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Hide and Go Seek with Vegetables

November 23, 2009

When I was a wee young tot, I was petrified of zucchini, spinach and Brussel sprouts. Yes, I thought the green monsters were going to jump off the plate and eat me. Naturally, I did everything in my power to avoid eating the greens. The spit-them-out-in-the-old-napkin trick was a safe standby. A hysterical temper tantrum, without fail, got me excused from the dinner table without dessert. (Wink, wink) I totally wasn’t fooling my mom. She was just sick of putting up with my B.S. After a few minutes of sulking in my room, I would cry, apologize profusely, and somehow convince my mom and dad that I needed dessert for my psychological well-being. Yes, flip charts and PowerPoints were involved.

The potted topiary centerpiece served as a cozy hiding spot. But, when it started sprouting mold in lieu of flowers, I had to camp out in my closet for a few days. Too bad the dumb dog wouldn’t eat them either. I guess she was smarter than I thought (R.I.P. Chloe). Throwing the greens at my younger sister was an alternative method for releasing angst and otherwise wasting food. And, good God, it felt good to fork-catapult the sprouts at my older brother. Then, he totally stuck them up his nose. It was impressive how much stuff he could get up there. But, that quickly resulted in a “He’s looking at me” argument which transgressed into “She’s pointing at me.”

“Mooo-aahhh-OMMMmm! He’s looking at me. Tell him to STTO-aahh-OOPP-aaahhh!” I loved making one syllable words into syllab-i.

When all else failed, I finally held my nose and sucked them down as if someone were pouring molten lava down my throat … kicking, screaming, crying. Repeat.

Well, those days are over. I have conquered vegetables, and they have been defeated with zucchini ribbon pasta. The rich green color and texture brightens up a bowl of bland noodles, and they’re good for you, too. Why? Because my mom said so.

Zucchini Ribbon Linguine with (You Guessed) Vegetables

  • 2 cups of linguine
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic 
  • ¼ cup sliced red onion
  • ¼ cup of cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup of mushrooms
  • A few slices of yellow pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of basil
  • 2 teaspoons of thyme
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • Goat cheese for topping

Boil a large pot of water. Once it starts to boil, add linguine. Using a vegetable peeler, create ribbons out of the zucchini. Once you have reached the seeds, you can stop peeling.

In a skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic and next four vegetables. Sauté for about 5-6 minutes. Add basil, thyme, and balsamic vinegar. Toss.

About two minutes before the linguine is fully cooked, add the zucchini and boil for two minutes. Strain the zucchini and pasta. Serve the vegetables atop of the linguine. Top with goat cheese.

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ribbons of zucchini

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Toss the vegs on a skillet

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Adding zucchini as a portion of the pasta helps cut the carbs

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