In celebration of National Nutrition Month, here is a healthy way to cut the carbs in your meals and enhance the presentation with colorful veggies!
Thanks to intern Shelby Utter for getting in on the vegetable noodle craze to create this mouth-watering Wasabi Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna Salad with Zucchini Noodles recipe and contributing to today’s Try it Tuesday post.
From zucchini to sweet potato noodles, there are oodles of new “pasta” options. Unlike the tri-color rotini of yesteryear, these colorful noodles are actually made from vegetables. No wheat. No egg. Just vegetables – cut in the shape of a noodle.
All About Vegetable Noodles
Although “zoodles” or zucchini noodles are the most common, the variety of vegetable noodles that can be used to lighten up your dishes are endless. It’s just a matter of how adventurous your taste buds are.
Using a spiralizer is possibly the easiest and least time-consuming method to make vegetable noodles. If you don’t have access to one there are alternatives. Try slicing your vegetables, julienne-style for thin, match stick sized noodles (as in this recipe). You can even use a vegetable peeler to create flat and wide noodles. Probably the grandmother of this whole substituting vegetables as noodles idea comes from using spaghetti squash as pasta noodles – just a fork – no spiralizer required.
A Few Vegetable Noodle Dishes
So what are some dishes that vegetable noodles could be used in? Lately, I’ve enjoyed serving a light marinara sauce with chopped green bell peppers, mushrooms and onions on top of zucchini noodles. Last week, I stirred up a Pad Thai recipe using spiralized zucchini and carrots. Not only did my dish look much brighter and colorful, the crunch of the carrot noodles made me never want to make a Pad Thai dish with rice noodles ever again.
Satisfy a craving for Chinese takeout with a lighter meal by swapping spiralized sweet potato for lo mein noodles. And to welcome the spring season, a quick spiralized cucumber dish topped with sesame seeds, lemon, mint, olive oil, salt and pepper would make a light and refreshing meal. These are just a few vegetable noodles that I’ve experimented with. The possibilities are endless!
Well, enough with the vegetable noodle talk… Let’s put those vegetable noodle-making skills to use in this Wasabi and Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna Salad.
Bottom line: Give this healthy alternative to regular pasta noodles a try and enjoy the new textures, flavors and colors of your dishes!
Wasabi & Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna Salad
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 3 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp. wasabi paste
- 1 tbsp. fresh ginger grated
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- Sesame & Wasabi Tuna Salad
- 1 large sashimi grade Ahi tuna steak about 6-8 oz.
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- ½ tsp wasabi paste
- 3 Tbsp. black sesame seeds
- 3 Tbsp. white sesame seeds
- 1 cup zucchini spiralized or julienned
- ¼ cup rainbow quinoa
- ½ avocado sliced
- ½ cup spring lettuce mix
- Cook the rainbow quinoa with ½ cup water until water is absorbed.
- Spiralize the zucchini and top with spring lettuce and avocado slices. Thoroughly whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining rice vinegar and wasabi. Coat the tuna with the vinegar and wasabi mixture. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. On a plate, mix together the black and white sesame seeds and heavily coat the tuna on all sides.
- Drizzle olive oil in the skillet and cook the tuna on each side roughly 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and cut into thin slices. Sprinkle the quinoa over the spring lettuce, place the tuna slices over the salad and drizzle the dressing to your preference