Sesame Almond Butter Zucchini Noodle Bowls are a veggie-based spin on peanut noodles. Quick, fresh, and satisfying!
Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful, rejuvenating weekend! I spent the past few days at a food blogger retreat in sunny California which I can’t wait to tell you about later this week. Early preview, I literally drank the kombucha koolaid and cannot get enough.
That said, I went from viewing oceanside sunsets to pulling on rain boots in just a few hours on the way back. Man, what a difference 1,600 miles makes! ;) I was only gone two days but swear the whole town blossomed in just as many days thanks to a few spring storms. The lawn is lush and green, trees bare when I left were full when I returned, and the tulips Lincoln and I have been checking on every afternoon finally bloomed.
I’m not sure what the previous owners of our house had in mind as far as tulip landscaping when they planted the bulbs however many years ago, but there are tulips of every color springing up in the most random places in both the front and backyard. I love it though! Makes for a fun treasure hunt every spring. :)
At any rate, inspired by my trip to California, I whipped up a super quick and fresh recipe before I left to share with you today – Sesame Almond Butter Zucchini Noodle Bowls using my new Paderno spiralizer!
I’ve been hearing and reading about “the spiralizer” – a slicer that makes “noodles” out of vegetables with a special blade – for years now from friends and on blogs. Honestly, I’m such a traditional pasta lover that I just kind of thought, why would I want to eat vegetable noodles when I can just eat regular noodles? Obviously I get the benefit of upping your vegetable intake and reducing carbs (if you’re watching that,) but the whole thing kind of reminded me of diet websites that tell you to dip carrots in salsa instead of tortilla chips to reduce calories. Dipping vegetables in vegetables? Yeeeeeah, no.
Anyway, fast forward to the present when eating regular pasta isn’t an option, and I’m watching my intake of other grains, and let’s just say my mind has been opened. Recently after a friend triple reassured me that I’d love the spiralizer, I went for it and wanted to pinch myself for waiting so long. I LOVE THIS THING! (And by the way this post is NOT sponsored!)
With the Paderno slicer, or spiralizer as most people call it, you can make “noodles” out of everything from zucchini to beets, apples to pears, carrots to broccoli stems, sweet potatoes to bell peppers – honestly the vegetable world is your frickin’ noodle oyster. Not only can you make thin noodles, like the ones in my photos, but thicker cuts like linguini and even ribbons to mimic pappardelle. Raw or cooked, thick or thin, totally your call, and it DOESN’T feel like you’re dieting or compromising when digging in.
The spiralizer movement has gotten so big that there are even blogs dedicated to creating recipes using the slicer, like Inspiralized.com. When my spiralizer came in the mail I put up a picture on Instagram then asked everyone what I should make first. I got so many recommendations for Inspiralized.com, written by Ali Maffucci, that she took notice and sent me a copy of her new cookbook Inspiralized, then offered to give one away to an IGE reader. I decided to throw in a Paderno Slicer so you have a chance to win the entire package at the end of this post!
But first, Sesame Almond Butter Zucchini Noodle Bowls! This recipe comes from Ali’s cookbook and I knew the moment I laid eyes on it that it would be my first victim. “Zoodles”, or zucchini noodles, are an extremely popular noodle to make on the spiralizer and within the first week of owning mine I sauteed then paired them with tomato and meat sauce, and sausage and peppers, but this dish takes the cake.
After having to go gluten-free I was relieved to learn that my favorite Thai restaurant in town offered GF versions of their popular menu items including Pad Thai, my favorite. Do you want to know how they made it gluten-free though? They simply omitted the sauce and served cooked rice noodles with chopped peanuts and cilantro. Bon appetit?
These zucchini noodle bowls are raw zucchini noodles tossed in a rich and savory almond butter sauce then sprinkled with TONS of chopped peanuts (or almonds,) and cilantro then swirled thick onto a fork. Ali includes instructions in her book for enjoying this recipe hot by sauteing the zucchini, but I really liked it raw. Lightly crisp and perfectly refreshing. I will be making this dish all summer long!
Start with a vegetable slicer like the Paderno slicer I mentioned above. Ali is coming out with her very own slicer soon so be on the lookout for that too! You can find the Paderno brand at William and Sonoma, though I ordered mine on Amazon. Here’s a link to it on my Amazon store >
Slice the top off 3 small zucchini. A couple good tips I’ve learned from making zoodles so far is to pick thin zucchini vs fat zucchini, which contain more water and will cause your dish to be watery (unless you let them drain which is a whole other blog post!) and to pick straight vegetables vs crooked ones which will cause your noodles to break into half moons instead of coming out in long, even ribbons.
Fit the zucchini between the handle and blade, then crank. Like magic, the zucchini is transformed into thin, delicate noodles. I’m telling you, this part is so much fun!
Someone was not as impressed the day I made this dish. He’ll come around eventually. ;)
Add the zoodles to a large bowl with 3/4 cup chopped scallions (green onions,) which sounds like a lot, but they bring a fantastic punch to the dish, and 1/4 cup chopped peanuts (Ali calls for almonds in her original recipe.)
Finally, make the Sesame Almond Butter Sauce which is 1/2 cup smooth almond butter, 3 Tablespoons gluten-free Tamari or soy sauce (dish will not be GF if using soy sauce,) 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice, 1 Tablespoon honey, 1 Tablespoon water, and 1 teaspoon sesame oil whisked together in a bowl, or processed in a food processor until smooth. The flavor of this almond butter sauce is so balanced. It’s perfect!
Note: The sauce might seem a bit thick but the zucchini will release water, helping it to thin out and evenly coat each noodle.
Last step is to toss the sauce with the zoodles until evenly coated then serve with lots of extra chopped peanuts and cilantro, and delicate sesame seeds. Grab a fork and dive in!
Sesame Almond Butter Zucchini Noodle Bowls
Sesame Almond Butter Zucchini Noodle Bowls are a veggie-based spin on peanut noodles. Super quick, fresh, and satisfying!
- 1/2 cup smooth almond butter
- 3 Tablespoons low-sodium gluten-free Tamari or soy sauce (dish will not be GF if using soy sauce)
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- 1 Tablespoon water
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds or peanuts (plus more for garnish)
- 3 small zucchini, spiralized
- 3/4 cup chopped scallions, green and white parts
- 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
- chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Combine almond butter, gluten-free tamari or soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, lime juice, water, salt and pepper into a food processor then pulse until creamy. Transfer to a small bowl. (Since my almond butter was new and still soft I whisked directly into a bowl.)
- Rinse the food processor and wipe dry. Add the almonds or peanuts and pulse until chunky ground, taking care not to grind into a powder. Alternatively you could chop by hand.
- Place the zucchini noodles into a medium bowl with the scallions. Add the almond butter sauce and the ground almonds or peanuts, and toss to combine thoroughly. Top with sesame seeds, extra chopped peanuts, and chopped cilantro then serve immediately.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
Enter to win a copy of the Inspiralized cookbook plus a Paderno Vegetable Slicer by using the widget below (may not work in Internet Explorer.) Giveaway is open until 12am on April 24th. Good luck!