My Latest Obsession: Veggie Noodles

Cooking

For the past year, I’ve been making a conscious effort to eat healthier. Not that I ever ate poorly, per say, but there was definitely room for improvement. On my mission to incorporate more vegetables into my diet and cut out “empty” calories, I came across one of the trendiest health foods: veggie noodles (or “zoodles,” if you will).

I’ve come to truly adore this alternative to traditional pasta (despite my Italian roots) and now use them quite often for quick week-night meals or bring-to-work lunches. This is how easy they are to make:

  1. Sauté the noodles in a pan for 5 minutes
  2. Add your favorite sauce
  3. Top with additional vegetables or protein, if desired

My favorite variation has been finishing the noodles with pesto and topping with lean protein, such as chicken.

You can also enjoy shopping for these noodles in a variety of vegetables (which equates to lots of color!)  and can find them made from zucchini, sweet potatoes or, as pictured above, beets!

Whether you’re a health-nut or not, I encourage you to give zoodles a try. I think you may be pleasantly surprised!

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How to Cook Butternut Squash in the Slow Cooker

Food

To me, butternut squash is everything you could ever want in a vegetable. It’s versatile, beautifully colored and rich, making it the perfect ingredient for fall and winter cooking.

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While making it the main component of a soup or casserole is a fan-favorite idea, there is nothing quite like a simple recipe, allowing you to truly enjoy the flavor of the vegetable.

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Having grown butternut squash in our garden this year, I was really looking forward to enjoying the rich and satisfying taste of the squash without loading it up with cream, butter or cheese.

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That being said, one of the easiest ways to cook butternut squash is in the slow cooker. While you can throw the whole thing in (skin and all) to make mashed squash, follow these instructions if you are going for a more roasted technique:

  1. Peel your squash and cut it into cubes.img_0737
  2. Place the cubes in your slow cooker.
  3. Mix in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  4. Add kosher salt and ground pepper to taste.
  5. Cook on high for two hours or low for four hours.
  6. Enjoy!