Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Oodles of Zoodles

After my relative success with using mandoline-sliced zucchini as a replacement for noodles in lasagna, I decided to look into additional recipes that used these vegetable in place of pasta.  That's when the term zoodles became part of my vocabulary.  I guess technically zoodles are any type of veggie that has been spiraled into long thin strands, like noodles.  But because of zucchini's ability to take on the flavors of whatever is cooked with it, that's where I focused my search.
This is the zoodle slicer I bought from amazon, and I started pinning recipes on Pinterest.  This weekend I made some zoodles!
Italian is my biggest pasta weakness, but I happened upon an Asian-inspired zoodle dish in which I had most of the ingredients in my kitchen so started with that.
After mixing up a dressing/sauce made up of soy sauce, rice vinegar, Sriracha sauce, garlic, peanut butter, and sesame oil, the zucchinis were zoodled.
 I wasn't quite sure how easy the peeler would be to use.  But it was very easy, smooth even.  The zucchini is twisted inside while the gadget slices the flesh of it, leaving just the core. 
After getting the hang of it, things went quite quick and I was left with miles and miles of zoodles. Afterwards they needed to be cut into shorter lengths in order to be more manageable.  Since this was really an experiment, I also did half the noodles thicker and the other half thin, just to see if one did better than the other.
Since I wanted a noodle-like consistency the zoodles were sautéed in a little olive oil for a couple of minutes.
Zucchini releases tons of water when cooked.  When I make the lasagna the slices have to be sweated with salt first and then baked in the oven to dry them out as much as possible.  Fairly quickly, the zoodles were cooking with a lot of liquid.  That made them a bit waterlogged and heavy.
After draining each batch as best as could be managed, I added chicken breast, a handful of peanuts, some sesame seeds, and the dressing.
The thinner noodles sopped up the liquid quite a lot and while they tasted just fine, they were very heavy and didn't mix up as well.  Plus, they watered down the dressing a bit.  
After my experiment, I am pleasantly surprised (not with the photos which are unfortunately not very appetizing).  It was not the prettiest meal, but it tasted really good.  They were made to pack in my lunch this week, but I did do a small taste test of each size noodle.  They were still warm after sautéing.  For lunches, I ate them cold.  Both were good, and as I had hoped, the zucchini really took on the flavor of the other ingredients.  Other than a slight al dente crunch, you'd never know they weren't actually noodles.  My work husband even tried some yesterday and couldn't believe they were zoodles.  He went home and bought the peeler as well.
I'm going to have to do some research on how to get the softer texture I prefer without them giving off so much water, but I will definitely make zoodles again!  


  1. I'd have said something a bit woodier like a carrot would be your man here.You really could slice Dr Ruth's fav tool and put it in a press and knock 90% of the weight out of it. I suppose turnip would work well too.

    Darn lovely plate girl, well done.

    1. Some of the recipes I've seen use carrots. I like carrots, but my excitement over the zucchini noodles is more about the non-flavor they have where as I think the carrots would taste like carrots and not like pasta. The carrots would make a beautifully colored dish though. Ya know, I've never had cooked turnips, only raw. I'm not sure what they would taste like.
      I hate to ask, but Dr. Ruth's favorite tool? Is that a zucchini? Did she use those for "demonstrations"?
      I wonder if I could remove the water by salting/sweating the spirals and baking like I do the slices.

    2. I really can't think how you'd dry them, unless in an oven at very very low temps. Or with you, air dry them on a cake rack. I don't know if they would explode though if you put them in oil, or even form into an ugly gloop if you rehydrated them in water.

    3. Yes, the ugly gloop is what I'm trying to avoid.

    4. Okay...Vince didn't answer the Dr. Ruth question. I'm wondering, too. Is it a cucumber?

    5. Back in the day when condoms weren't quite in every bar, cafe and restaurant. And women needed a bit of 'guidance'. Dr Ruth was giving sex ed' talks on US telly using a zucchini/courgette rather than a model of a penis. I believe in the 80s showing a 'erect', or any, was banned. And people were truly scared and needed a bit of help to show them how to get one of the darn things on.

  2. Zoodles! I love that word!

    Funny thing... I've just come from another blog that made mention a "spiraliser" which does the same thing to a veggie. Also saw one on a cooking competition show over the weekend.

    Anyway... I think it all worked well for you and I find your photos quite appealing. (I like your nail polish) I'm not a big pasta person and I don't care much for zucchini, so I'm not sure how much use I'd get from something like this. (trying to think of what I could "zoodle" to make a salad I'd enjoy)

    As for a mandoline... I use mine when I need to slice onions and squash for pickling and it's a life saver!

    1. I've had the mandoline for only about a year and it's been a such a fun gadget. Having a nice even cut is way easier than using the knife.
      If I weren't obsessed with pasta, I wouldn't bother either. However, I have seen recipes that use the spirals by adding to sandwiches and salads as well as "pastas". They add a nice little crunch to things, supposedly. Could you do the same by slicing thinly with knife? Probably so, but you wouldn't get to say "zoodles". ;)

  3. Zoodles!! I have been meaning to buy the spiral veggie cutter.. is it good?

  4. Zoodles!! I have been meaning to buy the spiral veggie cutter.. is it good?