Zucchini Pasta with Creamy Avocado Cilantro

Seems like every Monday morning I am recovering from the weekend. Literally. I do great all week, going to be early, eating well, working out and then Friday through Sunday I blow it. Stay up late, sleep in, eat and drink too much and never sweat it out. NPR recently did a report on Social Jet Lag, basically every weekend I get up so early Friday morning and stay up so late that it’s the equivalent of changing two time zones. Crazy that I do this to myself every week! Does anyone else feel this way ?

In an effort to eat clean and get my week together, I made zucchini noodles. They are gluten-free but still give me the same satisfaction as regular pasta noodles and the creamy avocado is quite filling. Summer is a great time for zucchini and avocado, so this dish is perfect! Seasonal, healthy and something everyone can enjoy! It seems more and more of my friends are going g-free for a multitude of reasons, so I am trying to incorporate more recipes that fit their diets. Plus, the zucchini noodles are vegan and dairy free too! I did serve the zucchini noodles with salmon at the end as you’ll see but the noodles and pasta themselves are vegan.


You’ll need:
1 large zucchini (makes about 2 servings)
1 medium avocado
3 cloves of garlic
Fresh jalapeño for heat if you like
Cilantro
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt

Start by washing the zucchini.


Then cut off the ends. Stand the zucchini on one end and use a vegetable peeler to slice the zucchini into long, thin strips.


All sliced up! Discard the middle part with all the seeds. That part will fall apart in the water anyways.


Put the zucchini strips into a pot of boiling water, just like regular wheat pasta noodles. However, the zucchini will cook much fast. Only requiring about 2 to 3 minutes of boiling time.


Post boiling the noodles should have about the same texture as a regular noodle after boiling.


Drain the zucchini noodles like normal.


For the creamy avocado cilantro sauce, wash and chop up cilantro. About 1/4 a bushel. Slice an entire medium sized avocado and dice up half a jalapeno for heat if you like. Do a rough chop of 3 cloves of garlic.


Put all of that into a food processor with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/2 a tablespoon of kosher salt.


Blend until smooth. Add a tablespoon of water at time if necessary to blend.


Add the sauce to the zucchini noodles and mix together.


Now the zucchini noodles are ready to serve! I served my zucchini noodles with this salmon that I baked in parchment paper!


Enjoy!

Zucchini Chips with Dill Tzatziki

Have you ever failed at something?

Twice?

Well, I have. Actually, I’ve probably failed at things far more times than I have succeeded. But hey, that’s life, right? Learn your lesson, pick yourself back up and try, try, again. I mean, I feel like I’m failing right now writing the post about failing. I realize though that its fear. Fear that you all wont identify with what I’m sayin’, know what I’m sayin’?

In fact, I thought this whole blog might be one big failure. But I decided to do it for me. I needed it. I needed that creative outlet. For me. And guess what? Once I got over my fear, this has been such a rewarding experience and has grown into so much more. The first day I launched this baby I got 615 views.

I cried.

Yup, I sure did. At my desk. At work, haha. I couldn’t believe that my friends and family would be that supportive. It was such a blessing. So, here’s to you. Banish that fear and just go for it. You’ll probably stumble along the way but you just never know what might happen.

 

Ok back to food. And the failure that was Zucchini Chips. Somewhere along the way something went wrong and I will document that here. For you.


You’ll need:
For the Zucchini Chips:
2 whole zucchini
Olive oil
Garlic Salt

For the Dill Tzatziki:
1 cup greek yogurt
Lemon juice
2 cloves minced garlic
Kosher salt
Pepper
Fresh dill weed


Wash and thinly slice the zucchini… Warning this is documentation of the 1st round which was a total failure.


Place the zucchini slices on a baking sheet lined with foil.


Drizzle with olive oil. The 1st time around I think I used too much olive oil.


Shake on some garlic salt…


The first time, I popped these in the oven at 425 degrees and 20 minutes later I had…


Scorched zucchini. Burned ’em. Burned ’em bad. They were crispy though! haha


So, I tried, tried again. This time I sliced the zucchini a little thicker.


I didn’t use olive oil the 2nd time around but still used the garlic salt. I also baked them at 200 degrees for 30 minutes. They turned out better but not crispy enough… what gives? Anyone have any tricks up their sleeve? Anyone? Bueller?


For the Dill Tzatziki, wash a mince up a few sprigs of fresh dill and 2 cloves of garlic.


In a bowl combine the greek yogurt with the dill and garlic.


Add in the juice of a fresh lemon.


Add in a pinch or two of kosher salt to your liking. And some fresh ground pepper. Mix that all together.


Plate the zucchini chips with the dill tzatziki and dig in! In hindsight, this would have also been really good with garlic naan or pita chips.


The dill tzatziki was still a great light, summery dip. And if I ever figure out how to successfully make Zucchini Chips… you all will be the first to know!

Happy Friday!

Aunt Teri’s Zucchini Bread

Every year for Christmas my Aunt Teri makes this awesome zucchini bread, I literally look forward to it every Christmas. So this year, I decided to share her awesome recipe with all of you and of course make a couple loaves of this yumminess for myself and my co-workers. This zucchini bread is über moist, just the way I like it!

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You’ll need:

4 cups shredded zucchini
3 cups flour
2 ½ cups sugar
4 beaten eggs
1 ¼ cups oil
1 ½ tsp. salt
 1 Tbls. Plus 1 tsp. Vanilla
 1 Tbls. cinnamon
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
1 cup chopped pecans (I used more!)

This recipes yields 2 loaves of zucchini bread.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

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 Wash and slice up 4-5 zucchinis.

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 I used a food processor to shred my zucchinis but you could also use a cheese grater or some other creative method!

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It’ll look something like this once its all shredded.

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Now add all the other ingredients.

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Mix it all up. I did this by hand but you can use a mixer if you have one. Don’t forget to add the pecans!

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 Now pour the mixture into a well greased bread pan and bake at 325 degrees for about 50min or until it passes the toothpick test.

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 Let cool for about 5min then use a knife to loosen it up around the edges of the pan. Wait a few more minutes to remove from bread pan. It’s a moist bread so it needs to sit a little longer so it doesn’t fall apart.

Slice and enjoy! This will keep for a few days tightly wrapped up.

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