Zucchini calms the mind… just one more reason to swap out your pasta for noodles!
Honesty time. I don’t love zucchini noodles. I really want to, but I just don’t. I know everyone, everywhere, is saying that noodles are a great substitute for spaghetti. Yeah, right. Not so much for me. BUT, they are so good for you — especially these zoodles with raw tomato basil sauce — that I made it my mission to figure out why I don’t love noodles as much as everyone else seems to.
This is what I figured out: I just don’t love them when I think of them as spaghetti. When I’m expecting a big heaping bowl of satisfying pasta, any kind of vegetable, no matter how good it is, just isn’t going to cut it. So, here’s my trick. I serve them with a cold sauce (and this one is delicious), so that it seems more like a salad-y dish than a pasta dish. This way I’m not disappointed. And, let me tell you, the flavor is so good, it’s the best salad ever!
I guess it’s a mental thing. A mind over matter thing.
But, I can honestly say, I love these zoodles with raw tomato basil sauce as a side dish for my grilled fish. Or with my collard wrap for lunch. And I used the sauce as a salsa for some grain-free chips too! Ah, a multitasking dish… you gotta love it!
If you are a zucchini lover, you should also try my recipe for Vegan Skillet Zucchini Parmesan!
Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this recipe for zoodles with raw tomato basil sauce:
Zucchini cools your body off and makes you feel better during those hot days of summer. It helps your body release excess heat and it will make your mind feel more calm.
Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….
In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections. This recipe uses both fresh and sun-dried tomatoes.
Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.
Avocados are one of my favorite foods, both for their health benefits and because they taste great. In Chinese medicine, some practitioners recommend avocados to raise the sperm count. I like them because they are good for anemia, dry skin, palpitations and hot flashes due to menopause.
Oregano is a powerful antioxidant and it is great at fighting bacteria. It’s also known as an herb that brings joy and happiness to people. I even just bought a bottle of oregano essential oil and I put a drop in our smoothies or water when anyone has a cold… it works great!
Celery actually helps stop bleeding — so if you or anyone you know has just had surgery, start adding celery to your dishes! Celery is also great to help lower blood pressure and it’s been known to help with insomnia.
- 1-1/2 lb. zucchini noodles (pre-made or spiralized yourself)
- 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed
- sea salt, to taste
- 1-1/2 lb fresh tomatoes
- 2 celery ribs, cut into pieces
- juice of ½ a small lemon
- ¾ cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 Tbs fresh oregano leaves
- ½ an avocado, cubed
- 3 sun-dried tomato pieces, packed in oil
- Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and saute, stirring, until in starts to brown.
- Add the zucchini and some sea salt and toss with a tongs just until the zucchini begins to soften a little bit.
- In a food processor, combine the fresh tomatoes, celery, lemon juice, basil, oregano, sun-dried tomato, and avocado. Pulse until the consistency of salsa (not completely smooth).
- Serve the noodles with sauce on top and pass the extra sauce on the side.