Posts tagged ‘zucchini pasta’

January 6, 2012

Vegan Zucchini “Pasta” with Tomato and Spinach Cashew Cream Sauce

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan 

My number one goal for our vegan bodybuilding challenge is finding healthy, protein-filled recipes that are fun to eat. This is the only thing that will keep me out of the trans-fat laden cheese and potato chips. I’ve been wanting to make zucchini “pasta” for quite some time now, however just never had the energy to cut it up. If you buy a spiralizer, this process will be much easier. As it is, I used a mandolin to cut the zucchini in strips, and then julienned them into small noodle-like strips.

My fiance is trying to go vegan with me for a while. Although I know he isn’t planning on sticking to it 100%, it is wonderful that he’s learning that every meal does not have to revolve around un-healthy meats and dairy products. His favorite sauce just happens to be vodka sauce, so I decided to make a vegan version, sans the vodka. I originally didn’t have high hopes for this recipe and was debating making a dairy version for him separately, however when I took my first bite it was heavenly. I hope he likes it, it’s all he got in his lunch today =).

You’ll need to start the cashew cream before you can begin on anything else. While the cashews are soaking, cut up the zucchini.

Cashew Cream

1 lb raw cashews (imperative that they be raw, unsalted)

2-3 cups coconut water

Seasoning (optional)

Boil regular water in a medium saucepan, enough to cover the cashews. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, remove from heat, add cashews and cover. Set aside for 30 minutes. (Now is the time to start cutting your zucchini noodles.)

After 30 minutes, drain cashews in a colander and put into a food processor, blender or Vitamix. I used a food processor and it worked perfectly, however I’m not sure how well this would come out in a regular blender. Of course, the Vitamix is made for this sort of thing – but I haven’t found a huge need for one as of yet.

Add the first cup of coconut water and blend until all water is incorporated. It will probably be pretty thick still, but this is where your tastes come in. To thin out the cream, keep adding coconut water until you reach your desired texture. I like mine pretty creamy, like a sauce, so I added about 2 ½ cups or so.

Once you’ve reached your desired thickness, now is the time to season. If you’re making the zucchini pasta, you’ll want to add some garlic, a little salt, maybe some pepper. Get creative with it. It doesn’t have to hold full flavor by itself, just have a little kick of savory (or sweet if you’re making a dessert).

Makes about 6 cups cream, depending on amount of water added.

 

Zucchini “Pasta” with Tomato and Spinach Cashew Cream Sauce


2 large raw zucchini squash, washed and dried

4 cups fresh baby spinach

2 cans stewed tomatoes (I use the basil/garlic seasoned kind)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

¼-1 cup cashew cream (recipe above)

While you were soaking the cashews for the cream, you should have been slicing up your zucchini noodles. This is how it should be done, either use a spiralizer (the easy way out) to make noodles from the fresh zucchini or julienne them into long strips. You can use a mandolin to make it easier, cutting the zucchini first into long, wide strips, and then cutting from there into noodles. Set the zucchini aside once cut. 

In a large sauteé pan, heat the cans of stewed tomatoes, minced garlic and spinach over medium heat until bubbly. The spinach should start to wilt. Make sure to stir frequently. Once the mixture boils for 1-2 minutes, add the first ¼ cup of cashew cream and stir generously to incorporate. Taste and keep adding until there is a nice balance, all according to your tastes. Let simmer for another 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly and making sure you scrape the bottom and sides of the pan.

Once it looks nice and thick, add the zucchini noodles. Stir for about 2 minutes and serve.

Makes about four servings.

 

July 15, 2011

Garden Lites has done it again – and with TWO vegan products!

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

I recently won Garden Lites’ blog contest, in which I won a month’s supply of Garden Lites products. I was really excited, as not only am I a tremendous fan of their Roasted Vegetable Soufflé, I have been looking forward to trying some of their other products that are not available for purchase at Publix in South Florida.

I was most looking forward to trying their Butternut Squash Soufflé, which I had seen on their website, but lo and behold I was blown away by their Zucchini Marinara. I’ve heard a lot about zucchini pasta and have been saving up to buy a vegetable spiralizer myself,  so when I saw this product in my prize I couldn’t wait to try it. Not only is it vegan, which I’m leaning more and more towards lately, but it is just like eating pasta marinara without the heavy caloric content. Fresh, crunchy zucchini noodles are enveloped in an amazing sweet marinara sauce that is absolutely divine. I can’t imagine homemade tasting better than this. Now all I need is for my local Publix to carry it! So if anyone is a Publix executive or knows one, please let them know!

The Butternut Squash Soufflé also certainly did not disappoint. It is heavier than the Roasted Vegetable that I like so much, but that was to be expected. I think this one is something I could share equally as a side dish rather than eating an entire one next time. But the rich flavor is what makes it so delicious, so I’m more than happy to try and stuff it down all by myself =)

Overall, I’m even more impressed (if that is possible) with Garden Lites after trying their full line of products, my absolute favorites still being the Roasted Vegetable Soufflé, Zucchini Marinara (VEGAN), Zucchini Portabella (VEGAN) and the Butternut Squash Soufflé. Thank you Garden Lites for this wonderful, and unexpected, prize! You certainly have made a huge fan out of me!

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