Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Zucchini Spaghetti with Lemon Ricotta

Day 2 of the work week down, phew! Today was a long day but it absolutely flew by, and I'm currently sitting on the bus wishing this very long commute to go by just a little bit faster as well. What better way to pass the time than to share some food pics with you all? :)

Isn't that a pretty yogurt bowl? I packed it last night so I could just open, stir and eat on my way out the door this morning, and it was delicious. The blueberries I bought last week have a weird texture to them, but they are amazingly sweet so I'm not complaining. Since trying to cut back on carbs and eat more protein, I've been adding raw almonds to my Greek yogurt bowls in the morning and I can't believe how much staying power they add. It kept me full forever. 

Since I'm trying to cut back carbs, I've been trying to come up with some creative new dishes so we didn't all get stuck eating either salads or plain grilled fish and veggies every night for dinner. Been down that road before, and it's not a fun rut to be stuck in. Plus that would make things really boring around here. For lunch I did a rice-less stir-fry with grilled shrimp and some frozen Asian veggies.

To make a little sauce, I mixed a tablespoon of Crazy Richard's all natural chunky peanut butter with a tablespoon of low sodium soy sauce, then whisked it until it was smooth. I poured the sauce over the shrimp and veggies, then added a few pinches of nutritional yeast for some extra flavor. Filling and tasty!

But the real meal winner of the last two days was the zucchini ribbons. 

You know how I love my pasta, so I was determined to make these taste delicious. And really, they were. A while back I pinned a recipe for Zucchini Spaghetti with Creamy Lemon Chive Dressing from Martha Stewart, and thought it seemed like a great idea to use zucchini as a pasta substitute.

When I read the recipe last night though, I realized Martha's recipe calls for cold "noodles", and the dressing was made with a whole ton of heavy cream. Cold zucchini noodles didn't sound that great to me - maybe in the summer? - so I tweaked the method and also whipped up a creamy ricotta sauce with a lot less fat. The result was surprisingly good - it was creamy, lemony and fresh, and it even held to the fork like real spaghetti.

We enjoyed filets of pan seared tilapia on the side.

And when Riker eats something by the handful, you know it must taste pretty good.

Zucchini Noodles with Lemon Ricotta

Serves 2 as a side

2 medium zucchinis
1 cup fat free ricotta
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried basil
2 Tbsp. freshly grated parmesan cheese

Shred zucchinis into spaghetti-like strands using a mandoline. Bring a pot of salted water to boil; drop the zucchini strands in the water for 1-2 minutes, until hot but not too soft. Drain and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, basil and half the parmesan cheese. Microwave the ricotta mixture for about 40 seconds or until hot; stir well. Toss the zucchini spaghetti with the warmed ricotta mixture. Top with remaining parmesan cheese and serve immediately.


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