I couldn’t image life without pasta
When I started a grain free diet to address my health issues last year, I couldn’t imagine giving up pasta. After all, my all-time favorite dish was Tinkyada Rice Pasta topped with olive oil, sea salt and roasted garlic. Thankfully, I discovered a beautifully colorful substitute for grain-based pastas: zucchini noodles!
I researched the various methods of making zucchini noodles. There’s the ever-popular vegetable spiralizer, which makes quick noodling work of sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrots and more. This option is about $24 and does take up some counter space. I decided to go with the cheapest option because it was a tool I already had tucked in the back of a kitchen drawer – my julienne peeler!
Make Zucchini Noodles with a Julienne Peeler
A julienne peeler creates thin strips of vegetables. It is most frequently used to create strips of citrus zest or carrot, for garnish. It also works marvelously to create spaghetti-sized strips of zucchini. When briefly cooked, the zucchini spaghetti softens enough to be pliable and tender but remains sturdy enough to hold up to hefty dollops of sauce.
You can find a julienne peeler at most kitchen stores, although they vary in quality. I highly recommend this one by “Profreshionals.” It’s about $7.00 from that Amazon link, plus a few dollars for shipping (although the price fluctuates slightly). If you can’t find that one, the OXO Good Grips Julienne Peeler (it’s just under $10) is a good choice.
With very limited storage space in my kitchen, I love that my julienne peeler can be easily tucked away into my utensil drawer.
What to do with zucchini noodles
Reach for any of your favorite sauces to top a plate of zucchini noodles. Meat sauce, marinara sauce, cream sauce, creamy avocado sauce (one of my favs) or even just butter and salt.
You can prep the zucchini spaghetti ahead of time and keep the uncooked spaghetti in an airtight container in the fridge for a day. The cooked zucchini noodles, however, are best eaten warm after cooking.
- Use firm strokes as you peel the zucchini lengthwise with the julienne peeler. Do one side until you reach the seeds. Rotate and peel the other side. Keep peel each side, avoiding the seeds in the middle of the zucchini.
- It's not a problem if you get some of the seedy-core when peeling the noodles, but the reason why I don't use the core is because it doesn't hold together well. I use just the firm outer flesh and then I save the cores for adding into soups or veggie sautés.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the zucchini noodles and boil for only about 30-60 seconds. Taste a noodle before removing the noodles to see if it is cooked enough. It should be firm but not crunchy or mushy.
- Drain the noodles and add your favorite sauce and pasta toppings. Enjoy!
- You can peel the zucchini and store the noodles in the fridge for a day or so. But the noodles don't store well once they are cooked.