Last week we’ve discussed issues with commonly consumed treats during this season, such as pumpkin pie, donuts, caramel apples, and other treats. Another common concern I’ve heard from clients is how the gloomy weather causes them to feel more tired, sleep, and craving comfort foods. This recipe is dedicated to a client who told me how much she loves spaghetti, but upon recognizing her intolerance to gluten during my program, I could not eat it anymore.
Since we are discussing gluten, it’s vital to recognize the modern and widespread fad of gluten-free and grain-free diets. Some wonder if it is a new craze of gluten and grain-free diets and whether they are indeed health optimizing or just another passing fad. Whether you decide to eliminate gluten or grains all together from your diet due to experiencing indigestion, your arthritis or joint pain, or simply craving a light entrée for dinner, my delectable zucchini noodle recipe will surely become a family favorite. This recipe is kids-approved and husband-friendly alike. You can add in extra vegetables of your choice, like steamed broccoli, carrots, or even cauliflower. I enjoy swapping the sauce for my homemade tomato sauce, or scrumptious home-based pesto sauce for a change.
If you decide to skip the zucchini, or mix it in with half the amount of spaghetti, make sure your gluten-free spaghetti is indeed healthy. Why is that? Unfortunately, many gluten-free kinds of pasta and spaghetti you may find in the supermarket are indeed free of gluten, yet, may contain ingredients that leave you with stomach discomforts, or other health conditions down the line. Your gluten-free pasta may be full of corn and other genetically engineered ingredients and further unwanted additives. I recall one of my clients complaining to me that after going gluten-free, she began to experience even more digestive pain and discomfort. I asked what food items she excluded, and what other items she began eating again. After recognizing the kind of gluten-free pasta she began eating as a replacement, I instantly recognized it was made of genetically engineered corn. I advise you to be cautious of the ingredients, regardless of whether or not the item is gluten-free certified or not.
Zucchini noodles are a fun and easy replacement for spaghetti; try making them with your kids for dinner next time the gloomy weather has you craving spaghetti. It is extremely filling, and unlike most commonly eaten spaghetti, due to the bleached pasta, it won’t spike your blood sugar. This is quite similar to my pesto zucchini noodle recipe I share in my book, Sunnah Superfoods. You can make this recipe with the tomato-based sauce or the pesto recipe upon your preference. Try tossing in minced onions, carrots, and fresh spinach for a nutritional boost as well as great flavor.
For the noodles:
8-10 small zucchinis
½ cup water
¼ teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
A spiralizer or vegetable peeler
½ cup fresh parsley, garnish (optional)
For the meat/vegetables topping:
1 pound ground meat (lamb or beef at your preference) Spices for meat: 1 tablespoon Himalayan Pink Salt, 1 tablespoon granulated garlic, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon dried dill, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon ground mustard seed
2 cups fresh spinach or kale, chopped
1 red onion, minced
2 large carrots, minced
1 jar (about two cups) spaghetti sauce
Wash and dry your zucchini. Cut off the ends as needed. Use the Spiralizer to make your noodles (follow directions as required).
Cook the noodles with ½ cup water on medium-low heat in a deep skillet. They usually cook in less than 10 minutes; don’t overcook them as they will become mushy and lose their texture.
Transfer the cooked noodles to a serving dish. Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil.
Meanwhile, place the meat in a pot, top with the spices and cook on medium-high heat. Add the chopped veggies; allow it to simmer until it’s browned and well-cooked.
Pour in the tomato sauce and let it simmer with the meat and vegetables for about 6-7 minutes.
Scoop the mixture over the noodles; slightly toss. Serve immediately for optimum taste.
Enjoy it with a delectable homemade salad.
Noor H. Salem is an author, speaker, and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, from Michigan. Noor works with clients in better understanding their bodies and healing with natural foods through her wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition. She presents various workshops, school lectures, group coaching classes, and community lectures on the topic of holistic health. Noor recently published her book, SUNNAH SUPERFOODS, a culmination of life-changing recipes and remedies, with a foreword by Dr. Waleed Basyouni. Her book consists of prophetic hadith, modern research, and delicious recipes, and is in the process of being translated into other languages.