Zoodles + Quinoa with Lemon Garlic Tahini Dressing

Zoodles! Oodles and oodles of zoodle noodles! Are you annoyed with me yet? Well don't be, because I made you a delicious plate of zucchini noodles and you're going to love it!

If you haven't yet discovered the magic that is a spiralizer, I recommend you go out and get one right away. You can use a spiralizer to make veggies like zucchini, beets, carrots, or sweet potato turn into a voluminous plate of veggie spirals that capture the essence of a nice bowl of spaghetti. That could be great for people who might need to cut calories but still like to enjoy pasta-esque foods.

I, on the other hand, will always hold delicious carb-y pasta near to in my heart (a runner's gotta carb-load). However, zucchini noodles, or zoodles as some might call them, are fabulous in their own way. You won't feel like you've eaten a basketball after eating some zoodles, that's for sure. They're super fresh and hydrating, and it will help you change up the way you get your daily servings of vegetables (Because let's be real, I can only eat a salad so many days in a row before I fall asleep at the table).

I decided to mix my zoodles with some quinoa for protein, a lemon garlic tahini dressing for some tangy creaminess, and a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts for some more texture, crunchy-ness and nuttiness. Eating the healthy fats in tahini, which is basically sesame seed butter (and also found in hummus), and pine nuts with vegetables help to better absorb fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin A (which is an essential nutrient found in zucchini). The coating of dressing on my zoodles is very light because a little goes a long way, but you can always double the recipe if you find you want to boost the flavor. You could also use it as a dressing for other salads and dishes, or even use less lemon juice for a thicker spread for sandwiches. There are no rules in this kitchen.

If you don't have a spiralizer, you can always just chop the zucchini up; if you look really close in my photo, you might see some chopped up pieces from the end of the zucchinis that were too short to spiralize.

This dish is like a win-win-win-win! You get lots of nutrition, you get filled up, you get deliciousness, and you feel amazing. Go eat it! Oodles and oodles of zoodle noodles that you shouldn't share with your poodle (I don't actually have a poodle, although I do have half of one at home...*). Enjoy!

Zoodles + Quinoa with Lemon Garlic Tahini Dressing

Serves 3

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

1 c. uncooked quinoa

1/4 c. pine nuts

3 medium zucchini, made into noodles with spiralizer or julienne peeler, or chopped into small pieces

1 clove garlic, minced,

Juice of one lemon

1/4 c. tahini

Directions:

  1. Add quinoa to a pot and add 2 c. water. Bring to a boil on the stove, then reduce the heat to bring the pot to a simmer. Cover, and let it cook for 15-20 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, add the pine nuts to a pan and toast on the stove over medium heat. Keep the pan moving to prevent the nuts from burning. Alternatively, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and toast until golden and fragrant.
  3. To make the tahini sauce, add the garlic, tahini, and lemon juice to a small bowl, and stir together until combined.
  4. To assemble the dish, combine all of the prepared ingredients together, and stir until combined.
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they are not on your road does not mean they are lost.
— Dalai Lama

Also, did you guys hear?! Me and Bill Nye the Science Guy are totally BFFs! Well almost. I got to interview him for my school newspaper, The Eagle, when he came to speak on campus last week. It was totally awesome, he is such a friendly, funny, and intelligent guy, and I'm now inspired to become an environmental warrior! If we don't take the action to save our planet from climate change, who will? More on this will be forthcoming. In the meantime, check out my story on his speech and interview here. While you're there, check out all of the other great stories the staff works hard to put out every day!

*By my half poodle, I'm referring to my puppy (who is going to be 10 in August!), Riley the cockapoo (half cocker spaniel, half poodle). Here's a #tbt Throwback Thursday (pretend it's not Wednesday when I'm posting this...) of Riley from last summer! When I could actually feel my face when I went outside! What is warmth? This past weekend it was basically 20 degrees outside! ---> FYI this doesn't mean global warming doesn't exist.

Riley.JPG