Hey, What’s Cookin’?
Zucchini. It has an undeserved reputation of being the fruitcake of vegetables. Everyone gets them from friends and family; nobody is really sure what to do with them.
Baking them into bread and cookies is a popular way to get rid of them, but that’s surely not the most sensible way to treat such a healthy green vegetable!
Zucchini is a squash vegetable. Squashes come in two types: winter and summer. While both types share some similarities and benefits, there are a few major differences. Summer squash, including green zucchini and yellow squash, are lower in calories and much lower in natural sugars and starch, so they have lower scores on the glycemic index. All summer squash are technically picked before they fully ripen and become hardened. Summer squash are high in essential nutrients like potassium, manganese, and antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin A.
While zucchini admittedly don’t have a whole lot of flavor on their own, they can add vegetable volume to stir-fries, soups, and salads, and will help fill you up without a lot of extra calories. And given the right herbs/seasonings, zucchini can really shine on its own, as in the following dish. Seriously–give this dish a try–I think you’ll be amazed at how good it is! And if your Rule of 1 change this summer is to eat vegetables at each meal, this recipe is gonna help you get there for sure!
Zucchini Zoodles with Basil
- 4 organic, young medium zucchini (approx 1 1/2 lbs.) washed, skins left on
- 1 tablespoon pastured butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, chopped
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, sliced thin
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional, but recommended)
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Using a spiralizer, cut the zucchini into zucchini noodles (AKA “zoodles). If you do not have a spiralizer, use a vegetable peeler to shave the zucchini lengthwise into ribbons. If you use a vegetable peeler, peel down to the seeded core and chop the core into rounds to add to the dish.
- Place a very large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add butter and olive oil.
- When the pan is hot, add zucchini and garlic to pan and toss frequently, cooking until tender, only 2-3 minutes. Do NOT be tempted to OVERCOOK–the zucchini should retain its bright color and crunch.
- Remove pan from heat. Add salt, pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes; gently toss until zucchini is coated. Taste and correct seasonings if needed.
- Spoon the zucchini into a serving bowl. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top. Serve immediately.