Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Veggie Noodles with Thai Peanut Sauce


I realize I may be a bit behind the times here for anyone who is more experienced in the low-carb thing, but I am recently so excited about the idea of veggie pasta! For a while I've known about spaghetti squash as a good pasta substitute, but I've also discovered that there are a ton more options out there for substituting veggies instead of high-carb pastas and rice. Using a julienne peeler (or if you have time and patience you can do this with a knife) you simply thin slice any number of veggies to create easy to eat, super healthy carb alternatives. At first I wondered if they would need to be cooked somehow to make them soft and flexible enough to eat. You probably could do this with some recipes, such as with a hot pasta dish, but the thin sliced vegetables are just great uncooked with any number of dressings or sauces. (When I served this to my husband he was convinced that I had mixed in the veggie pasta with real pasta - I had to convince him that it was actually all vegetables!) My mind is reeling with the possibilities, and I can promise you will be seeing more of this from me in the weeks to come!

With this recipe, I used a favorite Thai peanut sauce that we've traditionally used as a pasta salad sauce. It's full of flavor, with just enough spice and tang, and the peanut butter makes it creamy and filling. For an even heartier meal with more protein, you could serve this salad topped with a fish fillet, or mix in some tune or shredded chicken.

A couple of tips about making the noodles ... Like I said, a julienne peeler  seems to be the best way to go for making these quickly and simply (or there are also more fancy contraptions out there that I haven't yet invested in, but that I may need to start putting on my wish list!), but you could also get a similar result using a knife. If using a julienne peeler, watch out because man, those things are sharp! Also, for the zucchini, I cut my slices starting with the peel until I got down to the seedy part in the center. The centers didn't work as well to create the long slices, though. Don't throw them out, though! I saved the centers and then used them for baking (as you'll see in an upcoming Chocolate Zucchini Banana Bread!).

Thai Veggie Noodles
4 SERVINGS 
PREP: 25 minutes           COOK: 0 minutes            READY IN: 25 minutes


  SIMPLE         HEALTHY      YUM
pic name       pic name      pic name

INGREDIENTS


  •  For the sauce:
    • 1/2 cup peanut butter
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 2 tablespoons lime juice
    • 2 tablespoons molasses
    • 3 teaspoons soy sauce
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
    • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • For the "noodles:"
    •  4-6 medium zucchini
    • 3-4 medium carrots
  • Toppings: peanuts, diced green onions, minced cilantro

DIRECTIONS


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients until they are smooth and well combined.
  2. To make the noodles, using a julienne peeler, peel off long strips of the zucchini and carrots resembling long pasta. (See the head notes for tips.)
  3. Combine the zucchini and carrots in a large bowl. Toss with the peanut sauce right before serving. Top with crushed peanuts, green onions, and cilantro.

NUTRITION FACTS



    2 cup serving    322 calories   17.9 g fat   31.9 g carbs    14.6 g protein    16 g sugar   

Enjoy!

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