Zucchini & Carrot Zoodles Primavera with Grilled Chicken

Zoodles? Isn’t that a typo? Nope. It’s a completely new way to create pasta. Except that pasta isn’t the ingredient. Huh? No pasta? You got a lotta ‘splain’in to do, Lucy. And we will. Gladly. 

We all love pasta. It’s one of nature’s perfect comfort foods. As this BBC documentary shows, the annual Italian noodle harvest is one of the great events of late summer and autumn, something enjoyed by people around the world. The problem is that pasta can be pretty fattening. So if you want to have noodles with dinner, what can you do? 

Eat zoodles instead. Zoodles are a healthy new low-calorie, low-carb, gluten-free food trend. Instead of making or using pasta, create zoodles by slicing vegetables and fruits such as carrots, zucchini, cucumber, onions, radishes, apples and other wonderful ingredients. The trick is a kitchen device called a spiralizer, a spiral vegetable slicer. Depending on the blade attachment you select, you can quickly and safely spiral cut fresh produce into noodles, ribbons and chips. 

Using a spiralizer is easy. First, wash (and if necessary, peel) the vegetable or fruit of your choice, attach it to the spiralizer, and twist to spiral the food into a noodle or other shape. At present, there are two types of  spiralizers available: an inexpensive (less than $15) hourglass-shaped, handheld spiralizer (like this one sold on Amazon) or a more capable, more expensive, crank-operated tabletop unit.

We recommend spending the extra money on a table-mounted spiralizer. When we tested a handheld type, we ended up slicing not just vegetables, but our fingers as well. The blades are very sharp. Plus, the table mounted version is faster, and the included blade sets give you many more options. A number of different brands are available through Amazon, Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table and other stores. From our research, we recommend spiralizers from Brieftons, Paderno, Crafty Kitchen (the model we use) and Kitchen Basics. For $30-35, you can have an indispensable kitchen tool that you’ll use constantly. We do.

 Image: Amazon.com

Image: Amazon.com

Using a spiralizer is quick, simple, ridiculously delicious and nutritious. And there’s almost no limit to the recipes you can make with a spiralizer, for salads, pasta, snacks such as apple chips, for slaws and more. To learn more, this Huffington Post article, and a how-to video on YouTube are a good places to start. (You'll find other great recipes in the Huffington Post article too.)

Below is our recipe for a delicious zucchini & carrot zoodle primavera with grilled chicken. It’s easy to make, outrageously satisfying and wonderfully nutritious. Imagine creating a dinner that’s less than 350 calories, only 9 grams of carbs and fat, 55 grams of protein, 145 mg. of cholesterol  and 389 mg. of sodium. Combining fresh chicken breast with carrots, zucchini, onions, grape tomatoes and garlic, it’s a wonderful summer meal. The kicker is a dash of Meyer lemon olive oil (or you can mix a squeeze of Meyer lemon with olive oil) that brightens the heavenly confluence of flavors. Give it a try. Trust us when we say this will be an instant favorite. Bon appétit!

Zucchini & Carrot Zoodles Primavera with Grilled Chicken recipe

Ingredients:

1 med onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
2 garlic cloves, minced
olive oil spray
1/4 teas. dried oregano
3 large zucchini
2 large carrots
sea salt, fresh ground
pepper, fresh ground

2 chicken breasts (about 5-6 oz per person)

2 teas. Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
6- 8 basil leaves, chiffonade (cut into thin strips)

Directions:

1) Sauté the onion in olive oil spray in a large sauté pan until tender and translucent, then add the garlic to the top, not allowing it to burn. Add the sliced mushrooms and continue to sauté. Add a little bit of fresh ground sea salt to bring out the moisture. Once the mushrooms are cooked through, add the tomatoes and cook for about two (2) minutes. Cover and continue to cook on low heat for another 5 to 7 minutes until the tomatoes break down. Set aside.

2) Using a spiral vegetable slicer, slice the carrots and zucchini. Set aside.

3) Spray the bottom of a grill pan thoroughly with cooking spray. Rinse the chicken breast and pat dry. Salt & pepper both sides. Heat up the grill pan. Test with a drop of water for that sizzle sound. Then add the chicken breasts. Cook uncovered for about 8 minutes or until seared, then flip over and sear the other side for another 5-7 minutes. Cover and cook until the core temp is 160 degrees.

4) Re-heat the sauce while the chicken breats are finishing cooking. When the chicken is done, add the zucchini and carrot "noodles" to the sauce with silicone coated tongs. Toss to coat with the sauce and cook quickly for about a minute to heat throughly. Then serve on a plate. Add the chicken breast on top.

5) Drizzle about 1 teaspoon of Meyer Lemon olive oil on top and add the basil, and serve to a standing ovation.

Nutritional Info:
Calories = 347
Fat = 9 gms
Carbs = 9 gms
Protein = 55 gms
Saturated Fat = 2 gm
Cholesterol = 145 mg
Fiber = 3 gms
Sodium = 389 mg
Sugars = 6 gms

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