After a cool start to the season, it’s finally feeling hot and humid – a sure sign that the Chicago summer has arrived! I’m enjoying the tastes of the season though missing last summer when I worked on an urban farm (on Uncommon Ground’s rooftop in Edgewater). Life doesn’t get much better when your office is a garden!
Working on the farm provided constant motivation to eat seasonally, and one of my favorite summertime foods is zucchini! As a gluten-free girl who’s also focused on avoiding processed and packaged foods as often as possible, I love using zucchini to make NOODLES!
Making zucchini noodles takes little time…just a few minutes for prep and sautéing and you’re done! An added bonus – you’ll feel good about choosing a healthy whole-food alternative to the starchy packaged noodles you usually prepare when craving pasta.
Though zucchini noodles obviously don’t taste exactly like wheat or brown rice pasta, I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised by their texture. Use them as you would regular pasta — you can add your favorite pasta dish ingredients – chicken, pine nuts and other veggies – then top with pesto or marinara sauce. Pasta night will still be pasta night, just slightly different. But hey…different is FUN!
Want to give zucchini noodles a shot? Check out this great how-to video by Jennifer Connor Fitness. (And by the way, if you’re craving pesto but need a dairy-free version, try this recipe by Danielle Walker of Against All Grain)