Sesame Zoodles

I hung out with my twin niece and nephew yesterday for a few hours.  They are 17 months old and absolutely charming.  I had a couple of hours free between my morning walk and needing to leave for their house, so I pulled out the spiralizer and made this Asian noodle salad to take along for my lunch.  It’s from the June 2016 Good Housekeeping.

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a38869/asian-sesame-zucchini-noodles-recipe/

Asian Sesame Zucchini Noodles

This stir-fry uses zucchini noodles, which are way lower in cals and carbs than grain-based pasta.

TOTAL TIME: 0:15
LEVEL: Easy
YIELD: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 1/4 c. packed fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed with press
  • 2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 3 medium zucchini, spiralized

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk cilantro, vinegar, oil, garlic, red pepper, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  2. Add zucchini; toss until well-combined. Serve immediately.
Nutritional Information (per serving): Calories 85; Protein 2g; Carbohydrate 12g; Total Fat 4g; Saturated Fat 1g; Dietary Fiber 2g; Sodium 575mg

I think it’s pretty funny that GH is calling this a stir-fry  on their website when there’s no cooking involved (that line is not in the print version). They either forgot that step in the directions or their proofreader is on vacation (or both).

We received 2 yellow and 2 green zucchini in last week’s CSA. 3 were peewees and one was average, so I just used them all.  We did not get any cilantro, so I used basil instead (Thai basil is a thing, so it seemed perfectly reasonable to me). I whisked up most of the dressing as the Kitchen Aid did the rest of the work for me.  This dish was ready to go in no time at all.  I was surprised at the large (to me) amounts of sugar and red pepper flake in the dressing, but my pile of noodles was pretty hefty, so I followed the measurements as written.

20160709_154036-1-1

Verdict:  a keeper with some minor changes!  I love the crunch of the “noodles”, but I might have chopped them a little after spiralizing.  They were really long and a little unwieldy to manage. I definitely noticed the sugar in the dressing, and would probably reduce it by a 1/2 teaspoon or so.  It wasn’t overpowering, but I would prefer it to be more subtle.  The red pepper flake was surprisingly tolerable.  The heat was there, and for me it was a lot, but it worked.  The basil wasn’t very strong, so I would definitely increase it, maybe even double, if I were to use it again.  The sesame oil was in the background; I would have preferred it to be more noticeable and would increase it.  I ended up sprinkling my serving with a generous grind of pepper and  a touch of salt.  That little seasoning made a big difference in enhancing the other flavors.  A big bowl of this around 3:45 pm left me completely full for the rest of the day.  It is a perfect lunch or dinner–cool and crisp on a hot summer day.

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