zucchini pasta with coconut cream sauce.

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One of my favorite ways to use zucchini is in place of pasta. I find that grain-based pastas (even gluten-free ones) aren't always the best option for me... it's worth exploring for yourself, too, if you happen to notice that grains cause unusual digestive stuff and/or mood stuff and/or skin stuff. Everyone responds a little differently to them, and knowing which ones you can tolerate is valuable. Better to know than be surprised by a chance encounter, right? :) 

zucchini pasta angle

Zucchini, in general, is a pretty safe food. I've yet to come across an allergy to it (although, if you have one, please leave a note below: I'd love to know about it!). It's a great swap for starchier grain pastas because it has a fair amount of fiber and density, which means it holds its noodle shape well (without being so tough that you have to fight with it to break it down). :) Sweet potato, for instance, is also a great noodle swap, but it's difficult to eat raw -- for the stomach and the tastebuds. 

I decided to cook this batch of zucchini pasta, as one might cook spiralized sweet potato. Nutritionally, steaming doesn't change a ton. Many of the nutrients remain intact and available to the body when heated at this low temperature, and because the food doesn't touch the water, the nutrients aren't leached out. If you do notice, though, with these or any other veggies you're steaming, that the water under your steamer basket becomes colored, that's a sign that some valuable nourishing goodness might be escaping. Feel free to save the water and drink it on its own as a tonic (yum!), or save it for use in soups or smoothies*.

*if you plan to use your nutrient-drip broth, ensure you thoroughly wash your veggies and aim to use organic whenever possible. Otherwise, nutrient-drop broth = pesticide soup. Not ideal.

This batch in particular, I steamed for a couple of minutes, then immediately doused in cold water to stop the cooking process. (Similar to blanching, but using steam instead of boiling.)

zucchini pasta

The creaminess that the coconut milk lends is awesome in place of a heavy cream-based alfredo sauce; in fact, with the spices and onions added in, you can barely taste the coconuttiness. You could, of course, play with the spices and make it a little more Thai/Indian curry-inspired if that was speaking to you. I'd add in a little curry, some turmeric and perhaps a little cumin to make this a little spicier. This version, as it stands, feels a little standard alfredo to me. Yum. ;) 

The sauce is also uber-quick to whip up, so you can save time and blend it while your zucchini cooks.

Order of operation:

1. Lay out all of your ingredients, including those for sauce, on your work surface. Open coconut milk, peel onion, etc. Prepare a large colander in the sink and a large mixing bowl nearby.
2. Wash zucchini.
3. Place steamer basket in a medium to large pot and fill with water to the bottom of the basket. Cover with a lid. Bring water to a boil while you move onto your next step.
4. Turn your zucchini into pasta, using a spiralizer or potato peeler.
5. Once water comes to a boil, place zucchini pasta and peas into the basket and re-cover with the lid. Set a timer for 2 minutes.
6. Heat oil in a skillet until shimmering. Add onion and garlic and cook 3-4 minutes.
7. Transfer to a blender and add all remaining sauce ingredients except sliced leeks into the blender. Blend for ~30 seconds until smooth.
8. Remove pasta and peas from heat and pour into the colander in the sink. Immediately turn on cold water to 'blanch'.
9. Thoroughly drain pasta - pat dry if needed - and transfer to your mixing bowl.
10. Add sauce to noodles and gently toss with salad tongs to coat. Serve!

How long did that take? 15 minutes? You're a rockstar. Adding elements of raw food into your day can be tremendously beneficial -- and look how much time you saved, not having to wait for pasta to cook! ;) Eating plants is so rad. 

Enjoy!

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zucchini pasta with coconut cream sauce
Yields 2
A grain-free vegan alfredo alternative.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 medium zucchini, spiralized into noodles
  2. 1/2 cup coconut milk
  3. 1 tsp olive oil
  4. 1 medium white onion
  5. 1 leek, thinly sliced
  6. 1/2 cup green peas
  7. 2 cloves garlic
  8. 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  9. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. 1. Lay out all of your ingredients, including those for sauce, on your work surface. Open coconut milk, peel onion, etc. Prepare a large colander in the sink and a large mixing bowl nearby.
  2. 2. Wash zucchini.
  3. 3. Place steamer basket in a medium to large pot and fill with water to the bottom of the basket. Cover with a lid. Bring water to a boil while you move onto your next step.
  4. 4. Turn your zucchini into pasta, using a spiralizer or potato peeler.
  5. 5. Once water comes to a boil, place zucchini pasta and peas into the basket and re-cover with the lid. Set a timer for 2 minutes.
  6. 6. Heat oil in a skillet until shimmering. Add onion and garlic and cook 3-4 minutes.
  7. 7. Transfer to a blender and add all remaining ingredients except sliced leeks into the blender. Blend for ~30 seconds until smooth.
  8. 7. Remove pasta and peas from heat and pour into the colander in the sink. Immediately turn on cold water to 'blanch'.
  9. 8. Thoroughly drain pasta - pat dry if needed - and transfer to your mixing bowl.
  10. 9. Add sauce to noodles and gently toss with salad tongs to coat. Sprinkle on leeks and season with salt and pepper.
  11. 10. Serve!
From The Ground Up Wellness http://fromthegroundupwellness.com/
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Posted in dinner, gluten-free recipes, health coaching info, homepage featured, kid-friendly recipes, lunch, recipes, side dishes

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