Dinners that are packed with fiber-rich veggies and complimented with a source of lean protein are the absolute best that you could serve your family.
But let’s face it, veggies and protein can be a hard sell to make, especially to young children.
That’s why I love this concept of turning zucchini into long, flat noodles. Kids get a kick out of it, and gobble the ‘noodles’ up, and you get to sit back and smile. It’s my favorite way to enjoy zucchini, and hey I’m not a kid anymore!
The directions below have you putting the sauce ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning, and then simply throwing the zucchini noodles together right before serving. This makes your evening prep time only about 15 minutes, which is great for those busy week nights. It may even be quicker than stopping somewhere for takeout!
If you don’t want to use a slow cooker, then cook everything in a pot on the stove. This will take about 30 minutes.
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- ¼ cup chopped olives
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 (14.5 oz) can tomato sauce
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ cup dry red wine (Cabernet works well)
- 2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 6 zucchinis
- ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- In a large skillet, place the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions and fennel. Cook for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the carrots, cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Coat the inside of your slow cooker with olive oil. Add the cooked veggies, mushrooms, olives, tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, wine and the seasonings. Mix well.
- Add the turkey on top of the veggie mixture, breaking it into chunks. Lightly press the turkey down into the sauce, but be careful not to break up the chunks.
- Cook on low heat for 7 hours.
- Wash the zucchini, use a vegetable peeler to create long, flat noodles. Stop when you get to the seedy middle part of the zucchini. Plate the zucchini noodles and top with warm turkey spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Enjoy!