I'm always looking to add more vegetables in a way that won't make me feel like I'm eating a salad for every meal. One of my newest favorite ways to do so is making zucchini (courgette) pasta. I don't have a spiralizer, mandoline, or even a julienne peeler, but it hasn't been difficult to use whatever tools I already own. In this case, all I need is a vegetable peeler and a knife. To make zucchini pasta, use your vegetable peeler to create long ribbons lengthwise down the zucchini. Once you're done, use a knife to slice them into thin strands. Cut them thinner for "angel hair" or thicker for "fettuccine". You can cook them like regular zucchini or eat them raw.
Below are a couple of dishes I've made so far. They both happen to be vegan, but feel free to add a poached egg, grilled chicken, or my favorite, tinned sardines!
This is a vegan version of japchae using half zucchini pasta and half noodles.
Vegan Japchae with Zucchini Pasta gluten free, vegan
- one bunch rice or sweet potato noodles - one zucchini's worth of pasta - mushrooms, sliced - half an onion, sliced - spinach - 1-2 tbsp soy sauce/aminos - 1-2 tbsp sesame oil - toasted sesame seeds
Heat up cast iron or frying pan with a teaspoon of oil and cook onion and mushrooms. Add spinach and cook until just wilted. Remove cooked vegetables and set aside in a bowl. In a kettle or saucepan, boil enough water to cover rice noodles. Once boiling, remove from heat and add noodles until softened but not cooked all the way through (or they'll get soggy and fall apart), then drain. Using the same cast iron or frying pan, add a little bit of vegetable/coconut oil at medium heat. Add drained noodles, cooked vegetables, and zucchini pasta. Pour over soy sauce/aminos and sesame oil and toss together. Season with salt if needed (such as if you use low sodium soy sauce like I do), then top off with sesame seeds.
Vegan Farmers Market Pasta Salad gluten free, vegan, grain free, raw
- one zucchini's worth of pasta - heirloom tomato, diced - half an avocado - purslane pesto (recipe below)
In a medium bowl, mash avocado into a smooth paste. Add pesto (to taste, almost an equal amount to avocado) and thoroughly mix together. Add raw zucchini pasta and toss to combine. Top off with diced tomato and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
- 1/2 c purslane leaves - 1 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast - 3-4 tbsp almonds, walnuts, or pine nuts - 3-4 tbsp olive oil - 1 tsp garlic/garlic powder - 1-2 tbsp lemon juice - salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a food processor and grind until smooth. Use your judgement in seasoning. If if needs more flavor, add a bit of salt. If it's missing some acidity, add more lemon juice. Raw garlic will have a sharper taste that tastes better after mellowing out in the fridge a day or so.