Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Veg Out

I gave up meat on a dare.

The challenge was prompted by a claim my father made when I was a teenager, saying that I had no discipline and could never even commit to something as trivial as eating as a vegetarian for a week.

Complete fighting words, in my book.

I took my dad to task and prescribed to a life sans-meat for two years. Cold turkey - well actually, no cold turkey. You know what I mean.


That was many, many moons ago. I now happily nosh on just about any meat I can sink my teeth into, but I still enjoy a vegetarian option once in a while.

The fact is, even though I eat meat these days, I absolutely cannot stand a meal that is based solely on protein and carb. I'd take a veggie sandwich over a Philly cheesesteak any day.

The mercury keeps rising, and that means kitchen endeavors are meant to be cool. No messing with the oven and minimal time standing in front of a hot gas burner. Even better if I can whip up something that is low carb and high flavor.

Enter the summer squash.

I was nosing around the internets and found a fantastic suggestion of using squash and zucchini in place of noodles.

What a way to get in your five daily fruits and veggies while enjoying a filling meal.

I'm having several dinner guests this week and I am certain I'm going to give this technique a try - here's to hoping they're not massive carnivores!

Summer Market Pasta
1.5 pounds of tomatoes, freshly chopped
3-4 zucchini or yellow squash,
1 Vidalia onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
7-10 leaves of fresh basil
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan or mozzarella
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 T extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
Cracked black pepper
(optional - half pound of bacon, fried to crispy)

Pour 1T EVOO in saute pan and let heat until oil is "shimmery."

Add garlic clove and onion and stir in pan - cook until onion is translucent.

Add tomatoes and stir with spatula. Simmer.

While tomatoes are simmering, peel zucchini or squash with a potato peeler into very thin ribbons.

Let second saute pan heat, then add 2T EVOO.

Saute squash ribbons for two or three minutes, sprinkling sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste. The goal here is to heat up the squash, but not overcook it. We want these "noodles" to retain some firmness, just like an al dente pasta noodle.

Toss noodles and tomato sauce (and crumbled bacon bits if desired) - top with cheese, pine nuts and hand-shredded basil leaves.


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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.


Ara said...

That sounds DIVINE!!! I'll definitely have to give this recipe a try.

5chw4r7z said...


It was awesome, that's for sure.

Kelly said...

This looks flipping fantastic! So glad to have another way to use up all the summer squash and zucchini I've been getting in my CSA.

One question, though: do you use the skin, or discard it?

Kate The Great said...

Kelly - I decided to keep the skin on, and only trimmed the ends off. Regarding the skin, my mama always said it has the most vitamins (I know with potatoes - perhaps zucchini & yellow squash, too??), and it was easier this way. The "noodles" looked kind of pretty with green and yellow edges. Fun stuff! Hope you enjoy...

TGirsch said...

If you want to save some scratch, skip the EVOO and just use regular olive oil. My rule of thumb: if you're going to cook with it, use regular. If you're making a dressing or otherwise serving it "raw," break out the good stuff (the EVOO).