Parenting

Healthy and Easy Weeknight Recipe: Spiralized Zucchini Three Ways

Swap pasta for this cool summer spin on hot Italian dishes.
Image via Shutterstock. Image via Shutterstock. Photograph by Carlene Thomas. Image via Shutterstock. Photograph courtesy of Faith Like a Mustard Seed Farm Image via Shutterstock.

Spiralizing vegetables has been a healthy eating trend for a good reason. It is easy to do (if you can sharpen a pencil, you can spiralize a zucchini) and the texture is similar enough to pasta that it makes for a deliciously cool way to get your little ones eating more vegetables.

You’ll need a vegetable spiralizer (find one here, here, or here) or a julienne peeler to create the noodles. Spiralize carrots, summer squash, sweet potatoes, or zucchini and add them to your favorite Italian-inspired sauces to get the flavors you crave like creamy pesto, bruschetta, lemon olive oil, and garlic.

Check out these “no stove needed” sauce recipes the whole family can enjoy.

Spiralized Zucchini Three Ways

1 small, spiralized zucchini per person

Creamy Pesto (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • ¼ cup pine nuts (if you do not have pine nuts, try walnuts, pistachios or other nuts)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese (optional garnish)

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy and smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Short on time? Use store bought pesto for a quick and easy meal.

Zesty Bruschetta (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Optional add ins: ½ onion, 1 jar artichoke hearts, or 1-cup shredded carrots

Directions:

Finely chop cherry tomatoes and garlic, and any of the optional vegetables. Roughly chop up basil. Stir vegetables together with olive oil, and mix with zucchini pasta for a bruschetta-style pasta dish. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Short on time? Use your favorite marinara sauce.

Lemony Garlic (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon parmesan (optional topping)
  • Optional: 2 chicken breasts, grilled and chopped, or ½ pound shrimp, grilled

Directions:

Chop up garlic and parsley. Stir together olive oil and lemon juice, adjusting according to taste. Add garlic and parsley, and mix with zucchini pasta. If you want a boost of protein, try adding grilled shrimp or chicken. Sprinkle parmesan on top and add salt and pepper to taste.

Rebecca Scritchfield is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and founder ofCapitol Nutrition Group in Washington, DC.

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