Eat Zucchini Pasta Like a Dinosaur
This is a guest post written by the Paleo Parents.
Our family may eat a little different from yours. Two years ago we decided to throw out practically our entire pantry and devote ourselves entirely to eating real foods made in nature and not in factories. Along the way in this journey we shed 200 pounds, found health for everyone in our family and learned how to be a happy family.
You can call eating our way the paleo diet or the caveman diet if you wish, but we call it eating like a dinosaur, since dinosaurs only ate plants & meat. It’s a name we came up with for our three young sons. In fact, we wrote a book called just that, Eat Like a Dinosaur: a recipe & guidebook for gluten-free kids!
The central idea of the book and our overall food philosophy is that cooking and eating real foods with your kids being involved is very important. So of course, when we were asked to write a fun summer guest recipe, Wesley, two years old, dove into the kitchen to help make a summer meal!
When I think of summer foods, I think of the colors. Pink watermelons, violet blueberries, purple eggplant, orange cantaloupe, yellow squash, and, of course, red tomatoes and green zucchini. We are especially big fans of zucchini and use it in so many of our recipes.
Readers of Eat Like a Dinosaur will remember our ZuCakes and Zucchini Latkes. Few foods are more versatile, used in baking and roasting and sauteing and steaming (some might argue that the cauliflower has more uses; I’d have that argument!). Not only that, but it’s one of those rare and prized foods that no one can think of a reason to eliminate in any variation of elimination diet – which means it’s easy to digest!
So with this love for the summer squash in her head, Stacy dreamed up a recipe one night that seemed too good not to make. Yes, we often literally dream up recipes. It’s a hazard of being a food blogger, I guess. Stacy thought that zucchini spaghetti paired with basil and bacon would be delicious. So I decided to prove her right. What follows is a very simple recipe you can make in less than 30 minutes that makes an extremely appealing plate and a really terrific meal!
ZuSketti with Bacon and Roasted Tomatoes
- 4 medium zucchini
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 6 strips of nitrate-free bacon (we recommend the sugar-free from USWM), cut into 1″ pieces
save yourself money and buy ends & pieces instead of strips!
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
- 2 tablespoon fat of choice (we recommend lard or bacon grease), melted
- salt (sea salt recommended) and pepper (garlic pepper recommended)
(Note: our belief is that the more you can get your kids involved in your food and the earlier you start makes a significant impact on getting your kids interested in eating healthy. On this occasion, we were helped by our 2 year old son Wesley. He ended up cleaning his plate. All steps marked with a ♥ symbol are perfect for little hands to assist with!)
- Cut off ends of zucchini and, with a peeler, mandolin or knife, cut into 1/8 inch by 1/8 inch “noodles”
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- ♥ On a baking tray, toss together tomatoes, bacon and basil with the fat (the basil will wilt, but it infuses everything with wonderful flavor)
- ♥ Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss again to fully coat
- Bake for 20 minutes
- While waiting, blanch zucchini noodles for 2 minutes in a pot of boiling water, run with cool water to stop cooking and drain thoroughly
- ♥ Toss all ingredients together in a serving bowl
If you want it to be a little creamy, we suggest that you mix in pieces of ripe avocado and fresh basil right before serving. Not only will that add flavor – but also some healthy, creamy fat!
Make this meal to impress your friends or to get your kids excited about veggies! Our kids picked out the veggies themselves from the Farmer’s Market that morning, so they were excited to see us make “noodles” from vegetables. Do you think your kids would have any less than fun doing the same?
The Paleo Parents, Matt and Stacy, blog at PaleoParents.com about food, healthy & green living and parenting. You can also follow them on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest. Their book, Eat Like a Dinosaur, is available in paper on Amazon, B&N.com and select local resellers or for your iPad, Kindle, Blackberry & Android or on Nook!