Zucchini Noodles, AKA Zoodles, are one of the first things any newcomer to the Paleo lifestyle learns to make. It’s not hard to see why. Zucchini noodles look like green strands of spaghetti. From a distance, some people might even mistake them for real pasta. They especially appeal to people who have a lifelong love-affair with pasta. That’s right, I’m looking at you my Italian paisanos. I’ve had a few Italian friends joyously shriek when I first introduced them to Zucchini noodles! Then again, just about every nationality loves a good bowl of pasta. There’s something so satisfying about plunging your fork deep into a bowl of hot noodles, twirling round and round, collecting strands of spiraled dough, drawing them out, only to discover that they were longer than expected and are now precariously dangling in the void directly beneath your gaping mouth. Whoa. I think I just caught myself in a moment there.
I need not remind you of the boundless adverse health effects associated with refined-flour pasta. Sure you can get the gluten-free and whole-wheat varieties, but these aren’t much better for you. Instead, why not try a bowl of Zoodles. Who knows, you might really like them. You might even trick your mind into thinking your eating spaghetti and ditch some of those cravings you’ve been having. Isn’t that why you’re looking for a zucchini noodle recipe to begin with? In any case, I can assure you that they are delicious and very simple to make. There are a number of different Zucchini noodle recipes out there. This is one of my favorites. It’s simple, flavorful and uses beautiful shrimp (which gives a nice pink colour against the green), a bit of garlic and some chili flakes – not to mention bacon! Most people will have all of the ingredients already stocked in their pantry so there may not even be a need to venture to the market.
There are, however, 3 tips when it comes to making Zucchini noodles. These are not always discussed in the blogosphere – paleo or otherwise – but they are absolutely vital to the preparation of a very good bowl of Zoodles. Lucky for you, I’m going to share them with you here. I know. I’m a great guy!
#1. You MUST sprinkle the raw noodles with a pinch of salt, toss to coat and set in a colander for 1 hr. This will drain all of the excess liquid that is stored in the zucchini itself. If you have ever made a bowl of Zucchini noodles and tried to top it with a hot sauce, such as a bolognese or pomodoro, you will have undoubtedly experienced what I like to call ‘Zucchini sweat’. Not good. To avoid diluting your dish with this bitter and unpleasant liquid, be sure to follow this step.
#2. You do NOT need an expensive spiralizer like THIS ONE to make Zucchini noodles. Though, if you want to go that route, I’m not judging you. I just happen to think that your hard-earned money can be more wisely spent on important things, like bacon! I got my spiralizer from the dollar store for a whopping $3 CAD (that’s like $1.80 for my American amigos down south!) Be forewarned, however, the cheaper models do not work as well on harder vegetables like sweet potato or carrot.
#3. Make enough zucchini noodles for leftovers because you’ll want some the next day! They keep rather well in the fridge over night, but don’t keep them for much longer than that. Chances are you’ll love them so much that they won’t last through the night anyways.
Give it a go and let me know what you think in the comments below.