Pasta is probably one of the most comforting dishes at all times and whenever I decide on cooking and having pasta kids get very excited. This spiralized zucchini pasta dish comes with a little twist as it contains no real pasta making it a guilt-free meal. It has low carbs content and it is gluten-free.
Spiralized zucchini pasta is also known as zucchini noodles, zoodles or here in our household, they are curly courgette pasta. So many names ;-)!
How to make spiralized zucchini pasta
To spiralize the zucchini or any vegetable you will need a spiralizer. And this is what is coming out of few courgettes that have spiralized, :-)) they look cool and really pretty don’t they?
What vegetables can be spiralized?
Most root vegetables can be spiralized:
- sweet potatoes,
Non-root vegetables that can be spiralized are
- butternut squash
- courgettes or zucchini
nutrition facts – spiralized vegetables vs wheat pasta
Just to get an idea what 1 serving of wheat pasta provides compared to 1 serving of spiralized veggies :
- 140g wheat spaghetti provides 221 calories; 44g carbs, fat 1.3g
- 250g spiralized zucchini provides 42 calories; 7.7g carbs, fat 0.7g
- 190g spiralized carrot provides 77.9 calories; 19g carbs, fat 0.4g
- 150g spiralized beetroot provides 64.5 calories; 15g carbs, fat 0.3g
- 180g spiralized butternut squash provides 81 calories; 21.6g carbs, fat 0.18g
Why is spiralized zucchini pasta better than wheat pasta?
I will answer this very short, a bowl of wheat pasta will send you to bed while a zucchini or any vegetable one will send you dancing. Which one do you prefer? I guess it all depends on the mood and the need but at least we know what to choose depending on what we want to do. Haha.
Kids and the pasta
Converting children to even trying spiralized zucchini pasta can be a mission.
Kids to prefer pasta, real pasta. Mine too, they make no exception.
How did I convert them both to eat the spiralized zucchini (they eat all veggies now) ;-)?
I have asked them to help with spiralizing the veggies and they found it so much fun. They call the spiralized zucchini pasta – curly courgettes pasta ever since. Every now and again they ask for it, either curly courgettes or butternut squash which is their second favourite veg pasta.
It was a simple solution here with my kids. I am aware and pretty sure not all kids will respond the same but trust me and give it a try. Let me know too!
I can assure you that the chances of making a child try and have their own cooking are great. Get them involved in the kitchen, according to their age and stage but ever drawing their attention at vegies shapes and how good they are for us will be of great help.
Most of the time when kids come from school and asked what they would like to eat for dinner, their answer would probably be 80% of the time they will say … pasta! Am I wrong? Probably not. Yes, it is! It’s pasta ;-).
We all or almost all (I am a weird exception) like pasta, so for us here I had to come up with a pasta dish, a healthier alternative, for me to like too. It is a great option for us and the kiddos to take in as many veggies as possible.
For us the adults it’s great too, we need to cook dishes that keep us in shape and can be gobbled up however many times we fancy without having to worry too much, once in a while we let the guilty pleasure take over but that’s ok. Above all these reasons really, I am more about providing the variety of the much-needed foods.
So much more fun to cooking all different dishes so we do not get bored with eating the same food all the time. I am pretty sure most people feel this way.
You fancy it a making it a vegetarian version? Simply just take out the minced beef and replace this by Quorn, any tofu, use vegan cheese which is widely available. You will have an equally beautiful dish.
How to cook spiralized zucchini noodles
Here are some tips on the best practices for cooking spiralized zucchini pasta:
- do not peel zucchini – they will absorb moisture a lot easier making them look and feel more soggy and slimy. Skin contains most nutrients but makes them look better too.
- do not add salt to your zoodles, Salt will soften them which is a total no-no if cooking them. However, if you intend of having these totally raw then I do recommend adding some salt prior to serving them;
- choose the right zucchini – bigger zucchini aren’t necessarily the best, they are most likely overripe which means soft spongy zoodles. Give them a nice subtle squeeze (lol) they need to feel firm
- Zucchini noodles cook fast! These are best-served al dente, like any pasta. There is nothing worse than some soggy flat mushy noodles. Just a little wilted and they’re done!
Other recipes you may like:
- Quinoa pasta with courgette and pesto sauce
- Chicken, roast tomatoes and pesto pasta
- Beef zucchini enchiladas
Spiralized zucchini pasta
- chopping board
- 4-5 courgettes (organic)
- 500 g minced beef I always use a 5% fat content
- 1 can red kidney beans (organic)
- 250 g tenderstem broccoli (organic)
- 1 can tomato chopped (organic)
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 medium carrot (organic)
- 1 pinch italian herbs mixed
- 2 cloves garlic (organic)
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 small red pepper (organic)
- 1 stick celery (organic)
- 1 tsp paprika leveled
- 1 tsp salt I used pink Himalayan
- 1/4 tsp pepper freshly ground
- Wash and chop the ends of the courgettes, spiralize them and set aside.
- In a deeper frying pan add the meat, salt, garlic finely chopped, the chopped onion, carrot, celery, paprika and the Italian mixed herbs. Cook for a good 10 min covered and toss occasionally. Add the beans and let it cook for a further 3 min.
- Add the peppers, the broccoli and the chopped tomatoes, cayenne pepper if you fancy and cook for a further 5 min. I like my broccoli really crunchy and barely cooked but if you wish your broccoli soft just add it earlier or simply cook for longer. Turn the heat off and set aside.
- Let's cook the 'pasta' now by placing a large pan on medium fire, you can add a bit of oil, (olive or coconut) if you wish, I don't normally do that when using meat since this has its own fat but I do use olive or coconut oil whenever I make a vegetarian or vegan option. Cook for literally 3 minutes tossing it a couple of times. Again I like my zucchini/courgettes crunchy and not very cooked but if you like them soft then obviously you need to cook them for longer.