Recently, my husband and I challenged ourselves to cook seasonally. We did this for a few reasons: 1) we wanted to make a more conscious effort at eating locally and supporting the small farmer, 2) we wanted to get out of a veggie rut and try new recipes, and 3) we wanted to work towards reducing our carbon footprint in some way. At first I thought, This is EASY. We eat veggies all the time! But as I looked at the images and charts of seasonal veggies, I realized that starting this challenge in summer would perhaps prove harder than I thought.
From growing veggies in our garden, I knew that summer is peak season for peppers which was great because our recipes were already full of bell peppers and jalapeños. Bad news? Summer is also peak season for squash and the many varieties seemed to be the heartiest veggies available during summertime aside from peppers. I.HATE.SUMMER.SQUASH. Something about the texture just gets me. But I was committed to this challenge. While on my first trip to the market I picked up some zucchini, not sure yet what I would do with it.
I remember when Fischer was little and I was making his purees that he wholeheartedly rejected the rosemary and shallot zucchini I tried serving him. And as he grew older and I attempted to grill/saute/steam zucchini, he still rejected it. It seems he inherited his momma’s food aversions! So, again, I was stumped at how I would get myself and my son to eat this green veggie!
To the rescue came my good friend Allison. She mentioned to me that she had recently received a “zoodler” in the mail and was excited to try it. Lightbulb! Spaghetti squash is a particular favorite in our household and since I couldn’t get it for summer cooking, I thought…well, why not try making zoodles (or, zucchini noodles)? So, I borrowed Allison’s Zoodler and got to work creating what turned out to be one heck of a delicious and fam-favorite dish!
The Zoodler to the Rescue
For this recipe I used two medium-sized zucchinis. It ended up yielding four servings which was perfect for dinner and one serving for my husband’s lunch the next day. The “Zoodler” is super easy to use. Put the squash in one end and you twist the other end. Of course, you could probably purchase something automated to do the work for you but it took me all of 3 minutes to get all of those “noodles” and at around $14, it really can’t be beat!
One of our favorite ways to eat Spaghetti Squash is topped with my lime-avocado “cream” sauce, so I thought I’d try it with the zucchini. I also decided to add some turkey meatballs since my child will eat anything if turkey meatballs are included.
If you’re like me and have a hard time with summer squash, I definitely suggest trying the “Zoodler” and topping the “noodles” with whatever your heart desires. In fact, my husband made this recipe a second time but with traditional red sauce and we loved it just as much! Or, if you need a sneaky way to get your kiddo to eat fresh veggies, this could be the perfect disguise. Please share any recipes you’ve tried with the “Zoodler.” I need to add some to our routine!
Zoodles & Avocado Cream Sauce Recipe
Yield: four servings Prep Time: 20 minutes
zoodles (2-4 medium zucchinis, zoodled)
1 tbsp butter, ghee, or alternative
1 medium sized avocado
3 cloves garlic (or more!)
1.5 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
parmesan cheese (optional)
Optional Topping: turkey meatballs, chicken, ground beef/turkey
- Heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil in pan and sauté minced garlic (reserve one clove for later) for 2-3 minutes. Do not let brown.
- Add avocado, sautéed garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast (you can also add the yeast to the pasta when done cooking instead) to a food processor and puree until smooth. Add more salt/pepper/lime juice to taste as well as olive oil for consistency. Options: Add other spices like cumin, paprika, or herbs like cilantro to enhance flavor!
- When finished with sauce, heat butter in pan. Once hot, add the reserved garlic and let it sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add zoodles to heated butter and garlic. Toss in pan for 3-4 minutes. Don’t over cook and let it get mushy!
- Remove zoodles from heat and toss with the avocado sauce. Top with parmesan or nutritional yeast and enjoy!