Nom Nom Paleo

Zucchini Spaghetti (Zoodles!) & Meatballs

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Look: Zoodles ‘n Meatballs!

Zucchini Spaghetti (Zoodles!) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Zucchini Spaghetti (Zoodles!) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

This is all thanks to my julienne peeler.

Zucchini Spaghetti (Zoodles!) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

It makes me want to make noodles out of every vegetable in my crisper! Yes, I have a mandolin and a food processor but this tool is efficient, compact, inexpensive, and quick to clean. You can have “noodles” on the table in no time flat!

Here’s what I gathered to make zucchini noodles for 4 people:

  • 6 zucchini
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Here’s how I made it:

I washed the zucchini…

Zucchini Spaghetti (Zoodles!) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and cut a thin slice off the bottom of each one so they wouldn’t roll around on the cutting board.

Zucchini Spaghetti (Zoodles!) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Then, I placed the zucchini flat-side down on the cutting board and went to town with the julienne peeler. I kept the top on, so I could grasp it to keep the squash steady.

Zucchini Spaghetti (Zoodles!) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

UPDATE: A julienne peeler ain’t the only game in town anymore, folks. Behold: a spiral slicer

Zucchini Spaghetti (Zoodles!) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

This thing is pretty darn efficient at cranking out a ton of zoodles in no time flat—and the kids love taking turns with it, too.

Zucchini Spaghetti (Zoodles!) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Either way you slice it (har, har!): Poof! A big bowl of noodles!

Zucchini Spaghetti (Zoodles!) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

You can always quickly stir-fry ‘em…

Zucchini Spaghetti (Zoodles!) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

But today, I placed the noodles in a covered microwave safe dish…

Zucchini Spaghetti (Zoodles!) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and nuked them on high for about 2 minutes.

Zucchini Spaghetti (Zoodles!) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I watched them closely so I wouldn’t overcook them. Nobody likes soggy noodles.

I drained the excess liquid and tossed the zucchini with salt and pepper, and topped them with Rao’s marinara sauce and meatballs (which you can easily make from bulk sausage).

Zucchini Spaghetti (Zoodles!) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

See? It’s super easy!


Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index! You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my New York Times bestselling cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel 2013).

Broiled Zucchini (or Eggplant)

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Broiling zucchini is my favorite (and easiest) way to prepare this humble vegetable. If you aren’t applying high heat to it (e.g. grilling or broiling), you normally end up with a soggy mess unless you salt the zucchini ahead of time. I don’t normally have the time or forethought to do that, so I just broil it in the oven for about 8-10 minutes. You can simply plate up the roasted slices and drizzle on some acid (vinegar or lemon juice) or you can use them in place of noodles.

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This dish is really tasty and a breeze to make — provided you have a mandoline or food processor. Otherwise, you better have some mad knife skillz or this dish won’t be worth the effort.

Psst…you can substitute the eggplant for zucchini and the results are just as good.

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Here’s what I gathered to make one tray (feeds 2 people):

  • 4 medium zucchini (or a medium globe eggplant)
  • Ghee, coconut oil, tallow, or your favorite fat
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
  • Your favorite herbs, chopped (basil, Italian parsley, etc.)

Here’s how I made them:

I preheated the oven to broil and made sure the top rack is about 6 inches from the heating element. I thinly sliced the zucchini (1/4 “ thick) using a mandoline slicer.

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No mandoline? Benriner makes a cheap one that my chef sister swears by. It’s important to have uniformly thick slices because otherwise it won’t brown evenly.

I lined a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Then, I drizzled a generous amount of oil, salt, and pepper on the foil.

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I spread the zucchini slices in a single layer on the baking sheet and flipped them over to make sure both sides were greased and seasoned.

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(Or, if you prefer, just use a silicone brush to apply the oil.)

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I seasoned the zucchini with some more salt and pepper, and placed the tray in the oven and broiled for about 8-10 minutes, flipping the slices and rotating the tray halfway through.

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Watch the slices carefully because they can go from lightly browned to charcoal in about a minute.

Depending on how I’m serving the zucchini, I’ll either just drizzle the finished slices with my favorite vinegar or lemon juice…

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or top with chopped herbs…

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…and whatever else I feel like.

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Fast, tasty, and easy clean-up. I’m all over that!