Cooking

Use your noodle! (Recipes)

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Oodles of noodles: Try spiralizing sweet potato, zucchini and more. (Photo by Emily Ryan)

By Emily Ryan, The Mercury

Want to eat more veggies? Noodle around with spiralized sweet potato, squash, beets, carrots and more. Better yet, pair them with spring flavors for a tasty lunch, dinner or side dish.

“Instead of eating pasta, you can eat pasta made out of vegetables,” explained chef Johanna Outwin, who often demonstrates the technique.

“It’s something fun,” said the cooking coordinator at Kitchen Kapers Cooking School. “You’re able to play with your food.”

Find packaged veggie noodles in the produce section or start small at home.

“While a good [spiral vegetable slicer] is wonderful, it certainly is an investment,” admitted physician assistant Jessica DeLuise, founder of Eat Your Way to Wellness in Conshohocken. “Taking your vegetable peeler, you can make really beautiful ribbons and see if you like it first.”

She helps clients plan healthy meals like zucchini noodles with pea pesto.

“I am a big advocate for the simpler the better,” DeLuise said. “Healthy food does not have to be complicated or time consuming.”

Spiralizing “is the simplest thing to do,” agreed registered, licensed dietitian Judy Matusky, a food and nutrition blogger in Ardmore. “It’s just such a pretty presentation. It’s something different and light you can add to your plate.”

Try her veggie noodles with hummus-sesame dressing.

“You get the volume from the vegetables just as you would if you were using pasta with significantly lower calories,” she added.

Not only is it helpful for weight loss, but also “good for people who have a gluten issue,” said personal chef Lynn Lampe Lindquist of Cook on Call. “I think it’s something that fills a really great need.”

Celebrate spring with oodles of so-called zoodles. She pairs zucchini noodles with pine nuts, parsley, lemon and honey goat cheese.

“It gives you great texture with the pine nuts,” described Lindquist, also an instructor at Delaware County Community College and Valley Forge Flowers. “Usually, I don’t even cook my noodles. I serve it raw, so it’s a raw whole food.”

Back at Kitchen Kapers, Outwin suggested one more dish to noodle over: spiralized cucumber and cherry tomato salad.

“Everybody’s eating salad because summer’s coming,” she said. “You need to get into that bathing suit!”

Veggie Noodles with Hummus-Sesame Dressing

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A bowl of veggie noodles with hummus-sesame dressing makes a satisfying meal. (Photo courtesy of Judy Matusky)

Ingredients

1 medium zucchini

1 medium yellow squash

1 large sweet potato

2 scallions, chopped

¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

¼ cup red pepper hummus

1½ tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1½ teaspoons honey

2 tablespoons orange juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Dash of hot sauce, if desired

Toasted sesame seeds and chopped scallions for garnish

Instructions

Spiralize zucchini, yellow squash and sweet potato with a spiral vegetable slicer to make vegetable noodles, or you can use a vegetable peeler to make vegetable ribbons. Place sweet potato noodles in a microwavable steamer and steam them in the microwave for 1 minute or until slightly softened. Steam the zucchini and squash noodles in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds. Combine the vegetable noodles, scallions (reserving some of the green ends for garnish) and sun-dried tomatoes in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine hummus, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey and orange juice. Whisk until combined. Toss the hummus dressing with vegetable noodles. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with toasted sesame seeds, chopped scallions and a dash of hot sauce, if desired. Makes about 6 cups.

RECIPE COURTESY OF JUDYMATUSKY.COM

Zucchini Noodles with Goat Cheese Sauce

Ingredients

1 pound zucchini noodles

¼ cup toasted pine nuts

6 ounces honey goat cheese

Zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons minced parsley

Lemon oil

Instructions

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add zucchini noodles to the water and blanch for 30 seconds. If serving warm, remove noodles from the water and drain well. Put noodles into a serving bowl and toss in the goat cheese, lemon zest, parsley and lemon oil. Gently toss the ingredients to incorporate. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Sprinkle with pine nuts. The goat cheese will melt slightly and act as a sauce. If serving cold, remove the noodles from the boiling water and plunge into an ice bath. Remove noodles from water and drain well. Continue with recipe as above starting with the serving bowl step.

RECIPE COURTESY OF COOK ON CALL

Cucumber and Cherry Tomato Salad

Ingredients

½ cup rice vinegar

¼ cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro

1 large English cucumber or 2 medium ones

10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 red onion, sliced into juliennes

Instructions

Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Heat on medium/low until sugar dissolves. Use the ribbon or thick setting to spiralize your cucumber. In a salad bowl combine all the ingredients and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. This salad is perfect for the summertime when the cucumbers are in season, but at my house we eat it at any time.

RECIPE COURTESY OF CHEF JOHANNA OUTWIN

Sweet Potato Pasta

Ingredients

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and halved crosswise

2 tablespoons olive oil, or more as needed

¼ cup truffle butter (you can find it at Wegmans)

1 teaspoon of fresh thyme

1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Cut sweet potato into spaghetti-like ribbons or thick with a spiral vegetable slicer. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add sweet potato; cook, stirring often and adding more oil (if necessary) to prevent sticking, until starting to soften, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Heat butter in the same skillet until melted and foaming, about 1 minute. Add thyme and rosemary leaves; swirl for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add sweet potato; stir to coat well. Season sweet potato with salt and pepper.

To make a different flavor pasta, you can use the same recipe but instead of the thyme and rosemary you can use 3 tablespoons of fresh cilantro and substitute the truffle butter for orange and cinnamon butter (can be found at Wegmans). You can also use some chopped or crushed walnuts.

RECIPE COURTESY OF CHEF JOHANNA OUTWIN

Zucchini Noodles with Pea Pesto

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Give it a twirl! Quick and easy pea pesto tops these zucchini noodles. (Photo by Emily Ryan)

Ingredients

5 to 6 large zucchini or 7 medium

1 large bunch (1½ cups) organic parsley (See note)

1 cup of fresh or frozen green peas

3 cloves of fresh or roasted garlic or 2 tablespoons minced garlic

½ cup of grated pecorino Romano cheese OR nutritional yeast for nondairy version (Bragg or Bob’s Red Mill)

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

¼ cup of almonds or pine nuts, toasted to boost the flavor

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Pinch of sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Spiralize zucchini and set aside. For the pesto: Add all the remaining ingredients to the food processor or blender. (You may need to do it in two batches if your processor is small.) Pulse until chopped and mixed. Add your zucchini noodles to a large bowl. Pour about half of the pesto on top. Use tongs or two salad spoons to cover all the noodles with pesto. Add pesto to the noodles as needed to coat. To enjoy, eat cold or sauté 5 to 6 minutes in a little olive oil. Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish.

For extra pesto: Save the pesto in an airtight container in the fridge up to a week. Smear it on salmon or chicken. Freeze it to use at any time! If freezing, add olive oil over the top of the pesto to cover the surface which will prevent it from turning brown and cover it with plastic wrap, so the plastic wrap sits right on top of the pesto with no air room and container lid.

Note: Don’t go nuts pulling off all the parsley leaves. Just get the bigger part of the stems off.

RECIPE COURTESY OF EAT YOUR WAY TO WELLNESS

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