Sunday, November 18, 2012

Zucchini Spaghetti

I am dieting and carb cycling to lose about 5 pounds, and while today iiis technically a carb day, the plan does not in any way say that I should have a sandwich for every meal. But for whatever reason I seem to be eating like I’m pregnant with Guy Fieri, so after I had part of a leftover chicken cheesesteak for breakfast and the stars aligned for a glorious steak sandwich, I polished off a glorious steak sandwich dagnabit.

It so happens that we grilled NY strip to have with ‘zucchini spaghetti’ (and a little real pasta on the hubby’s plate) and tomatoes for a low carb dinner the other night.

Also so happens that I have sautéed mushrooms and that my mother-in-law gave me some of this luscious loaf of rye bread from Artisan Bakery and that I have been caramelizing onions to make French onion soup. Clearly I had no choice but to make a steak sandwich.

I toasted some of the bread, schmeared with mayo, a bit of horseradish and some caramelized onion. topped with sliced steak, some mushrooms and a sprinkling of Maldon salt. Worth every extra minute in the gym tomorrow! I strongly suggest if you think about making onion soup this winter that you have a steak dinner and grab some fresh bread the night or two before so you’re set up for such serendipity : )

For the steaks I often do something that I think I picked up in culinary school. Combine 1:1 balsamic vinegar and soy sauce, add some chopped garlic and herbage – I used thyme this time. Marinate beef for an hour or four. When you grill the beef reduce the remaining marinade in a small saucepan over low heat to a glaze consistency and then drizzle over the cooked beef.

Cleeearly, tomorrow will be another low carb day so I’m making more zucchini spaghetti and packing meals to be ready for the week. First I cut the top off and trim the end of each zucchini, and set up the mandolin with the thinner julienne attachment.

Then I run them down the mandolin lengthwise until I hit the seeds.

I have to break them the noodles apart a little bit, but it’s no big deal.

I sauté and steam them for just a few minutes in my electric wok, though a large sauté pan with a lid works just as well.

And then we have zucchini noodles. Are we buff yet?


Zucchini Spaghetti

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 - 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 - 20 minutes

Low carb spaghetti - it's actually good. For semi-low carb spaghetti, make this squash and then combine half and half with cooked pasta spaghetti.


3 medium zucchini, top and tailed
2 garlic cloves, sliced or minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp parmesan cheese or to taste
salt and pepper to taste


- set up mandolin with the skinny julienne attachment and run zucchini down lengthwise to get long spaghetti-like strands. You can run down about 3 times per 'side' of zucchini before getting to the seeds. Keep rotating to green parts and slicing until you are down to just the seedy part the whole way around. I'll confess this time around I pitched the seedy parts, but you can chop them up, sauté them and try - like we do in the restaurants when we make them for the staff or 'family meal' - to sell it as a 'zucchini heart' dish.
- warm oil over medium heat and sweat garlic - I find my electric wok is perfect for this job because I can adjust the temperature so easily and the big dome lid is good for steaming
- add zucchini spaghetti, toss gently to coat with oil and garlic, and allow to cook a minute or two
- add water, cover and steam another 2 - 3 minutes until zucchini is tender
- uncover and allow any excess water to cook off
- remove from heat, toss with parmesan, serve with stewed tomatoes or tomato sauce and envision your bangin beach bod

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