I know zoodles (zucchini noodles) are all the rage. I went to a challah baking class held by my rabbi's wife, and while we were waiting for the dough to rise, she had a special kosher chef come to demonstrate some simple salad recipes that can look super fancy. This incredible woman showed us how to spiralize beets to elevate a salad. Since then, my wheels have been turning. I've always loved spiralized zucchini, but why couldn't I do this with other vegetables? I was originally planning to make sausage and peppers over zoodles, but I'm clearly better at cooking than I am at planning: I had no peppers and no zucchini. I did have a fridge with two yellow squash, so my first thought was to make SQUOODLES! Have I mentioned how much I love combining two words to make one innovative yet fun word?
Instead of bell peppers, I knew I wanted to use other vegetables, and threw in some sliced mushrooms with the sausage, topping it off with some spinach. For the record, squoodles/zoodles can get unappealingly mushy if they're cooked too long. I always set aside some leftovers from dinner to have for lunch the next day, and when these kind of "oodles" are reheated, they get a super soft texture that I don't like. So instead, I only cooked them for long enough to soften them a bit and flavor them nicely.
Prep time: 8 min
Cook time: 12 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: Serves 4
2 large yellow squash, spiralized
1 package of 4 (12 oz total) beef sausage
1 bag (5 oz) spinach
1 package (8 oz) sliced mushrooms, any kind you like
2 teaspoons garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Spiralize your squash. Set aside until ready to use.
Dice the sausage into bite-sized pieces.
If you have whole mushrooms, slice them as well. I cheated and bought pre-sliced shrooms to save time.
Put the sausage into a large skillet, and heat over a medium flame until warmed, stirring frequently. This should take about 4 minutes, since the sausage is pre-cooked. If you get raw sausage, it will take longer to cook.
Add the mushrooms and garlic, and sauté for another 4 minutes, making sure to stir often.
Add the spinach and cook for about 2 minutes, until the spinach wilts.
Take the veggies out of the pan and put everything into a bowl and cover.
Put the olive oil in the skillet and add the squoodles, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
Stir frequently over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes and serve!
Making noodles out of vegetables is actually way easier than it sounds. I usually don't even peel the zucchini or squash before spiralizing, although I do wash it really thoroughly. All you have to do is cut off the ends of the squash, and spiralize away. I've found it easier to cut the squash into two pieces, so that the noodles don't get stuck or get too long. Alternatively, you can deeply score the squash to make shorter squoodles. Once they're cut, set them aside. To save time, you can even do this beforehand, and keep them in a covered container.
There's a lot of different types of spiralizers, and I've included a link to some more popular kinds below.
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Finding kosher sausage can be a challenge. Luckily, my local supermarket carries Jack's Gourmet Sausage. It's a personal favorite of mine that also comes in different varieties like hot, sweet, or chorizo styles. This makes it pretty versatile. I'm a huge fan of beef, but you can always choose other types of meat. Chicken sausage is a little hard to find where I live, and the one brand that I have found isn't a personal favorite of mine. I have used uncured turkey franks in a pinch, and those work out pretty well. You could use ground chicken, turkey, or beef. This recipe is versatile and can be altered easily.
Cooking with noodles (regular pasta or vegetable noodles) can be a bit of a challenge, as they get cool very quickly. I chose to cook the sausage and vegetables first, then the squoodles separately, combining just before serving. It's an easy way to make sure that everything is hot at the same time.
21 Day Fix Container Counts
If you are following 21 Day Fix, the container counts for this recipe as written are:
2 green containers
1 red container
Since I'm such a fussy eater, I always like to include modifications or substitutions you can make to accommodate your needs and preferences. Here's what I came up with:
Protein: You can use chicken or turkey sausage if you can find it. If you don't keep kosher, you have a lot more options, and can use any kind of sausage that's approved. If you can't find kosher sausage, you could always use uncured frankfurters, or even kosher salami if you aren't following 21 Day Fix. If you're vegetarian, leave it out and use beans, tofu, vegetarian frankfurters, or whatever you like. I just discovered soy chorizo at Trader Joe's. I haven't tried it yet, but it could work.
Vegetables: Any vegetables would work here. You could add tomatoes to the mix instead of (or in addition to) any of the vegetables I chose. If there's something you don't like, skip it. Use something you do like!
Seasonings: I didn't want to go too heavy on any spices, since my father was eating it and tends to be very particular about what he likes. The lemon juice adds a nice, bright flavor that offsets the heavy flavor of the beef sausage. You could always use more or less. You could also add some red pepper flakes, chili powder, or hot sauce if you like your food with a little kick. If you don't keep kosher, or chose a vegetarian protein source, you could also add some grated cheese or cheese substitute to it.
Noodles: My father absolutely despises vegetables in noodle form. If you or someone you know feels this way, or if you aren't watching your intake of carbohydrates, use regular pasta. I had some leftover rotini in the freezer, and just thawed his portion in a colander under hot running water to prepare in a flash.
And that's it! Let me know what you come up with if you decide to alter anything. I hope you enjoy this as much as my family and I did.
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