Creamy Vegan No-Pasta Zoodles with Arugula & Chanterelle Mushrooms & Thyme

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Zoodles.  Noodles made from spiralized zucchini.  No carbs.  No guilt.  Really yummy & very easy.  I prefer the hand held & less expensive spiralizer like THESE for zucchini.  It is fast & easy to use & has minimal clean up – but if you have a tabletop version – knock yourself out.

I used Chanterelle mushrooms because I had them but any of the more mildly flavored mushrooms will do.  I might avoid portobello only because they can get dark when cooked and not look so pretty.  I also used arugula but spinach or any other leafy green, like kale or chard, would also work.

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I used my own, homemade vegan mozzarella (seen above) but any mild vegan cheese will do – and even real cheese would work – if you are a cheese eater.

This was my first effort with zoodles where I did not add real pasta to the mix so – without the heat of pasta to toss them with – they needed some cooking.  My result was more watery (you can see in the photos) than was ideal and so – in the future – I will use THIS technique to drain them a bit before cooking them and I recommend you do, too.  The procedure is simply to lay the zoodles on paper towel & lightly salt them & press more paper towel on top.  Maybe change out the top towel – if necessary.  Roll up in paper towel & squeeze.  This should get most of the excess moisture out.

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Creamy Vegan No-Pasta Zoodles with Arugula & Chanterelle Mushrooms & Thyme

Feeds 2

INGREDIENTS

2 very large zucchini (enough so you get about 5-6 cups of spiralized noodles) – spiralized

1/2 lb mushrooms (I used Chanterelle) – sliced

1-2 cups arugula (or spinach)

1-2 cups grated vegan mozzarella (I used one cup but would suggest going with two)

2 garlic cloves – chopped

Olive oil

Several TBS Fresh thyme – removed from stems

2 TBS vegan butter

2 TBS flour

1 cup almond (or other vegan) milk

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Spiralize the zucchini & follow THESE steps to remove excess moisture.

Heat the butter in a stock pot & whisk in the flour.  Add a TBS or two of fresh thyme.  Incrementally add the milk in small amounts – allowing the roux to thicken each time.   Add the cheese & stir with a wooden spoon until the cheese melts & the sauce is creamy.  Season with S&P.  Stir in the arugula.  Set aside on medium-low to keep warm.

In  saute pan – heat a TBS olive oil & cook the mushrooms.  When they are almost done to your liking – add the garlic & a TBS of thyme & stir to incorporate.  After 2 minutes or so – remove from heat because you don’t want to burn the garlic.  Season with S&P.

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In that same saute pan – heat another TBS or two & quickly cook the zoodles – not more than 2-3 minutes or they will get too mushy.  Toss the zoodles with the cheese sauce & heat through.

Serve on plates & spoon some mushrooms onto each serving.  Garnish with more thyme & freshly cracked pepper.

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No-Carb No-Pasta Grilled Garden Vegetable Lasagna with Basil Marinara

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

Hey!  Have you heard?  I wrote a really funny & dirty novel!  www.BathingBook.com.   Check out the reviews on Amazon!  Why not buy a copy?

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Enjoy!

Wasn’t that AWESOME????

OK – on to food!  This a pretty guiltless creation.  Sure – there is some cheese but there ain’t no pasta – just a shit ton of veggies!  This bad boy has to weigh 15 pounds!  The actual vegetables one uses is just a matter of personal preference – so – if you hate eggplant or mushrooms – leave them out.  Love kale?  Throw some of that shit in there.  Make it your own!

I grilled the eggplant but you could skip that part by just slicing the eggplant far thinner than my 1/2 inch slices.  I also grilled the zucchini.  I grilled these guys because 1) I think they taste better grilled & 2) I was attempting to minimize the water they would release into the lasagna.  If grilling isn’t an option for you or it just sounds like a pain in the ass – simply slice those guys up & toss them with a little salt in a colander in the sink & let them drain a while.  That should dry them out a bit – and, I hear – it lessens any bitterness the eggplant might possess.

I made a simple basil marinara but your favorite jarred sauce will do.  Feel free to add some actual cooked lasagna noodles, if you fancy.  I’m not here to judge.  This is a fairly simple recipe despite the various steps, so do not be intimidated.  And this baby is PACKED with flavor!

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No-Carb No-Pasta Grilled Garden Vegetable Lasagna with Basil Marinara

INGREDIENTS

For the basil marinara

1 (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce

3 garlic cloves – chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil – chopped

1 tsp sugar

10 cherry tomatoes (quartered) – optional

Olive oil

S&P to taste

For the garden vegetable lasagna

5-6 large zucchinis – sliced the long way into faux lasagna noodles

1 eggplant – sliced

5 huge mushrooms (or equivalent) – sliced

10 cherry tomatoes – cut into quarters

1-2 cups fresh spinach

2 cups grated mozzarella (or cheddar mozzarella blend or other mix)

1 large ball fresh mozzarella

Olive oil

Italian dressing for grilling (optional)

Parsley or basil – chopped as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

For the basil marinara

Heat 1 TBS olive oil in a stock or soup pot.  Add the garlic & heat for less than a minute.  Do not be alarmed!  I like huge chunks of garlic.  You can cut yours up more, if you like, just don’t burn it!  Also – those brown bits in there are remnants of the sauteed mushrooms.  Just soze you know.

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Add the canned tomatoes (they sputter in the oil so do not get burned).  Add the basil, cherry tomatoes & the sugar.  Simmer 15 minutes or more.  Add S&P to taste.  Set aside or allow to simmer on low as you prepare the lasagna components.

For the garden vegetable lasagna

I lightly coated the eggplant with a cheap, Italian dressing & grilled them.  I grilled the zucchini naked.  You can do this or opt to slice those guys up & toss them with a little salt in a colander in the sink & let them drain a while.  Either way, set the eggplant & zucchini up & then set aside.

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In a frying pan, heat 1-2 TBS olive oil (less if you can get away with it) & saute the mushrooms until they begin to brown.  Set aside.

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Get a casserole or other dish appropriate for your lasagna & cover the bottom with a thin layer of the basil marinara.  My pan is about 3 inches deep & maybe 6″x9″.  This is not a science.

Then – basically layer all the ingredients (except the fresh mozzarella & the cherry tomatoes) in any order that suits you – as long as the final two layers are sauce & then grated cheese.  Here is my assembly.

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Then – top with the cherry tomatoes.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.  Take the dish out & top it with sliced fresh mozzarella.

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Bake it for about another ten minutes or until it looks like this.

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Let it rest a good 10-20 minutes before cutting into it so you have some hope of it holding its shape.  I was impatient.  I cut right in because I am a food whore and I have no will power & that’s just how I roll.

If you wait a bit – it might slice up like this.  Might.  You make the call.

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