Who says noodles have to be made of wheat? Transforming vegetables into noodle shapes is an easy way to cut back on calories, stack your meals with nutrients, and feel a little more energized.
For example: One cup cooked spaghetti has about 220 calories and 43 grams of carbohydrate. One small zucchini made into "zoodles" (zucchini noodles) has 20 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrate.
Although a "zoodle" doesn't taste like a noodle, I think it's a nice alternative to noodles or a way to make a light, vegetarian meal. They keep their shape when tossed with oil or sauce and add color to your meal. Not sure? Here are a handful of ways to "zoodle" your meals:
From our friends at Eating Well. This veggie-version of classic spaghetti carbonara turns sweet potatoes into long strands of vegetable noodles.
Fill your omelet with 'zoodled' yellow squash for an extra hit of texture. Try zucchini for more color.
VIDEO: Chicken Zoodle Soup
You'll still get to twist the noodles around the spoon! Zucchini-spiraled veggie noodles are a great way to sneak extra vegetables into comforting, nutritious chicken soup.
Toss 'zoodles' in olive oil, salt, and pepper for a light lunch or side dish at dinner.
Scrape a fork across the flesh of baked spaghetti squash to create pasta-like strands of squash. Then top the veggie noodles with a hearty ground beef and vegetable tomato sauce.
The rice noodles are replaced with ribbons of zucchini and carrots. Although it is served cold, the flavor of the sauce is pretty similar to traditional pad thai.
Watch our friends at Eating Well make a low-carb lasagna with spaghetti squash veggie noodles instead of pasta.
Try making this one with a vegetable noodle-making tool! The carrots could easily be run through the devices to make longer noodle shapes.
Zoodle zucchini into veggie noodles and sauté with garlic in olive oil and top with chopped fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese.
Replace the spaghetti noodles with zucchini noodles and toss in pesto for a lighter version.
VIDEO: How to Cut Spaghetti Squash and Cook in the Microwave
Eating Well's Jessie Price demonstrates a simple technique for cutting and prepping spaghetti squash.
There are a lot of gadgets out there to help this process become easier: The Spiralizer, The Zoodler, Veggetti, or simply use a vegetable peeler. Sweet potatoes, beets, and cucumbers work really well. The possibilities are endless...and a little less food coma-inducing.
Zucchini just dropped the mic.