Zucchini noodles are surprisingly satisfying as a substitute for pasta noodles. This simple dish will leave your taste buds dancing, and your soul happy.
This dish is vegan, if you leave out the feta cheese garnish. It is wheat-free, grain-free, soy-free, sugar free. What’s not to love?
We enjoyed our zucchini noodles with a green lettuce salad including an ample portion of cucumbers for their cooling quality, a few radishes, green pepper, the last blueberries from the garden, and a vegan ranch dressing I found recently that reminds me of childhood.
The combination was just perfect for an August lunch, brunch, or supper. It is a summer vegetarian delight.
For meat eaters, you could easily serve meat, or some plant-based meatballs, either on top, or on the side.
Health Benefits of Zucchini
I was thrilled this year to actually be able to grow decent zucchini. People with gardens tend to have an abundant harvest of this incredibly easy to digest vegetable.
Like most foods, cooking zucchini improves its digestibility.
Anything that’s easy to digest is considered sattvic in Ayurveda. Sattva refers to the qualities of peace, contentedness, happiness, and balance.
Zucchini is high in fiber, so it’s supportive for gut health. It is also high in magnesium and vitamin C.
Fresh Tomato Sauce
Since it’s prime tomato season, the recipe calls for fresh chopped tomatoes. Make sure your knife is nice and sharp, and chopping these tomatoes will be easy for you.
You then cook the tomatoes down in olive oil and garlic to make a quick tomato sauce.
For those of you who need to use canned tomatoes, start with the olive oil and garlic, and use tomato puree or sauce instead of the fresh tomatoes. Follow with the remaining instructions and simmer for 5 minutes to marry the flavors.
Making the sauce with fresh ripe tomatoes yields an incredibly sweet and flavorful result.
It’s pretty too. See in the picture how I plated this dish. You can totally do the same and impress yourself, and your loved ones with your fanciness.
I also saved some of the fresh basil leaf sprigs for extra garnish. That’s another nice touch you can do.
Should I Buy a Spiralizer for Zucchini Noodles?
Should you buy a spiralizer to make the zucchini noodles?
It is up to you. Most grocery stores sell zucchini noodles now, as well as butternut squash noodles, and beet noodles.
I have noticed that they are a little pricy compared to the vegetable itself. This is the price you pay for a value-added prepared food.
You can get the exact spiralizer I use for around $27 dollars in the U.S. With just five uses, I think you would break even on the cost.
I love my spiralizer!
I have to admit that it took me a while to get into using it, but now that I have, I realize it is super easy to use. It is easy to clean. It works like a charm. Turning the crank and watching the noodles come out the other end is incredibly satisfying.
The best part is that having the vegetables in such fun shapes makes it a lot easier to enjoy them. Could you imagine eating a main course of zucchini any other way?
I’ve recently discovered the wonders of spiralized khol rabe, and beets prepared with the spiralizer are also easy to enjoy raw, which is really good for your blood and liver health.
What I’m saying is that I totally recommend the spiralizer. For food prep, you can prep up a load of vegetables in just a few minutes.
Keep your raw spiralized vegetables in the fridge, and they are ready to go for quick pasta lookalike meals, and much more, for around 3 days.
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Recipe for Zucchini Noodles with Fresh Tomato Sauce
Helpful Kitchen Tools:
For the sauce
For the zucchini noodles
For the garnish
- ⅓ cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
Make the tomato sauce
- Mince the garlic and chop the fresh tomatoes.
- Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add minced garlic and sauté for a minute. Don’t let the garlic turn brown. Add finely chopped tomatoes, red wine vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Simmer until the tomatoes are well cooked and pureed, about 10 minutes. Transfer sauce into a bowl and set aside.
Cook the zucchini noodles
- Use your spiralizer to make zucchini noodles, or open up your store-bought package. Finely slice shallots or red onions. Get your basil out and remove the leaves from the stems.
- Wash the skillet you used for the sauce, and start with 1 teaspoon olive oil on medium-high heat. Add zucchini noodles and cook 3-4 minutes, until starting to soften. Add finely sliced red onion, and continue to cook until the zucchini is cooked to your liking. Chop the basil leaves, or tear them by hand, and fold them into the hot zucchini noodles. Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer zucchini noodles into individual serving dishes, then spoon on the tomato sauce. Garnish with optional crumbled feta cheese. Sprinkle with extra black pepper and enjoy.
Enhance your meal
- For a complete meal, serve with a hearty green salad including cucumbers to help cool off the warming quality of the tomatoes. Consider a creamy ranch dressing with the salad, also for the cooling quality. You could also serve this with fresh Italian bread. The fresh tomato sauce would make a fantastic dipping sauce 🙂