Vegetable noodles are a great alternative to pasta! I’ve grown to love them. When they’re made well, you don’t miss the carbs or starchy texture of regular pasta. I prefer to eat my noodles raw but you can soften them up by sautéing them for about 3-5 minutes in olive oil spray. When zucchini noodles are overcooked they release a LOT of water. This can water down your sauce and make for messy eating. Thin, raw zucchini noodles have a similar texture to al dente spaghetti (but with a fraction of the calories and carbs!). You will need a spiralizer to make the noodles at home. You can also find premade zucchini noodles at stores like Whole Foods. Sweet potato noodles, carrot noodles, or even beet noodles are great substitutes for zucchini noodles. I have an OXO brand spiralizer that sits on the counter top and easily makes noodles in about 2 minutes with little mess. Make sure you pick a firm, medium sized zucchini and pick the thinnest setting for the noodles. Don’t salt your noodles ahead of time or while cooking because that may draw more water out. Vegetable noodles are also great for making coleslaw or as a topping for salads. They can be used as a substitute for Ramen noodles or Pad Thai noodles as well. There are endless options and sauces for these healthy, guilt free noodles! I’ve gotten in the habit of making them instead of pasta but this bright, spicy pasta sauce goes well with regular pasta as well. It’s the perfect balance of spices, acid from the citrus, and rich eggplant. If you make this recipe make sure to take a picture and tag us @thefriendlyepicurean !
Zucchini Noodles with Spicy Tomato Eggplant Sauce
- 2 medium sized eggplants (about 1 lb), peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 (28oz) can of organic diced tomatoes
- 2 large zucchini (about 1 lb)
- 1.5 tbs olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbs nutritional yeast
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (plus more for garnish)
DirectionsHeat olive oil in a medium sized saucepan or Dutch oven. Add garlic and cook for about 3-4 minutes or until fragrant. Add eggplant and sauté for about 7-8 minutes or until eggplant starts to brown and soften. Add tomatoes, salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, and oregano. Simmer for about 8 minutes or until sauce starts to thicken. Add nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and basil and stir well. Use a spiralizer to make thin zucchini noodles. Add the noodles to sauce and stir well to coat evenly. Noodles will soften in sauce. Or top raw noodles from each zucchini with sauce and serve immediately. May store sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- Approximate calories for 1/2 the sauce and one spiralized zucchini: 280 cal