Cutting carbs? You need zucchini noodles in your life.
Spiralizers have completely changed the pasta game. This handy gadget can transform a variety of vegetables into spaghetti-like dishes: squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, and more.
Zucchini is by far the most common vegetable to spiralize. This veggie is perfect for a pasta swap thanks to its neutral flavor and natural “al dente” texture. It’s so beloved that it even has its own nickname: zoodles. Zucchini noodles can be used any way that pasta can—with marinara, pesto, vodka sauce, and so on.
In this episode of Happy Belly, dietitian and author Frances Largeman Roth, RD, creates an easy and delicious zucchini noodles recipe with sauteed chicken. This recipe will cut carbs and up your veggie intake, but you’ll still feel like you’re sitting down to a bowl full of pasta.
What makes this zucchini noodle recipe unique is how gut-friendly it is, making it perfect for anyone trying to manage IBS. First of all, lean protein like chicken (or seafood) is less likely to cause upset stomach thanks to its lower amount of saturated fat, and zucchini is easier to digest than traditional pasta. Additionally, this recipe does not use onion or garlic, which are surprisingly common trigger foods for many people with IBS. (Here are more diet tips for managing IBS, according to a dietitian.)
The major seasoning of this dish is cilantro. If you’re not a cilantro fan, don’t let that stop you from trying this recipe. Swap it with finely chopped fresh basil and you’ll have a dish more reminiscent of pesto instead. (Here’s how to chop fresh leafy herbs in a flash.)
There are a few ways to spiralize zucchini. The easiest way is with an automatic spiralizer, which is a fairly small appliance that does all the work for you. A manual spiralizer is the next best option, which is what Frances uses in this video. With this gadget, you twist the zucchini by hand through the spiralizer. To save money and space, you can also use a julienne peeler, which is a handheld tool that will cut the zucchini into uniform, spaghetti-style strips with each stroke. (Cutting the zucchini noodles yourself with a knife is not recommended as it is nearly impossible to get the right, consistent size and shape.)
- 3 large zucchini
- 1½ pounds boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 medium lime, juiced
- ¾ cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Cooking spray
InstructionsUsing a spiralizer or mandoline, make zucchini noodles, transfer into a large bowl and set aside. You can also chop zucchini into any size pieces, if you don't have the gadgets for making zucchini noodles. Preheat large deep skillet on high heat and add chicken. Saute until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add ½ teaspoon salt and ground black pepper towards the end along with apple cider vinegar, stir and cook for another minute. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Wipe clean or wash and pat dry the skillet and return to the stove on high heat. Spray with cooking spray and add zucchini noodles. Saute for 1½ minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add previously cooked chicken, remaining salt, lime juice and cilantro. Stir gently and serve hot. Serves 4
Nutrition Information Based on a Single Serving
*Percent Daily Value are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Frances Largeman-Roth is a nutritionist and cookbook author in New York City.
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Hi, I'm Frances Largeman-Roth.
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I'm a registered dietician nutritionist,
and author of Eating in Color, and
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today I'm making zucchini noodles and
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It's a really easy recipe.
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It's so good.
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You have probably seen one of these things
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It's a vegetable spiralizer, and I'm gonna
show you how it works.
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You can use this with carrots.
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You can use it with cucumbers.
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Really anything that you could cut into a
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So, you just cut off the end of your
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And it's getting cut into these lovely,
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Okay, let's sit this aside.
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In a large pan we're gonna heat it up,
give it a spray, and I've got one and
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a half pounds of chicken, that we've cut
into one inch pieces.
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So, they're gonna cook up really, really
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We're also going to use cumin in this
recipe, which is a really great spice, and
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is also the basis of most curry recipes.
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[SOUND] The reason why we're using
zucchini in this recipe is,
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because it is very easy to digest and, for
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most people who suffer from IBS, it's not
a trigger food.
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So, we're gonna saute this for about five
minutes, get it nice and opaque.
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Add a little salt.
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[SOUND] Some freshly ground pepper.
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And a little bit of apple cider vinegar.
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So, when you have IBS,
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you do have to worry about the amount of
fat that you're getting in your diet.
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So animal proteins, that come with a lot
of saturated fat are really.
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Tend to be hard to digest, and also can
make your IBS flare up.
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So, stick to things that are very lean
like chicken breasts, seafood, you know,
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if you're looking at kind of fatty cuts of
meat, hamburgers, things like that.
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That's best to stay away from.
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Our chicken is cooked to perfection.
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Golden and beautiful.
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We are just gonna transfer that to a bowl.
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[SOUND] Mm-hm, and it smells so good with
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We're gonna give our pan a quick wipe, and
then we're gonna get to our zucchini.
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Now, the reason we are using zucchini
noodles, instead of
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regular noodles is because a lot of people
with IBS do have issues digesting gluten.
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So, this is a great way to add more
vegetables to your diet, and
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get that nice noodle effect going on, so
we're just gonna spray our pan, and
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then in go our zucchini noodles.
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And we're just gonna cook the zucchini
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four to five minutes until tender.
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Okay, our noodles are cooked and
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we're gonna add our gorgeous golden
chicken back into the pan.
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This is looking great.
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We're gonna add in a bit more salt.
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Little pinch of pepper.
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And, a little bit of apple cider vinegar.
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And three quarters of a cup of chopped
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It's a very green dish.
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Mm-hm, this looks so great and it's a
really easy recipe to make for a crowd.
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This tastes so fresh, the noodles get nice
and tender, and
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they're actually kind of juicy too.
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This is a really easy healthy dish.
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For healthination this is Frances
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I will see you next time.
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