This Zucchini Noodles craze is probably a phase (highly doubt that though… PLUS, I just rhymed but I’m not saying anything :p) but I am certainly enjoying the fact that I don’t miss ‘regular’ pasta. PLUS, it is such an affordable option! What’s not to love? (Please use healthiest option of regular pasta available if you do not own a spiralizer)
My roommate and I had a HORRIBLE experience at a Chinese restaurant a couple of months ago, which basically left us scarred for life. But, let’s face it, Chinese food smells and looks really good! I don’t know about taste anymore, given the 20,000 grams of sodium they packed for us that day and then tried to play us like they didn’t understand what we were saying about their food: ‘Sorry I don’t understand english’😑
SO… as I sat in school last week, I thought to myself, what can I do to make life better for ALL of us! The plan was to bring Chinese home in the healthiest way possible. I literally googled recipes for ‘healthy chow mein’ and I found everyone’s first ingredient to be ‘(dark) soy sauce.’
Now, whether labelled ‘vegan’ or not, commercial brands of soy sauce are not healthy. PERIOD. They have waaayyyy too much sodium for one beating heart, amongst other things. And yes, some brands may say ‘low-sodium’, but just a quick note about any and everything that is ‘low-something’ or ‘no-something’: Check list of ingredients for what is added to make it ‘no-something’. My question is, what did you do to make it ‘low-fat’ or whatever? I realized a lot of ‘no-sugar’ products have artificial sweeteners like Splenda which contain cancer causing chemicals; you might as well eat sugar.
You guys, I’m such a trip when it comes to healthy alternatives! Let me tell you how in an attempt to avoid soy sauce and hoisin sauce – two famous ingredients for asian meals – I went to the store and bought liquid aminos because that’s what my family switched to as a ‘healthier option’. For whatever reason, I ended up reading on it only to find out it is no better for the same reasons I am trying to avoid soy!(Remind me to tell my mother). I was not amused; Frugal Nance isn’t here for money wasting! I guess I should’ve read more before going for it!
If this is a once in a while thing, you can go for it but if you eat lots and lots of soy sauce and are trying to switch to a healthier alternative, run from Braggs liquid aminos! I do love and only buy their Apple Cider Vinegar but a huge no-no for liquid aminos.
Good news is, I did have coconut aminos -which is the BUSINESS -in my pantry, so all hope was not lost.
For obvious reasons, you are not going to get the exact taste of what you eat in Asian restaurants because this recipe has no (dark) soy sauce and hoisin sauce, but I can assure you that you are about to make a GOOD-tasting stir-fry with ingredients that are beneficial to your body. Money-back guarantee on that 😩
I talk too much! I need to get to the recipe! laugh out loud!
Zucchini Noodles Stir Fry with Toasted Cashews
*Remember to work with what you have! We all start from somewhere 🙂
For the sauce:
1/4 cup coconut aminos (If you have soy sauce or liquid aminos, just add another 1/4 cup of water to dilute)1 tsp of rice vinegar (I haven’t tested with any other kind of vinegar)1/2 – 1 tsp of sesame oil2 tbsp of cornstarch1 tbsp of molasses (sub honey, or mix half and half)*Grated ginger to infuse sauce (optional! I just happen to love ginger)
Mix all ingredients to get a uniform mixture and set aside. (Taste to adjust if too salty or too diluted. I played around with a little water and molasses)
For the Noodles:
*See Notes below
5 medium-sized zucchinis (spiraled and slightly squeezed to get rid of excess water) 1 large Red bell pepper (thinly sliced or spiralized)1 cup cashew (roughly chopped)2 medium-sized carrots (diced)1 medium onion (diced)3 cloves of garlic (minced)2 cups of mushroom (washed and sliced)Sesame seeds (toasted)2 loosely packed cups of snow peas
Spiralize zucchinis, trim length of longer ones and lightly squeeze out excess water Heat 3 tbsp (or eyeballed) amount of oil in a wok or skillet (medium heat)Toss in diced carrots first, diced onions and then minced garlic and stir till fragrant.In another skillet, heat 2 tbsp of oil and stir fry mushrooms until water evaporatesAdd mushrooms to carrots, onions and garlic Add in spiralized zucchinis, bell peppers, and snow peas and toss with two wooden spoons or tongsPour in your sauce and toss until uniformly mixedCook for 3-5 minutes for sauce to thickenWhile Step 8 is happening, heat a tablespoon of oil in the same skillet used to stir-fry mushrooms or another, and toss cashews until toasted.Add cashews to stir-fryWhen sauce has thickened to preference, serve stir-fry.*If using sesame seeds, toast seeds for just about a minute in a skillet (no oil) until slightly browned and sprinkle on stir fry.
I personally believe, toasted sesame seeds add some magic to this dish! 😩
1. If you don’t have a spiralizer, sub healthiest form of pasta available
2. If you desire animal-based protein, insert preferred food item where mushrooms are