Love roasted red peppers and savoury, roasted garlic? How about the two of them blended together with cheesy nutritional yeast? Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Well, these roasted garlic and red pepper zoodles combine all three of those ingredients into one healthy, low calorie, plant-based meal that’s packed with flavour and nutrition!
Zucchini As A Staple
I go through zucchini at my house like it’s my job. I eat it almost every day and it’s always on my grocery list. I love using it in baking, eating it raw, fried, baked and my favourite, turning it into crunchy, fresh, zucchini noodles! I’ve shared quite a few zoodle recipes on the blog so if you missed those, be sure to check them out below. I love how much nutrition and volume zucchini provides for such little calories. High volume win.
Zucchini Noodle Recipes
Health Benefits of Zucchini
Zucchini isn’t just the perfect low carb alternative to pasta but it provides fiber, B vitamins, vitamin C, potassium, folate, vitamin A and manganese, all important nutrients we should load up on for general good health. It’s also been shown to improve arterial health as well as have anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, zucchini is such a low calorie food it’s a good choice for helping to maintain body weight.
Reducing Inflammation For Better Health
Inflammation has long been known to play a role in allergic diseases like asthma, arthritis and Crohn’s disease however chronic inflammation may also contribute to Alzheimer’s, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. In addition to poor diet, lack of stress management, build up of toxins and a sedentary lifestyle also contribute to chronic inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is rampant in our society today, in large part to a nutritionally-poor diet but luckily, we can prevent and reduce inflammation through lifestyle choices.
To start reducing inflammation, you should try to minimize or eliminate the following foods from your diet.
- Corn and soybean oils
- Pasteurized dairy
- Refined carbohydrates
- Conventional meat
- Trans fats
The easiest way to reduce the amount of these foods in your diet is to ditch processed foods asap. Overly processed foods typically contain modified corn and soybean oils, refined sugar often in the form of high fructose corn syrup, refined carbohydrates as well as trans fats. Cut those out and you’ll have a great start on reducing inflammation.
Next you can start eating foods that have anti-inflammatory properties. This is easier than you think! By sticking to a whole food diet, you’ll naturally be consuming foods that have anti-inflammatory properties, just like zucchini!
- dark, leafy greens like spinach
- green foods like broccoli and celery
- berries like blueberries, cherries and blackberries
- spices like turmeric and ginger
- omega-3 rich seeds like flax and chia
- vegetables like red pepper, beets and tomatoes
- nuts like walnuts and almonds
- oils like olive and coconut
- green tea
- dark chocolate
Any of those foods are a great place to start and hopefully you’re consuming some if not all of them already! Even if you eat meat, the base of your diet should still be plants. By including plenty of plant foods at every meal, you’ll be well on your way to preventing chronic inflammation. Note the dark chocolate! Heyo!
Roasted Garlic and Red Pepper Zoodles
There are a few steps to this recipe but overall, it’s very easy. If you’ve never made your own roasted red peppers at home, it’s very easy to do. While your garlic and red peppers are roasting, you can prep the zucchini noodles or even make them ahead of time to speed up the time needed to make this.
Try Raw or Cooked Zoodles
I left my zucchini noodles raw for this recipe. I like them crunchy and this saves time since there’s no cooking involved once you make the sauce. If you prefer to cook them, simply add them to a pan and cook for about 5-10 minutes until they soften a bit. If you’re cooking them, you might want to squeeze the water out of them before hand. I didn’t do this for my raw noodles and after it sat in the fridge it was a little watery but I just drained it off and it was fine.
If you want to get the excess water out of the zucchini first, follow the tips in this post for better zoodles. As for the roasted red peppers, they’re a cinch to make at home, can be made without any oil and they taste great!
How to Make Roasted Red Peppers
1. Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds.
2. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the peppers on the sheet with the inside facing down. Smash each pepper down so they lay flat.
3. Broil on a top rack in the oven until the skin starts to turn black and bubble. This usually takes about 15-20 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven and fold the foil over the peppers, or place another piece of foil on top to seal them in. Let them steam in the foil for 10 minutes or so.
5. Once they’ve steamed inside the foil, open it up and peel off the skin. It should come off quite easily. You might want to let them cool a bit so they’re easier to handle.
A Healthy, Low Fat Sauce
You can use this delicious, healthy sauce over any kind of noodles. Roasting the garlic and red pepper really amps up the flavour. Once they’re roasted, they’re blended with cheesy, nutty nutritional yeast, onion and vegetable stock for a high-protein, low fat and carb pasta sauce that still delivers on flavour. It would be really nice over some steamed veggies, spaghetti squash or even roasted potatoes!
- 3 roasted red peppers (see instructions in post for how to roast your own peppers)
- 2 bulbs roasted garlic + ½ tsp olive oil for roasting (see note below)
- ½ cup (36 g) nutritional yeast
- 1 small or ½ a large red onion
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 zucchinis (approx. 1200 g), cut into noodles with a spiralizer
- fresh parsley and/or basil for serving
- Add all of the ingredients to a food processor or blender and mix until smooth and creamy.
- Top zucchini noodles with the sauce and serve with fresh parsley and basil.
- Keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To make zucchini noodles, pick up a spiralizer on Amazon.