Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kung Pao Zoodles (Zucchini Noodles)

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Chris and I have a diet that is packed with protein, and that's usually in the form of some sort of meat or fish. Even though most nights these two usually find their way onto our plates, I think it's healthy to cut back on the meats and have some vegetarian meals once in a while. Pasta is a front-runner on those nights, but it's also very starchy so I try not to go that route too often. Although zoodles (zucchini noodles) aren't a permanent replacement for our favorite starch, they are a great substitute that make you feeling satisfied, but not overly stuffed.
Zoodles can be used in place of pasta in almost any dish, which makes them very versatile. This particular recipe has some heat, some acid, some sweetness and some savory elements to cover all our bases. We both really enjoyed this meal and I was also a big fan of how quick the zoodles cooked. Two minutes and they were ready to go! Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

2 servings
  • 3 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 red or green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp. dry roasted peanuts
  • 2 tbsp. scallions, thinly sliced along diagonal

For the sauce:
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. hoisin sauce
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. water
  • 1/2 tbsp. hot chili paste
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
Using a spiralizer fitted with a shredder blade (this makes a thicker noodle), or a mandolin fitted with a julienne blade, cut the zucchini into long spaghetti-like strips. If using a spiralizer, use kitchen scissors to cut the strands into pieces that are about 8 inches long so they’re easier to eat. (If you don't have a spiralizer or a mandolin, use a vegetable peel to peel the zucchini and then cut each peel into thin strips lenghwise.)

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, hoisin, water, chili paste, sugar and cornstarch; set aside.

Heat a large pan to medium heat. Add sesame oil, garlic and ginger to the skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 

Add the bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until thickened and bubbling, about 1-2 minutes. 

Stir in zucchini noodles and cook, mixing for about two minutes until just tender and mixed with the sauce. If it seems dry, don't worry the zucchini will release moisture which helps create a sauce. Once cooked, divide between 2 bowls (about 2 cups each) and top with peanuts and scallions.

Source: Adapted from Skinnytaste

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