Wednesday, December 31, 2014

How to Make Zucchini Spaghetti with a Mandolin

Here at Eat Thrive Heal, we're all about healing with food.  Since most diseases are associated with inflammation in the body, we're eating to reduce inflammation, which means that we eat the foods that are anti-inflammatory and we avoid the foods that are inflammatory.  (See the green box below for a list of many of the diseases caused by inflammation.)

As it turns out, an anti-inflammation diet means gluten-free.  So, as much as we love it, wheat pasta is out.

What options do we have to replace it?  There are some acceptable gluten-free pastas available, of course, particularly those made from quinoa (available at most health food stores or Whole Foods).  We also like using spaghetti squash--just roast it up and scrape out the spaghetti shaped strands (see here for recipe).  One other really great choice is to use noodles cut from vegetables.

Zucchini is the perfect vegetable to make "noodles" from.

Special "noodle" cutting tools for vegetables.  Mandolin on the left, Veggetti above on the right, and a protective chainmail safety glove in the forefront.  

Zucchini "noodles" cut on a mandolin.  
In the following video, our very own, Chef Hallie, demonstrates how easy it is to make zucchini "noodles" on a mandolin.

You can find a mandolin in most cooking supply stores or order one online.  They run between $20 and $40.  Importantly, be sure to get yourself a chainmail safety glove.  These run from about $15 to over $100 if you buy a steel glove, which is really not necessary. Having a glove, however, is essential to using a mandolin quickly and easily.  If you have one, you'll feel like using the mandolin often, if you don't, you won't.

There is also an easy to use affordable new tool called the Veggetti.  In the video below, Chef Hallie demonstrates easy curly noodle making with the Veggetti. 

Cook the zucchini "noodles" in a little butter or olive oil in a saute pan.  
Important--  Once you have your noodles, do not cook them in boiling water like regular pasta or you'll end up with limp, soggy, water-logged noodles.  Instead, heat a little grass-fed butter or olive oil in a saute pan and put the noodles in to cook for just two or three minutes until the veggies are tender.  

Veggie pastas taste great with traditional tomato-based sauces, pestos or butter and just about any other sauce usually used on pasta.  They toss up beautifully with other veggies, olives, chicken, salmon and most other traditional pasta ingredients.  In fact, you can pretty much just substitute them in almost any of your favorite pasta recipes.

Zucchini pasta sauteed in pastured butter with peas, minced fresh shallot and kalamata olives.  Season with Italian herb mix, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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