Before changing my dietary habits, I was someone who absolutely loved noodles. And by the word love, I literally mean love. One of my earliest memories as a child is being around the age of five and pulling freshly warmed spaghetti out of the colander in the sink when my mom wasn’t looking. Similarly, my most requested meal was “noodles and butter.” Yes, it was that simple. Just warm spaghetti and butter melted over it. Ah, the good old days…
So, naturally, ever since I decided to cut out unnaturally produced foods I have been in a long mourning process for noodles. That is, until I came across a zucchini pasta spiralizer that has literally changed my life. I had heard of zucchini noodles before, of course, but for whatever reason never thought I could easily make them myself. Then one day I decided I had had enough already, and made one of the best purchases of my life.
Granted, I wouldn’t necessarily suggest pulling freshly made zucchini noodles out of the colander in the sink and eating them right there on the spot, unless of course you absolutely adore the taste of zucchini (little known secret: I’m not a big fan of the taste myself), but substituting zucchini noodles for spaghetti makes SLIM TO NO difference in how recipes taste and cuts out literally HUNDREDS of calories.
Long story short, I have swiftly gone from buying zucchini 0% of the time to 99% of the time I’m at the grocery store. And I would say AT LEAST one meal a week incorporates zucchini noodles one way or another. For example, last night, when I made a zucchini noodle chicken pesto recipe that was heaven in my mouth. If you like pesto, and if you want to save some much-needed calories for that glass of red wine later on, please keep reading.
WHAT YOU NEED (serves 2 people):
For the Zucchini noodles:
- Zucchinis (at least 2 per person)
- Zucchini noodle (from now on will be called zoodle for the two seconds of time it saves) slicer maker
- Salt (optional)
For the Chicken:
- Boneless, skinless, chicken breast (one per person)
For the Pesto:
- 2.5 ounces of basil
- Two cloves of garlic
- Olive oil (a healthy serving)
- Pine nuts (1/4 a cup per serving)
HOW TO DO IT:
- Wash the basil.
- Pick the basil leaves off the stems and throw them in a food processor or a blender.
- Mince the garlic into the food processor or blender.
- Throw in the pine nuts, a healthy serving of olive oil (to your preference), sprinkle in some parmesan cheese, and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Blend away, baby!
- Once the pesto is made (how easy is that, seriously how is pesto not incorporated into every meal??) go ahead and throw one tablespoon of it on each chicken as a marinade. Then put the chicken in the refrigerator for thirty minutes to an hour.
- Watch a TED Talk or do some Yoga with Adriene to pass the time.
- Feeling smarter and/or more refreshed? Good. Time to wash the zucchini.
- Now you make the zoodles. Use those strong arm muscles of yours and twist the zucchini until they become little spiralized noodles of goodness.
- Boil a pot of water (add salt if preferred), throw the zoodles in there, wait until boiling again and boil the zoodles for JUST 3 MINUTES. Seriously, these things are as convenient as they are healthy.
- Throw the zoodles in a colander and run cold water over them immediately. Eat some out of the colander if you would like, but do save some for dinner.
- Warm up some more olive oil in a medium-sized pan on the stove, and when the pan is warmed up throw the marinated chicken on there. Each stovetop varies by how long the chicken will take to cook so I’m not going to give you an exact time frame of cooking, but just make sure the chicken isn’t pink AT ALL inside. We want to keep you healthy after all.
- Once the chicken is done cooking, throw the zoodles in the pan with it for just a minute to heat them up. Then, put the zoodles in a bowl and throw the rest of the pesto on top and mix in thoroughly.
- Split up the zoodles and put them on plates with the chicken placed on top. Decorate with pine nuts and/or parmesan cheese if you want to make it look purty.
- VOILA! That looked like a lot of steps but it only takes about 15 minutes of actual work. I hope you enjoy!