Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Carbo Love

I love spaghetti. I am IN love with spaghetti. Love love love. 

As long as I can remember, whenever asked my favorite food I have replied, "Spaghetti and pickles," (not usually together...) One of my greatest culinary woes is that the amount of spaghetti I would gladly consume in a dream world is directly proportional to the amount of jeans sizes I would have to increase in the real world. 

"Welcome to the real world," complex carbohydrates said to me, condescendingly.

But I decided wasn't going to take it anymore. You're probably thinking this is going to be a post about spaghetti squash. You know, the yellow microwavable gourd that turns out spaghetti-like strands that countless people insist on covering in butter and brown sugar (when marinara is most definitely the better choice). Don't get me wrong, I love spaghetti squash. It was my go-to veggie pasta friend for years until I met someone new. And my new friend is pretty amazing. I call him... well actually I hadn't thought of a name yet... so for now we'll just say:

Julienne peeler!

This baby turns ANYTHING into pasta! So far, my favorites are papaya (more on that coming soon after I perfect a recipe...) and zucchini. And it's so fun to use! So here's a different "spaghetti squash" for you to try.  If you aren't lucky enough to have a julienne peeler, I got mine HERE, or you can (carefully) use a cheese grater making long swipes to make long strings. Note: Looking back at that link, the price has gone up a bit since I got my little amazon bundle of joy so hopefully it goes back down again soon.

So pasta lovers rejoice! I bring you Zucchini Spaghetti, two ways:

Numero Uno: Zucchini Puttanesca

The recipe with actual pasta noodles was inspired from something I remembered from, of all things, The Dr. Oz Show. You can see the original here.  The nice thing about it is that I already had everything needed in the fridge!

Here's what you'll need to serve two:
  • Two medium zucchini
  • Handful of spinach
  • Can of diced tomatoes
  • 5 or 6 black olives, sliced (or buy sliced olives but then they aren't as fun to eat off your fingers)
  • 1 can of tuna
  • A few fresh basil leaves
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Crushed red pepper, to taste
Here's how you make it:

  • Put that peeler to work! Make your zucchini look like this:
  • It's actually ok to use the seedy core of the zucchini as long as it stays in spaghetti form.
  • Toss the zucchini and spinach in a pan with some olive oil and garlic. Sautee.

  • Once it's shrunk down a bit and your zucchini is al dente, remove from the stove.
  • Add in the tuna, canned tomatoes, olives, and some red pepper to taste.
  • Drizzle on some more olive oil for garnish, and top with some actually julienned basil.  I'm still working on julienne-ing basil. The peeler won't do it! 
  • Enjoy with your favorite glass of something delicious!

Numero Dos: Zucchini Spaghetti Quinoa Bowl Extravaganza:

Ok, I don't know if this can actually be considered a recipe because I literally just threw some leftovers in a bowl to make it. You've still got your zucchini and tuna, but added in are seaweed, sesame oil, rice vinegar, some leftover tricolor quinoa, and a Japanese seasoning called Furikake.
If you're a seaweed fan, stay with me. If you're not, well then you have some fancy Italian "pasta" to tide you over.  Basically, what you do is toss together all the ingredients and sprinkle with some sesame oil swapped for the olive oil from before.  Furikake is really good if you haven't tried it and you're ok with your food tasting like the ocean. It's crunchy, salty, and sweet, which complemented the zucchini and fish perfectly.  You can find it at any Asian grocery store. It's also really good on eggs, rice, or even in a tuna sandwich! 

So au revoir until next time, my lovely Spatulettes! 

P.S. If you think of a good name for my Julienne Peeler you will totally win a prize. Tell me your best Julienne Peeler name in the comments!