Zucchini Noodles

A couple of weeks ago I came up with the amazing and revolutionary idea to make zucchini noodles. While I’m more than certain that many people before me have done this very thing, it still felt like my idea. 🙂 While this post doesn’t contain an actual recipe, I’m going to share with you how I made my zucchini noodles. Perhaps it will inspire you as well!

I took my Pampered Chef julienne peeler (a birthday gift last year that I’ve used many, many times!) and cut down the length of a washed and trimmed zucchini, creating zucchini “noodles.” Once I’d sliced all my zucchinis into noodles, I placed the lovely green pile into a fine mesh colander and salted them with about 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt (the salt draws out some of the water from the zucchini).

Then I left it to drain for about 30 minutes, squeezing out the excess moisture before sauteing in a little butter and olive oil for about 5 minutes. I seasoned them with a little more salt, pepper, and Italian spices before topping the noodles off with caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, a little sausage, and marinara sauce. It was delicious! I might even like it better then the pasta. And, if you’re a spaghetti noodle twirler, zucchini noodles will twirl around your fork too!

If you too would like to make zucchini noodles and don’t yet have a julienne peeler, I highly recommend you get one. 🙂 It’s a small gadget, but well worth the space it will take up next to your vegetable peeler. I also like to use it to matchstick carrots for salads or stir-fries (they cook up much more quickly!).

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Weekend Fare: Thai Salad Rolls

My friend, Elora, introduced me to this delicious Thai-style dish.  Layers of veggies, noodles, and meat with a delicious sauce to dip the rolls in. It’s a meal worth sharing with friends and family and perfect for enjoying for a leisurely weekend meal.

Preparing the meal takes quite a lot of cutting, but it’s really worth it! Do be warned that while this is a  fun and festive meal, it does take work for those participating in the eating as well (Little Red Hen gets help from all her friends!), as everyone assembles there own rolls.

The spring roll wrappers can be find at an Asian grocery. Also, a note for any of you gluten-free folks, hoisin sauce is often not gluten-free, so do be careful and read the label. As I haven’t sought out a gluten-free brand, I actually just found a recipe online to make my own.

THAI-SALAD ROLLS
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assorted sliced/shredded vegetables (ie: carrots, green onions, lettuce, cabbage, bell peppers, avocado)
spring roll rice paper wrappers
vermicelli rice noodles
cooked meat of choice (steak, chicken, shrimp, or even tofu)
homemade Thai dipping sauce

HOMEMADE THAI DIPPING SAUCE

3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes
oil of choice (I used coconut oil)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
3 Tbsp hoisin sauce
3 Tbsp peanut butter
1/2 Tbsp sugar
3/4 c. water

Saute garlic and pepper flakes in oil for one minute. Add rest of the ingredients whisking constantly. Simmer and thicken.

TO ASSEMBLE

Soak spring roll wrapper in very hot water to soften (fill a pie dish, wok, or some other dish) and lay it on a plate (we find it best to soak two together as it holds up better with all the fillings!). Layer noodles (prepared according to package), meat, veggies, and some of the sauce (if desired). Roll it up. Serve with a side of more dipping sauce.