Low Inspo Series 1: Zoodles!

Author: Live Without Labels   Date Posted:24 April 2017 

Lets face it no matter how many #fitspo or #healthspo posts we look at during the day or how many cookbooks we fill our shelves with, we all have days that when it comes to cooking dinner we can be seriously low on our 'inspo'. So in my 'Low Inspo Series' I am sharing my favourite easy dinners that I cook when I am low on the 'inspo' scale. Most of my dinners are based around a veggie or grain 'base' and the first one I am sharing with you is one of my favourites ZOODLES!
So if you haven't caught onto the spiralizing craze then you probably are living under a rock but thats ok because I am about to explain it to you! Spiralizing is basically a way of cutting vegetables in a spiral motion to create vegetable noodles or pasta. It is a great way of getting more veggies into your diet and cutting down on starchy carbs at dinner time. Zoodles or zucchini noodles are my personal favourite because they have the best texture when cooked and are seriously versatile when it comes to flavourings.
In terms of its nutrient profile zucchinis are high in vitamin C as well as being high in manganese and potassium both of which can protect your tissues from harmful free radicals. And since most Australian's don't get their recommended intake of 5 servings of veggies a day this is a great way to sneak them in!
Here are some of my favourite ways to use zoodles.
Pesto Zoodles
Pesto pasta is probably one of my favourite dishes and using zoodles in the place of pasta makes it a lot lower in carbs and ups the nutrient value. The 'recipe' I use is so simple its just 1 heaped teaspoon of good quality pesto with 1 small-medium zucchini and whatever vegetables are in the fridge (I like mushrooms and broccoli) and a protein which can be chicken, eggs, chickpeas or anything really. So simple and takes 15 minutes max to make and cook (if you have pre-cooked proteins or are using eggs).
 
Zoodle Stir Fry
Growing up in a semi-Chinese family I have had many a stir fry in my time (my favourite being my grandfathers chicken chow mein but thats another story). Stir fries are known for being fast and simple and thats why I love them. My main tip is to just almost go crazy on the veggies, I love anything from wombok (chinese cabbage), pak choy, gai lan (chinese broccoli) to all sorts of mushrooms like enoki or king mushrooms. Most of all I have an obsession with broccoli in any sort of Asian sauce, I just love the way it soaks up the flavour! Anyway my favourite sauce combos are:
  1. Always start with some ginger and garlic
  2. Then I like to add either some miso paste or a bit of hoisin sauce
  3. Then I'll add a bit of tamari towards the end if it needs a bit more flavour
  4. Other fun things to do are to add some peanut or almond butter, a bit of chilli (if you're into that, I certainly am not!) and some sesame seeds
Don't forget to add a good quality protein and much like the pesto zoodles, anything goes really!
 
Tomato Based Zoodles
My last favourite is using some good old tomato sauce/passata and tossing that through with some herbs and zoodles. What I love doing is buying some tomatoes at the beginning of the week and then whatever I don't eat during the week I make into a yummy homemade tomato sauce. Some of my favourite things to do with the sauce is to make a lentil bolognese which if you make in advance its so easy to toss that through some noodles and you have dinner in 5 minutes! Otherwise I'll just keep it plain and toss the sauce through some zoodles, chopped veggies and a protein and voila.
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