If you have read the blog for awhile you know I chose to ax a few foods from my post weight loss surgery life. It was a personal choice but there were a couple of foods that I just felt it was best for me if they weren't added back into the mix. One of those foods was pasta. I'm 1/2 Sicilian so you know it was a big part of my life but it was also a food that I easily over-indulged in. It's my theory that if you want something different, you have to do something different. Eliminating some foods that were difficult for me to control seemed like my no-brainer "different" and that's what works for me. We all need to find our own "different."
What is pasta anyway?! It's just a carrier for yummy toppings and sauces, so I replace it with a veggie that adds flavor and more nutritional bang for the buck. I make Manicotti and Lasagna with grilled zucchini or eggplant slices. Spaghetti can be onions or bean sprouts or spaghetti squash. I even make a "Mac & Cheese" with cauliflower.
Yesterday was National Noodle Day so I made a batch of zucchini noodles with sauteed onion. I topped them with a dollop of ricotta cheese that I added some seasonings to. The heat from the "noodles" turns the ricotta into a gooey, cheesy sauce. So good. I invested in a groovy Paderno spiralizer (the best, put it on your Christmas list, the 3 blade version is mine) but for years I have used just a simple julienne peeler and it did a great job too. If you own a Kitchen Aid there is an attachment.
Shelly's Zucchini Noodles with Ricotta Cheese
3 Medium Zucchini
1/2 Yellow Onion
2 cloves Garlic, diced fine
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
1/4 cup Shredded Italian Blend Cheese
1 teaspoon Oregano
a few twists of Black Pepper
Made my "noodles" and even sent the onion through the spiralizer.
Saute the onion in a little olive oil till golden. Add the zucchini and garlic and cook till desired tenderness. I put a lid on the pan to help the zucchini along and stir a few times in the cooking time. About 5 minutes.
While the veggie noodles are cooking I mix together the topping. Put a dollop on top of each serving the heat of the veggies will warm the cheese and create a sort of sauce. Sprinkle with a little more shredded cheese.
They are awfully pretty with the spiralizer but I made this the other day and only a knife is needed. Just slice some summer squash, saute it with some onions and topped it with meatballs, sauce and of course some Parmesan cheese.
or there's always good old Spaghetti Squash I made that the other night with just some store bought Shrimp Scampi on top.
Not a squash lover try Bean Sprouts... great with Teriyaki Meatballs.
So many different fun pasta alternatives... you might find like me you're not missing a thing.