Thursday, November 12, 2015

Zucchini Noodle Pasta

Many people will tell you they do not like a certain ingredient in life. They are all liars. I am serious and take a moment to hear me out. I always thought I hated cauliflower. I never ate it when people put out veggie trays. Then I started eating healthy and thought maybe I should try it roasted and it is cheap to make so if I hate it I will throw it out. I love roasted cauliflower. It was not that I hated the ingredient it was that I hated the preparation method. This is what I am saying when I say people are liars. You hate tomatoes? It maybe because you do not like the way someone made them or you do not like them raw. I have proven this recently by using my husband as a guinea pig. These zucchini noddles are the perfect example. He does not like raw zucchini and he does not like it roasted. Do you know what he does like or rather love. These noodles!

Go out on a limb and try something new. Like this delicious dish. You never know what you thought you hated you may actually love.

What you will need-
 1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup of mushrooms
3/4 cup onions
3 garlic cloves
1 pound of ground half turkey/half beef mix
5 zucchinis
3/4 a jar of pasta sauce
1 cup of tomatoes
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper to taste
Mrs. Dash to taste 
Sprinkle of mozzarella cheese

You want to start by cooking your mushrooms and onions for a few minutes to break them down. Stove should be on medium/high. Dice your onion and mushroom to bite size pieces and toss in the pan with the olive oil. While that is cooking down peel your garlic/chop it and throw that in the mix. Make sure you season with salt/pepper/Mrs. dash as you add each thing to the pan!

While everyone is getting happy in the pan start to use your zucchini or "zoodle" maker to make your noodles. I actually use my device right over the pan so they can start to cook down. The way this "noodle" maker works is you hold the zucchini like a pencil and use the device like a pencil sharpener. It is a ton of work but it is a great and healthy alternative to regular noodles. I cannot wait to get my food processor to see how that differs from this method. I cooked this down for about ten minutes and covered it with a pan lid for the last 5 minutes to really steam the mix.

I cannot stress this part anymore. The first time I made these "noodles" my sauce was insanely watery. When the zucchini cooks it gives off all of its water. You need to take your pan and dump the zucchini/mushroom/onion/garlic mixture into a colander to drain out all the liquid. Then take your pan and put it back on the stove to medium/high heat again.

Now it is time to cook that meat mixture until it is no longer pink. In this picture it is almost done. You can use your same pan you just used to cook the "noodle" mixture. I like to use a mix of turkey and beef as turkey can get too dry. I want the health benefits of the turkey though as it is leaner so a mix is the perfect answer. You can always use just turkey or beef. My local grocery has it pre-mixed which is fantastic. Another thing is that you can drain out the grease but I did not as it is not give off a lot to have to drain.Make sure you season your meat really well I used my salt/pepper/Mrs.dash.

Time to add your sauce to the meat mixture and let is simmer for about 3 minutes. This is when I add the fennel, parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes and tomatoes. 

The last step is to add your zucchini noodles/mushroom/onion and garlic mix back in the pan with the meat mix and sauce. We want to slowly mix everything together and let it heat back up on medium heat for about 3-4 minutes.

This is when you toss a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese on top and try not to burn your mouth as you eat this dish. It is so good and my husband who we thought used to not like zucchini proved the world wrong about not liking ingredients.

Until next time~
XoXo Emily 

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