Let's be honest. Cooking often feels like more trouble than it’s worth--not necessarily because of the actual cooking, but all the accompanying fanfare: the tools, the prepping, the pots, the endless mixing bowls, and all that lovely cleaning and scrubbing afterward.
We're tired just thinking about it.
So we say: Forget the pots. Forget the cleaning. Our new series, the "No-Pot Meal," is perfect for the lazy cook in you--we promise these recipes will not involve:
- Turning on a burner
- Cleaning a pot
Is it still cooking, you ask? We say yes...in fact, given how tasty this dish is, how easy it is to throw together, and how environmentally friendly it is because of less energy use and less cleanup, we'd say it's cooking of the very best kind.
No pots, no heat. Little cleanup. Try this "No-Pot" meal that's a remix of Italian pasta--but with intriguing "squash noodles." Look out for other meals in our series, which might use a toaster oven or microwave--but we promise, no pots.
Healthy Squash "Pasta" And Spinach-Parsley Pesto.
We recommend the spinach-parsley pesto as a topper because of its filling and traditional taste. (For more on great pestos, click here.) And for those who crave meat, chicken goes nicely with this dish.
5 to 6 large zucchinis and yellow squashes
1 ½ oz. Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup blanched almonds, chopped (these can be found ready-chopped)
About ½ cup olive oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
About 4 cups spinach - dried well and chopped
About 1 cup fresh parsley - dried well and chopped
With a vegetable peeler, peel the all of the zucchini and squash into thin strands. This easy step should take about twenty minutes, and you can actually eat the result as is. The zucchini and squash "noodles" have a pleasant, crunchy texture, and are heartier than a simple salad.
Combine cheese, garlic, almonds, and 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a food processor. (If you're low on time or you don't want to deal with a food processor, marinara sauce or pre-made pesto works well too.) Pulse briefly, until a paste forms. Add salt and pepper. Pulse a few more times, and then add in the greens. While the processor is on, add the rest of the olive oil. Make sure not to over-process the greens.
Spoon the pesto over the "noodles" and garnish with a sprig of parsley.
Image Credit: La.blasco/Flickr