Thursday, August 21, 2008

Not Your Mother's Noodle

Question: When is a noodle not a noodle?

Answer: When it's a zoodle!

Have you tried them yet? Zoodles, I mean. Coffee Mates, this is so cool, so tasty and SO fun, you've just got to give it a shot. Take yourself a nice firm zucchini and, by one method or another, cut it into julienne strips. You can even just slice off flat strips with a potato peeler. I used my trusty V-slicer mandoline with the small julienne blade for the results you see above. At first glance, the strips look just like the square Chinese noodles.

You can use this treatment on other veggies, too but the ubiquitous zucchini seems to get the most attention, perhaps because they end up flexible like cooked noodles rather than rigid like matchstick french fries. Which leads me to another question ... if julienned zucchinis are called zoodles, wouldn't julienned potatoes be called poodles? I'm just asking.

Anyway, you can use your zoodles pretty much any way you'd be inclined to use pasta. You can have them raw -- as I did in the salad pictured above -- or you can cook them as I did with the Sorta Spaghetti you see below.

I zoodled one zucchini that was something like 6 or 7 inches long. Should have picked up more zukes but how did I know? Anyway, I threw some of the zoodles in a salad bowl and added finely grated carrots, chopped smoked turkey, chopped tomato and a glob of the dilled yogurt mustard from yesterday. I forgot to add some minced onion but it didn't matter. That was my lunch and it was lovely.

By the way, about grating the carrots? What I had was baby carrots. Do you know how fast you can shred your knuckles when you're trying to grate those little old baby carrots? It's shocking, folks. Just shocking. Since I was not terribly enthused about shedding blood today, I thunk and thunk about it -- and came up with a brilliant solution. Got a good grip on the base of each baby carrot with my trusty needle-nose pliers and whizzed right through the grating session just like I knew what I was doing. When the carrot got reduced to what the pliers were gripping, I had myself a nice little nubbin to munch while moving on to the next carrot.

The balance of the zoodles went into my Sorta Spaghetti. "Sorta" because I didn't have the makings for spaghetti sauce so I made a quick batch of Whatever-It-Is in a small sauce pan on LOW heat. I mixed a cup of tomato-chipotle bouillon, 1/2 cup of yogurt and a cup of grated colby/jack cheese, stirring until the cheese was melted. Oh! I also added a half-teaspoon of Realemon juice because I read somewhere that vinegar or lemon juice prevents the melted cheese from getting stringy. It works.

On the other burner, I had sauteed some diced onion and chopped smoked turkey in a bit of olive oil. When the sauce was ready, I poured it over the onion/turkey mixture and let it simmer just a bit. Then I threw in the rest of the zoodles and let everything cook for maybe another couple of minutes. The zoodles were still crispy-tender when I turned off the heat.

Dang, I said to myself. I do believe I've made twice as much sauce as I needed. Then I had a second thought. Actually, the sauce was just right. I simply needed more zoodles. Ah well. We live and learn, don't we? I had all the zoodles for dinner -- bliss -- and tomorrow I'll add the bowl of leftover rice to the leftover sauce and, shazaam! More bliss. See how these things work out?

Just so you can doodle a bit with the zoodle gig, here's a link to the Health Discovery website and one of the forum pages. The Spirooli they're talking about is a kitchen gadget that spiral cuts veggies and fruits and is often used for making zoodles. Scroll down the page a bit to entry #8 and read the loooooong list of zoodle ideas offered by Aspire. I printed that part off for future reference for myself. Lots of good stuff there.

On a more serious note, our friend Bonnie went into the hospital today so they could do something about the painful problem she's been having with her back. Let's send plenty of healing mojo (aka prayer) her way. She's just been way too miserable for far too long. Time for fixin'!


John Bailey said...

With you on the mojo, Dee. I've been on the receiving end of the major mojos myself, and I know it helps.

Anonymous said...

Your zoodles sound yummy.

I will be saying prayers for Bonnie.

mz. em