I had an amazing visit with an old friend in LA last week. We laughed, hung out, and ate delightful food. Among the fantastic things I am taking away from that trip is the new “pasta” idea. My friend JJ and her husband have been cutting down on the carbs in their life but, still loves a good pasta dish. Her solution is “veggie pasta” which is really just thinly sliced veggies that mimic pasta. She used a regular vegetable peeler to make long strips of zucchini and eggplant into “noodles” for a dish. It was so good! I didn’t even miss the pasta. I did however wonder what would happen if I used a julienne peeler instead. So off to the store I went to purchase my new OXO 3 piece peeler set that included the lovely little gizmo for turning eggplant into thin “pasta”.
The Pomodoro was not from scratch this time but, it was filled to the brim with wholesome goodness. I used an organic Pomodoro sauce I bought at Whole Foods as the base. Then I added asparagus, red onion, crimini mushrooms, kale, zucchini, garlic, and eggplant chunks to the sauce. Then I used the handy dandy peeler to turn the remaining eggplant and zucchini into stripes. I added a little olive oil to a pan and sauteed the “pasta” until sauce.
It was the easiest meal I’ve made since I came to California. I literally threw all the veggies into a pot with the sauce and allow to cook down for 20 minutes. While the sauce is cooking I add some olive oil to a pan and sauteed my “noodles” in small batches. Once they are nice and soft they are ready to go. You can add cheese if you like or if vegetarian isn’t your style feel free to add shrimp, chicken, or red meat. But otherwise that’s it. That’s all. Viola! Dinner in 20 minutes. SOOO good. So easy and all vegetarian!! Love it!
EGGPLANT & ZUCCHINI POMODORO
2-3 large Zucchini (2 C cut into stripes and 1/2-1 C cut into tiny chunks for the sauce)
1 large Eggplant (1 C cut into stripes and the remainder sliced into small chunks for sauce)
1 bottle Organic Pomodoro Sauce (2-3 C)
1 C Asparagus – chopped
1/2 C Red Onions
1/2 C Crimini Mushrooms
1/3 C Chopped Garlic
1 Large White Onion
1 C Kale
1 C Broccolini
2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tbsp Onion Powder
1/2 C Water
3 Tbsp Olive Oile
1 Small Jalapeno (optional)
1. Use the julienne peeler to create the noodles. (I personally used a regular peeler to take off the skins of my veggies first. Some people like the skin so it is not required). Set Noodles aside in a bowl with a little olive oil, garlic powder, a pinch of salt, and place in the fridge.
2. The sauce: Add the Pomodoro sauce, water, kale, onions, garlic and dried seasonings to a pot. Allow the to cook down and soften (about 5-8 mins). Add the remaining vegetables except the “noodles”. Allow to cook for another 5 mins and turn off. Taste and adding more seasoning if desired.
3. Noodles: In a large frying pan add the olive oil on low. Wait until the oil heats up. Cook the noodles in small batches to allow them to cook evenly. When they start becoming translucent remove and place into the sauce or on the serving platter.
4. Add Romano, Asiago, or Parmesan cheese and serve hot.
Zucchini: Vitamin C, B2, B3, B6, B1, Manganese, Potassium, Zinc, Folate, Fiber, Magnesium, Vitamin A, Phosphorus, Vitamin K, Copper, Protein, Omega 3. An excellent source of manganese and vitamin C as well as a good source of vitamin A, summer squash like Zucchini provides us with a great combination of conventional antioxidant nutrients. The list of nutrients in summer squash related to healthy blood sugar regulation is a long one. Metabolism of sugar in the body requires ample presence of many B-complex vitamins, and most of these B-complex vitamins are found in valuable amounts in summer squash. Included here are the B-vitamins folate, B6, B1, B2, B3, and choline. Also important in blood sugar metabolism are the minerals zinc and magnesium, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, and all of these nutrients are provided by summer squash.
Asparagus: Vitamin K, Folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, B Vitamins (B1- thiamin, B2 –Riboflavin, B6, B3- Niacin, dietary fiber, protein, Copper, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc, Magnesium, Selenium, Calcium. This low calorie food is great for heart health, a natural diuretic, great for digestion and stomach health, and reproductive health. Vitamin K helps maintain bone health, blood clotting, and full of antioxidants. Selenium is a great antioxidant. Folate helps with cardiovascular health and fights birth defects.
Eggplant: Fiber, Manganese, Potassium, Folate, Vitamin K, Copper, B6, B3, and Magnesium. Vitamin K is a little known vitamin crucial to our health. Made up of three different forms, this group of vitamins is vital to blood clotting, bone strength/health by regulating calcium, liver functions, prevents calcification of arteries, helps regulate blood sugar, a powerful anti-oxidant on par with Vitamin E, and is useful to women experiencing heavy periods.