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Great Books

Oodles of Zoodles!

Filed under :What's Cookin'?

Fresh organics

Summertime means zucchini and lots of it! If you’ve run out of ideas of fresh and creative ways to use your garden bounty, try making Zoodles! I took a large zucchini and sliced it into strips using a vegetable peeler until I had a pretty large bowl full of them. These came out like fettuccine, but if you want them to be more like spaghetti, you can use a spiralizer. I don’t have one yet, but it looks like a fun tool for my kitchen and who doesn’t need more tools, right DH?

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Look at these! The colors just make me happy, so fresh and light. So just cover them and put them in the fridge for a few minutes while you make the sauce.

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Saute the sliced onion in broth or water for about 5 minutes. Add more liquid a teaspoon at a time to keep them from sticking to the pan. Add some minced garlic (we looove garlic!) and saute for about a minute more. Stir in 2-3 tablespoons of tomato paste.   While the onion is sauteing, coarsely chop 5 or 6 Roma tomatoes and lightly pulse them in a food processor. You want to retain a bit of the texture.

Add the tomatoes and one can (drained and rinsed) of organic, low-sodium Great Northern beans to the onion mixture in the pan. Stir in about 1 tablespoon of your favorite no-salt seasoning, 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed, 1 tablespoon of fresh minced basil, and a teaspoon or two of fresh minced Italian oregano. Stir in 2 teaspoons of dark or white balsamic vinegar, whichever one you like best. Cover and simmer for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, to warm the beans and let the flavors mingle. When the sauce is almost done, pop the zoodles in the microwave for one minute, covered. (Just enough to warm them and keep their lovely color and crunch.)

 

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Serve the zoodles topped with the sauce and garnished with a few leaves of basil and a slice of whole grain bread. We like the Ancient Grains bread from Costco because it’s organic and oil-free. Delicious!!

 

 

 

So what are the health benefits of all this yumminess?

  • Zucchini is a great source of fiber which protects against colon cancer, and also of potassium which is essential for heart health, lowering blood pressure by countering the effects of sodium.
  • Tomatoes, especially when cooked, are an excellent source of lycopene which protects men against prostate cancer and post-menopausal women against osteoporosis.
  • Beans, in addition to being a healthy source of protein, also contain something called “resistant starch” which helps to lower cholesterol and aids in weight loss. I’ll have a whole post dedicated to the benefits of resistant starch soon.
  • Flaxseed is a very good source of ALA, an Omega 3 fatty acid. All food is a package deal, so whole, ground flaxseeds are healthier than the oil extracted from them. They have also been shown to improve fasting blood sugar, tryglicerides, and cholesterol.
  • Onions boost your immune system, regulate blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and protect against many different types of cancers.

Bon appétit!

Ingredient list for Oodles of Zoodles:

1 medium zucchini, sliced with a peeler or spiraled

2-3 tablespoons of low-sodium vegetable broth or water

1 small onion, halved and sliced thin

2-4 cloves minced garlic

2-3 tablespoons tomato paste

5-6 coarsely chopped Roma tomatoes

1 – 15oz can of Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon no-salt seasoning

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

1 tablespoon fresh minced basil

1-2 teaspoons fresh minced Italian oregano

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar