By Steph Farrar
I'm sure I'm not the only one, but if I could eat pasta for every single meal, I would. Even brown rice pasta, millet, farro, barley, couscous, quinoa, whatever. As long as it's a carbohydrate that I can combine with a sauce or fresh ingredients, I want it.
So when I began my hunt for waistline-reducing-carb-free meals, zucchini noodles appeared to be all the rage. And now I know why! I'm even embarrassed to admit I want to buy this spiralizer but instead settled onthis new little gadget. I'm happy with my multi-use mandolin / grater, but I am envious of the lovely zucchini curls created by the spiralizer. Who am I kidding? I'm totally gonna buy one.
Sierra's incredible Spaghetti Squash is another mind-blowing carb-free option by the way. I'm going to post a few of my favorite alternatives as well, like rosemary-caper tuna salad in red peppers, paleo lettuce wraps, my favorite meatballs, and a Mustard Seed Cafe rip-off turkey burger salad. All to come.
So as you can see, my mandolin makes straight noodles vs. the curly pasta-like ones. They still taste and look great, but it's just not the same. It'll never be the same. Either way, zucchini is a very wet vegetable, so you need to let them sweat. I like to put the cut veggies into a colander over the sink, add a little salt and let them sweat for about 30 minutes. Don't add too much salt though. They really soak it up.
While the sweating is happening, chop everything else. You can make this dish vegetarian, add rotisserie chicken during the stir-fry step, or add a pulled pork like I did. I can't claim the pork though. It was a gift from my friend Sarah. It was so good, I must to attempt to remake it. You truly could add any vegetable or protein to the noodles and sauce. This is a great basic recipe to start from.
If you're skinny, don't give a sh*t, or didn't have a baby this year, eat pasta instead.
Zucchini Noodles with Pulled Pork and Lime
3 zucchinis, sliced on a julienne mandolin, or spiralized into noodles
2-3 carrots, sliced in 1/4 inch pieces
1 red pepper, medium dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp thyme, cilantro, and/or parley - I would use all three if if you have them
2 tbsp chopped scallions
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
juice of half a lime, plus wedges for serving
fresh ground pepper and Kosher salt
optional: 1 heaping cup of pulled pork, chopped rotisserie chicken, or any cooked protein
Heat oil over medium heat in large skillet or wok.
Add garlic and cook briefly without browning.
Add red pepper and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
Add carrot and cook for additional 2 minutes.
Add pulled pork, cooked chicken, or protein and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Add spices and scallions, cook for a minute.
Finally add zucchini noodles, lime, fish sauce and pepper and cook for a few additional minutes.
Salt to taste and serve with lime wedges.