that. Increase it if you’re making it for a crowd)
- Ground meat (maybe a lb or so of whatever you like – or leave it out for a vegetarian version)
- 1 can of tomato paste (6 oz / 170g)
- Dried Italian seasoning
- 1/2 – 1 cup water or milk / cream / heavy cream
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbs butter
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- fresh garlic (we use a lot…)
- 2 cups chopped cauliflower (it sounds weird but it was good, I promise)
- salt, pepper to taste
I like to spiralize the zucchini to really get a noodle like shape out of it. It is so easy – if you have a spiralizer. I have a basic one like this. You may not love it because a) it’s ridiculous to spend the money on it if you don’t use it at least once a week and b) it takes up a weird amount of space in the cupboard (you can’t really stack it with anything) and c) sharp blades that are lurking in the cabinet waiting to bite you when you least expect it. BUT… we make this all the time. I mean… All the time. Zucchini is always plentiful in the garden and super cheap at the grocery store. Not only that, but it is super healthy: We benefit from it’s low calories, high amounts of manganese, vitamin c, dietary fiber, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, potassium, copper and phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, niacin, vitamin B1, B6, B2 and calcium. I mean… WOW. So for us, it was worth the $20 on a spiralizer.
If you don’t have one, you can use a kitchen knife to slice it thinly or just dice it up. It won’t necessarily resemble a noodle, but it will taste delicious anyway.
Spiralize / chop your zucchini. Set it aside on a baking sheet and lightly salt to remove some moisture.
Chop all of your vegetables – whatever you chose to use. Brown the ground meat in a pan on the stove and then add the cauliflower (if you’re using carrot now would be the time to add that as well).
Cook until medium soft over medium high heat (cooking the cauliflower with the meat gives it a nice almost grilled texture).
Add all the other ingredients, reserving the olive oil, to the pan and season with Italian seasoning and salt pepper to taste. Simmer on medium heat until the liquid starts to reduce and the sauce thickens up a bit.
Once the sauce is finished, remove it from the heat or set the temperature to low.
In a large sauté pan add your olive oil and your zucchini. It cooks very quickly so stir constantly until the edges start to look translucent.
Portion the noodles into large bowls with sauce, serve immediately.