When switching to a grain-free or gluten-free diet one of the hardest foods to give up is pasta. Known as a comfort food, eating pasta is actually quite the opposite for someone with a damaged gut. Pasta is wheat flour and salt. Even in my pre real food days I knew that macaroni was simply empty calories. Here is a substitute that has incredible nutritional value and the satisfying texture of pasta.
The zucchini or courgette is a summer squash and is a hybrid of the cucumber. Along with certain other squashes, it belongs to the species Cucurbita pepo. Zucchini can be dark or light green. A relative, the golden zucchini, is a deep yellow or orange color. Zucchini is known as a vegetable, which means it is usually cooked and presented as a savory side dish. However, the zucchini is actually an immature fruit, being the swollen ovary of the zucchini flower.
The word courgette is a French word and is commonly used in Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa. I think it makes it all sound so much fancier!
Zucchini is a good source of Vitamin A, thiamin, niacin, phosphorus and copper, and a very good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, riboflavin, Vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, potassium and manganese. The omega 3 to 6 ratio is almost 2 to 1, which is excellent.
Using an inexpensive tool like the julienne peeler is easy and quick. You will really surprise your family with a great side dish as explained below, or used as a base for other foods or sauces. The possibilities are limitless!
Courgette Al Dente
- 5 – 6 medium zucchini (organic if possible)
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (where to buy olive oil)
- 2 tablespoon ghee or butter (how to make ghee)
- salt (where to buy salt)
- garlic powder
- A julienne peeler (where to buy a julienne peeler)
- Peel the zucchini with a regular peeler and cut off the edges
- Peel with the julienne peeler until you start to see the seeds, collecting the strips on a plate
- Rotate the zucchini to get to a new area
- Continue around the entire zucchini until you have only the seed core in your hands
- Start again with the next zucchini and so on until all is julienned
- Gently heat a large skillet with extra virgin olive oil and ghee (or butter)
- Saute the strips of zucchini for literally 2 – 3 minutes until they are a little soft but still crunchy and hold their shape
- Season with the salt and garlic powder to taste
- Quickly remove from heat
- You may season this further with anything you like or put sauce on top but this simple version is fantastic as well
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