Sunday, January 18, 2015

W83: Pasta Alternatives

 I love pasta!

And, carbs in general...

But, I am always looking for ways
to incorporate more veggies into my diet,
so this week I thought I would check out
some healthy alternatives to pasta: 


zucchini noodles
and
spaghetti squash.
 ________________________________________
How to make zucchini noodles:


You'll need at least one zucchini
and a spiral slicer (or mandolin).
Twist the spiral slicer as you go
to get these awesome "noodles"
Do not be alarmed by what remains...
I cooked my "noodles" up with
garlic and sun-dried tomatoes.
Saute the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and
olive oil over medium to low heat.

I set some aside so that I could cook the "noodles"
directly in the pan but still have some for the spaghetti
squash dish as well.
Cook the "noodles" with the garlic and sun-dried
tomatoes for just a few minutes, stirring often.
_________________________________________
How to cook spaghetti squash:

Choose a small to medium sized squash.
One squash can feed several people.
Poke holes into the skin like you would a potato
then bake the entire squash at 350* for
about 30-40 minutes.

Carefully use a knife to split the squash in half.

Scoops out the seeds and gooey middle.

Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil
then place face down in pan to bake
for another 30 minutes or so at 375*
The strands should be crunchy
yet easily separate from the sides with a fork.

Scoop out all of the "noodles"
but be forewarned...
one squash produces A LOT!
I combined the "noodles" with the garlic and sun-dried
tomatoes from earlier.  It only takes a few minutes.
You don't want to overcook the squash
as it will become mushy.
Here's the finished product!
Garlic-Tomato Spaghetti Squash & Zucchini Noodles with
Baked Tilapia topped with grated Parmesan.

Verdict:
The zucchini noodles were softer and reminded me of fettucine.
They didn't have a whole lot of flavor on their own,
but picked up the flavors of the tomatoes nicely.
These could definitely be used in place of pasta
in a lot of different kinds of dishes.  
They have the right texture.

The spaghetti squash noodles were crunchier
and reminded me of spaghetti or angel hair pasta.
They were a little sweet which was only amplified
by the tomatoes.  I would definitely make this dish again
though I don't think spaghetti squash could be used
in just any pasta dish like the zucchini.


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