Monday, January 25, 2010

Karina makes ..."Zuc Noods" with Vegan Avocado alfredo

I ate in this beautiful vegan restaurant in San Diego once where they had a Zucchini Noodle Pasta Dish on the menu. At the time my friend and I were too full and wanted only juices and an appetizer, but we obsessed on the idea of these "Zucc Noods" and were determined to come back and try them. Much to our devastation, the restaurant closed down for "renovation" only the next week and never seemed to open their doors again...

The other night I was craving a dish that was indulgent and satisfying in taste, but not too hard on the belly. When I looked at the fresh, organic produce I had just purchased and noticed I had picked up a great deal of zucchini, my desire to find out what these mysterious Zucc Noods could be all about flashed into my mind.

I had a big bunch of carrots as well as zucchini, so I decided I would combine the two to make my "pasta" that much more colorful, delicious, and nutritious. I experimented with several different ways to cut them into a noodle, and found simply peeling strips off with a carrot peeler worked the best for me.

I sprinkled the prepped noodles with lemon and stuck them in the fridge to stay crisp and fresh until boiling time.

I still had a bag of raw cashews left over, so I started the process of making a vegan sauce by soaking them this time. Me always being the experimenter that I am, decided I would soak them in OJ to give them a little citrus twist.

After several hours in the OJ, I drained them and added them into the food processor with 3 cloves of garlic, 2 tbls tahini, 3/4 ripe avocado, 1/2 red onion, a few leafs of basil, a bunch of spinach, 2 tbls earth balance, a splash of braggs, a few squirts of fresh lemon juice, a few shakes of salt, pepper, cayenne, sage, & paprika. I added some olive oil while it blended to make sure it was really smooth.

I heated some water on the stove and boiled my zucc and carrot noods for only a few mintutes (prob 5 or so) until they were soft and tender but not mushy.

After draining the water, I mixed in my vegan avocado "alfredo" and simmered on low until the sauce was warm. In the oven I had been preparing my pasta toppings: roasted shiitake mushrooms, garlic, and onions that I baked with olive oil, braggs, lemon, salt and pepper for about 45 minutes at 400*. I prepared a fresh spin salad with fresh organic heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, olive oil and lemon to go with it...

And finally devoured my fantasy feast of zucc noods! (I don't know how that restaurant actually prepared their dish, but let's just say they may have had a little competition coming their way...)

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