Garlicky-Herbed Zucchini Noodles

Buttery, sweet, caramelized, warm, flavorful… and yet equally, mellow and mild as a summer squash is. 🙂 🙂 🙂 (I also thoroughly recommend with Basil Pine Nut and Red Onion Pesto and some additional red chile flakes of your choice.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh zucchini noodles (I used two 24-oz frozen bags, via Green Giant brand in my local grocery store)
  • 1 Herbed Garlicky Lemon Olive Oil cube (I suggest mint in particular)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • Additional water to cook if needed

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Yields: 2 servings

Preparation:

  1. Melt olive oil cube in frying pan on low heat, then add zucchini noodles to the pan.
  2. Let cook for on low heat for about 3 minutes:
    • If using frozen zucchini noodles, KEEP HEAT ON LOW (as the oil will pop) until the ice has melted. Drain excess water into a small heat-proof bowl nearby. Then gradually increase heat to medium high and sauté.
    • If using fresh zucchini noodles, gradually increase heat to medium high and sauté, Adding about 1/2 cup of water to prevent excess caramelization.
  3. Continue sautéing on medium-high heat until the noodles are completely softened and/or excess water has evaporated, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in garlic powder, plate, and enjoy. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Yasmine’s notes:

As this was good, SO good, that I even took a picture of myself for how HAPPY I felt eating this…

(Particularly with pesto and some extra red arbol chile flakes for some heat on top… <3)

Truth is, I don’t actually recommend this dish to you if you’re a newbie at switching away from starch, sucrose, and dairy.

I personally had to take time to veer away from a taste for grain-pasta noodles being ingrained in me. (Pun intended.) In fact, when I very first tried zucchini noodles? I hated them! And I promptly wrote them off as a feeble attempt to replace actual pasta: after all, they were hardly like what I was still used to back then— as zucchini, they didn’t have as much density, hardness, and al dente CHEW, let alone sweet, sugary, starchy warmth where they are a watery-prime, milder culinary vegetable at that.

It had to take me a gradual shift over the years that would follow, but a solid one, to change and understand greater nuance and beauty overall in starchless-produce as foods. Going away from where I was, I’d say, practically trained to crave nothing but the same old wheat EVERYWHERE. (i.e. Lasagna, rotini, tortellini, spaghetti, linguine, capellini, manicotti, ravioli, tagliatelle, vermicelli, farfalle and orzo, up to spaetzle, ramen, lo mien, soba, and udon… WHATEVER name and shape you give it in any language? It’s all just wheat. Maybe with just a little egg added for binding, depending on which product you try.) And when that’s what you’re used to for YEARS, in so much abundance around you— you do tend to start off with a preference for just “#sweet and starchy” as an experience.

But all the same, in eschewing all starch, it has since opened my tastebuds to so much more variation and greater richness of depth in flavors. And straight up, my pictured happiness above doesn’t lie: these zucchini noodles are chewy, soft, warm, caramelized in their own way… and with plenty of capacity for pairing with delicious sauces and fatty, creamy pestos. AND one little bowl of this, with about a hundred times more nutrients than grain noodles, is enough to fill you for a good 3 hours. An excellent breakfast or snack indeed!

So, if I am to speak directly to you with my own experience, I say: do try this dish. Zucchini noodles are popular these days (and thankfully pre-made for easy prep) for a reason. But don’t blame yourself if it’s not for you at first. In time, come back around after you’ve tried more and more of these recipes. What didn’t draw you in before, you might just come to appreciate with a greater depth later.

It’s exactly what’s happened for me.


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