Spiral Carrot Noodle Salad with Ginger Lime Peanut Dressing

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Spring time brings and abundance of fresh produce in the local supermarkets and farmer’s markets .
I am always looking for meals that take less cooking in the kitchen, and mostly raw if possible.Such is the case with spring vegetables, which are perfect for leaving raw, keeping the nutritional value intact.

Using a spiral vegetable slicer. It gives good noodle.This handy little gadget is  much easier to use than a mandoline or vegetable peeler. You can purchase a GEFU SpirelliSpiral Slicer or a Paderno World Cuisine Spiralizer, which is another incredible kitchen gadget perfect for  spiralizing all sorts of hearty  vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets and butternut squash into noodles.

But if  you don’t have a spiral slicer, you can simply grate the carrots with a box grater to make this recipe.

You can even spiral carrots. Carrots remotely taste like pasta, but as a vegetable, it can offer a vegetarian,  paleo option for those looking for something off the beaten path.The carrot noodles are crisp and fresh and the ginger-lime peanut sauce makes your taste buds  spin. And the bonus is  that recipe is ever so simple and requires zero cooking, because let’s face it, who wants to spend time over a hot stove during this time of year. Also, this is  the perfect dish for “Meatless Mondays”.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
For the Carrot Pasta:
5 large carrots, peeled and spiraled into noodles
1/3 cup roasted cashews or peanuts
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped

For the Ginger-Lime Peanut Sauce:
2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
4 Tablespoons coconut milk
A pinch cayenne pepper
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 Tablespoon lime juice
Kosher salt,  to taste
Sliced scallions, for garnish

Directions:
To Prepare the Ginger-Lime Peanut Sauce:
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix together until smooth and
creamy.

To Prepare the Carrot Pasta:
Wash carrots well, peel them, and pat them dry.Using your spiral slicer, make noodles out of all of the carrots. It will be more difficult to make the noodles once there is only a few inches of carrot left, so you can grate what’s left of the carrot.

To serve, place the carrot noodles into a large serving bowl. Pour the Ginger-Lime Sauce over the noodles and gently toss together. Garnish with roasted cashews or peanuts, scallions and freshly chopped cilantro.

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Zucchini Linguine with Shrimp

My backyard garden is just bursting all over with an abundance of Zucchini, as they are reaching their peak this summer.growing-zucchini-how-to-grow-zucchini-summer-squash2-1024x768

But did you know that zucchinis are actually fruits and not a true vegetable?

However, in the culinary world, it is treated as a vegetable. Like all squash, and being a member of the gourd family, zucchini has its ancestry in the Americas. More specifically, they are native to Central America and Mexico. The varieties of squash typically called “zucchini” were further cultivated and developed in Italy, many generations after their introduction from the New World.

As a food, Zucchini are so versatile. It can be prepared using a variety of cooking techniques, including steamed, boiled, grilled, stuffed and baked, barbecued, fried, or incorporated in other recipes such as soufflés. Mature (larger sized) zucchini are well suited for cooking in breads, similar to banana bread or incorporated into a cake batter. Even Its flowers can be eaten stuffed and are a delicacy when deep fried, as tempura.Zucchini can also be eaten raw, sliced or shredded in a cold salad, as well as lightly cooked in hot salads, as in Thai or Vietnamese recipes.

Zucchini has a delicate flavor and requires little more than quick cooking with butter or olive oil, with or without fresh herbs.] The skin is left in place. Quick cooking of barely wet zucchini in oil or butter allows the fruit to partially boil and steam, with the juices concentrated in the final moments of frying when the water has gone, prior to serving, making it a perfect base for gluten free or paleo dishes.

For this dish, you can use a mandolin or a juilenne peeler to make the zucchini noodles.tumblr_llj0cdP1j51qdei8m

There is even a new product on the market as seen on those late night infomercials. It is called the Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer.vegetti3 81p5zeYQufL._SL1500_

 

I prefer using the Paderno Spiralizer from Italy. Theimg32o spiralizer is available at Williams-Sonoma (www. williams-sonoma.com). Unlike the mandolin, the spiralizer will give you a continuous spiral that resembles cooked spaghetti, rather than a julienne effect that you would get with using  a mandolin or a peeler.

 

 

I gathered the ingredients I had on hand: Shrimp, garlic, fresh herbs, 1 small lemon,  1/2 small onion, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and butter.

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The  large  mature zucchini was taken straight from my back yard garden and washed. Using the spiralizer, the zucchini was cut.Paper towels were used to remove excess moisture. The zucchini was then placed in a glass bowl.

 

My recipe calls for the spiral zucchini to be “raw”,  seasoned with a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and freshly ground pepper, chopped parsley and torn Thai Basil leaves. which were added to the zucchini and tossed well to mix and set aside.

For the shrimp, The shellfish were deveined, with the tail left intact. Two cloves of DSC03941garlic, roughly chopped and a small onion were added to a skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter. The garlic and onions were sauteed until the onions were translucent and the garlic was fragrant.The shrimp were added to the skillet, along with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and lemon zest. The shrimp were cooked until pale pink, about 2-3 minutes each side.

The zucchini linguine was swirled onto a plate. The shrimp.garlic and onions were arranged on top of the  zucchini noodles and a dusting of grated Parmesan cheese was sprinkled on the finished plate.

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From prep time to cooking time, the entire dish only took 25 minutes, with very little cooking involved. I am sure that you can add any mix of summer vegetables, like tomatoes to the dish.

Quick, light, and easy summer cooking……..as I enjoy the fruits of my labor from my back yard garden!