Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Zucchini Masquerading as Noodles

Looks like a delicious bowl of meaty, tomatoe-y pasta, right? I think not!
The gluten-free kick does not seem to be going away. Obviously we know now that a surprising majority of people are allergic to it to some degree, and now wheat is getting a bad rap and everyone is jumping on-board the gluten-free wagon. This makes me very sad because noodles and bread are some of the most versatile and budget-friendly foods out there. I also happen to believe that in moderation these carbs, while it's true they cannot be considered Health Food, will do you no harm and don't need to be feared. BUT since that kind of thinking can get a person rebuked these days I'll stay away from that and tell you why the gluten-free trend is a good thing. *Insert big dazzling smile here*

Avoiding gluten and carbs in your diet is an excellent way to get more creative in the kitchen, and to learn how to enjoy food in a new way. 
 Is it challenging? Oh heck yes. 
Will you feel like throwing all your pots and pans out the front door in a protest to cooking now and then? Most definitely. 

But if you can keep your emotions under control (and can lend yourself to logging a LOT of web time searching inspiration and recipes) you'll expand your horizons and become a better cook. Boy, all this just to introduce Exhibit A: Zucchini masquerading as noodles. Observe:

Pretty convincing, isn't it?
Now, unfortunately, I also have to sell you on another idea here. The Mandoline. If you've been hiding under a rock and think I'm talking about a musical instrument, allow me to enlighten you: A Mandoline is actually a cooking tool similar to a grater. Often it just has one straight blade for slicing vegetables to a certain thickness/thinness (see: potato chips). Sometimes, though, you can get different attachments that can cut your vegetables julienne (see: french fries) or even thinner, like.... noodle width? (see: below).
If you tilt your head to the left, it's a monster!
 A Mandoline is a very useful kitchen tool, and while it may not seem necessary it can sure save you a lot of time, and allow you to try new recipes like this one. They're not even that expensive! At your regular  grocery store they probably have one or two types for $10-20. As far as quality goes, they will always be super sharp but what you want is one with a blade that can adjust in thickness. A knob is best, but there's also the option of removable plates - this is probably the one that would come with the julienne or crinkle-cut (yes, crinkle cut!) attachments. I really think you should go buy a Mandoline... I really do. From the bottom of my heart. If you're having trouble justifying it, here are some ideas:
- Quickly slices cucumbers for a cucumber salad
- Thinly slice potatoes and beets for homemade chips
- Cut long, thing slices of carrot for coleslaw
- Obviously, cutting zucchini/squash to disguise themselves as spaghetti!
- OR.... cut a zucchini lengthwise and use it as a LASAGNA NOODLE! Say whaaaat?? You heard me. (Read me?)

This was a fantastically delicious and easy summer dinner. It's late summer here in BC, so if you have a garden your probably about to suffocate under a pile of zucchini and tomatoes, so... get your butt to the store and buy some Ricotta!
1) Stir some crushed garlic and salt into your ricotta
2) Slices tomatoes (don't try them on the Mandoline, please - it'll be a massacre) and zucchini (I don't care how good your knife skills are...the Mandolines skills are way better)
3) Stack, and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with more salt!

Fresh, healthy, cheap, filling lasagna!

1 comment:

  1. That looks delightful! And I need to borrow that mandolin!