The other week I was invited to lunch for a small gathering at a friend’s house. I was pressed for time and needed to bring something healthy to share. I grabbed the zucchini from my fridge, and had this delicious salad of zucchini noodles ready to go in less than 20 minutes. Since then I’ve created a recipe that has become one of my all-time favorite ways to eat zucchini. The flavors are bright and lemony, just perfect for the spring weather starting to appear. Add a dash of parmesan cheese and some sunflower seeds, and you have a rich depth of flavor with a little crunch, too.
For this recipe I’ve paired down the fats from the version I served at the luncheon to make it lighter and lower in fat, but you can always add those back in for a special occasion. My original recipe had two extra tablespoons of olive oil in the dressing, and double the amount of sunflower seeds and Parmesan cheese. Both versions taste great, so it ‘s a matter of nutritional preference.
Making this salad was also an excuse to use my new spiralizer veggie attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer. After just a few uses, I have completely fallen in love with it! Until now, I have been cutting zucchini noodles by hand, making thin strips with a mandolin then cutting those into noodles with more thin cuts. The method works just fine, but it makes straight strips whereas a noodle attachment cuts the zucchini into coils. I love the texture! It reminds me of eating curly fries, just healthier. The tool looks complicated, but it is actually really easy to use. If you have the mixer, I highly recommend this product.
134Calories – 5g Protein – 5g Net Carbs –10g Fat –652mg Sodium
A few notes about zucchini:
– The minute fresh zucchini is salted, it will begin to wilt and become juicy at the bottom of the bowl. Don’t toss it with the dressing until just before you want to serve it.
– Cut your noodles to a reasonable length for serving and eating. I left mine full-length, and some of them were way too long to get out of the bowl without a struggle.
- 6 cups raw zucchini noodles
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- If you don't have a handy tool to make zucchini noodles, you can trim both ends and cut zucchini in half. With the flat part down for a stable base, cut each piece into 1/4" ribbons. Turn each ribbon on its side, and cut long strips to make the noodles.
- Mix olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper to make the dressing.
- Toss the zucchini with the dressing and top with sunflower seeds and cheese. It's that easy!
- Note of caution, salt from the dressing will extract moisture from the zucchini causing it to wilt and sit in a pool at the bottom of the bowl. If you are bringing this dish to a party, bring the dressing separately and toss it just before serving.