This cool zucchini noodle salad came from an epiphany I had recently and maybe it’s not that grand of a thought but it inspired me none the less. Here it is… instead of starting my grocery list with things I need, I’m going to start my list with the things I already have, then I’ll find recipes using those items. If there are some ingredients I still need at this point, then I’ll make a grocery list from here. This way I can try better at making tasty meals with the strange assortment of produce hiding in corners of the fridge and feel good about not wasting anything. If there’s anything to be proud of, I think I’m proud of the fact that someone can peer into my fridge and see a very bleak future for the next meal but somehow I can create something delicious from what looks like nothing (or at least that’s my hope :).
Last week I visited my friend Kalyn’s bountiful garden and snagged a few of her lovely zucchini. Around the same time my friend Joy was clearing out her fridge before going out of town so she gave me a huge bag of carrots. I came to the internet for inspiration to use what I’d been given and also remembered a lunch I had recently at a Raw/Vegan place in town, who served up a ‘pasta’ with zucchini noodles. Knowing I had a abundance of zucchini, a pile of carrots, and I always keep peanut butter, cans of chickpeas, and several Chinese sauces for our go to Asian dish (Kung Pao Chicken), I created this cold zucchini noodle salad with a spiced peanut sauce. And let me tell you, it turned out pretty tasty.
We made a huge bowl of it to share with friends for a picnic in the mountains. Then I put the leftovers in a little weck jar and I enjoyed them for lunch the following day. No waste, a full flavored dish to share, and healthy meal too!
Around this time of year, when produce is more plentiful, I really hope to keep up with this thought of making the best use of what I already have. I hope I’ve encouraged a few more to do the same.
- 3 zucchini, julienned
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or other oil
- 1 cayenne pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons peanut butter
- Using a mandolin on the thin sliced setting, julienne the zucchini and carrot into thin noodle like ribbons. If you don't have a mandolin you can use a vegetable peeler to slice the vegetables into long ribbons. Place the zucchini and carrot in a colander, sprinkle a bit of salt on top, and let them sit while you make the sauce.
- Saute the garlic and cayenne pepper in the oil over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes. Turn to medium low then add the oyster sauce and sesame oil. Stir to combine. Remove from heat then stir in the soy sauce and peanut butter. Let the sauce cool down then pour over the zucchini, carrots and chickpeas.