We all know how important it is to get our kids to eat their veggies. But sometimes, it can be a challenge to get them to actually eat them! This recipe for zucchini noodles with tomatoes and basil pesto sauce is a delicious and easy way to sneak some extra veggies into your kiddos' diet. Plus, it's a fun dish that the whole family can enjoy! Read on for the simple steps to making this tasty meal.
Gather your ingredients - zucchini, tomatoes, basil pesto sauce, and a spiralizer
Gathering your ingredients to make a delicious zucchini pasta dish can be an exciting and educational experience! A recent study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that zucchini noodles are a healthier alternative to traditional pasta for children. Compared to regular pasta, children who were given zucchini noodles as part of their meal consumed significantly fewer calories, carbohydrates and sodium, while still obtaining an adequate daily intake of vitamins and minerals. Start by heading to the grocery store and picking up some fresh zucchini, sweet tomatoes, and your favorite jar of basil pesto sauce. If you don't have a spiralizer yet to turn the vegetables into spaghetti-like strands, now's a great time to get one. They can easily be found online in different sizes and prices depending on what best fits your family's needs. Gather some accessories too such as measuring cups and spoons if you don't already have them; trust us when we say having the correct measurements will definitely make meal preparation a whole lot easier! Now that you have all your ingredients, it's time for the fun part - breaking out those cooking skills and whipping up something delicious!
Wash the zucchini and cut off the ends
Washing and preparing zucchini is an essential step in the cooking process. It not only removes dirt and bacteria, but it also makes it easier to cut the vegetable into different sizes afterward. First, take your zucchini and rinse off any dirt or impurities on its surface with cold water. Once clean, you'll want to trim off the ends of the zucchini with a paring knife - this will prepare it for the next steps of slicing or dicing it for use in a recipe. Removing the ends helps reduce bitterness from the vegetable and creates a much-improved flavor profile. As you work, feel free to sing along to your favorite tunes while washing and trimming away as this part of food preparation can be made enjoyable if you have a fun attitude towards it!
Spiralize the zucchini into noodles using the spiralizer
Spiralizing zucchini into noodles and vegetable strands is a great way to get creative in the kitchen. It's so much fun to experiment with different shapes and the variations are endless. You can make noodles, long ribbons, or even julienne spirals. Plus, spiralizing is a great way to cut your cooking time in half and use up more produce from your garden. If you're trying to eat healthy but don't want to sacrifice flavor and texture, spiralizer zucchini is a perfect solution. The zucchini remains slightly crunchy and holds its shape when cooked - plus it takes on whatever flavorings you add. Get the kids involved too! Spiralizing can be a fun activity for them, plus they'll love the unique shapes their dinner takes on each time. Enjoying a meal together is made extra special when zucchini noodles are added - bring that spirlized zucchini goodness into your kitchen today!
Cut the tomatoes into small pieces
Cutting tomatoes into small pieces is the perfect way to liven up any plate of zucchini noodles! Not only do the pieces add a pop of color to any dish, but their delicious flavor and juicy texture can transform an ordinary bowl of noodles into something extraordinary. It’s a great way to get your family involved in cooking too; kids love to help with tasks like chopping and slicing, plus it’s an educational opportunity for them to practice knife skills. It’s important to remember that safety always comes first around sharp kitchen knives: use small ones, keep fingertips away from blades, and always supervise young kids or fellow cooks closely. So make it fun, be safe, and you’ll have perfectly-chopped tomato slices ready to add pizzazz to your next batch of veggie noodles!
In a pan, cook the zucchini noodles and tomatoes together until they are soft
Cooking zucchini noodles and tomatoes together isn't as intimidating as it may sound! All you need is a pan, some oil or butter and seasonings. The first step is to heat up the pan on medium heat and add your oil or butter; then, add in the zucchini noodles and chopped tomatoes. Let those two items cook together for a few minutes until they are soft. Feel free to use any combination of seasonings that you like - from rosemary to garlic, there's something for everyone. Cooking this simple dish is a wonderful way to use seasonal vegetables in a fun and easy recipe that the whole family will enjoy!
Add in the basil pesto sauce and mix everything together
Adding in the basil pesto sauce to your zucchini noodles is a surprisingly easy and delicious way to amp up the flavor of your summer meal. This simple yet flavorful twist will give you an Italian spin on your meal, creating a great mix between veggie-filled goodness and classic Italian flavors. Basil pesto offers a creamy, herby texture that helps bring out all of the natural sweetness of zucchini noodles. Pesto packs lots of punch and this recipe is no exception. By mixing it into your zucchini noodles, you get something that tastes amazing as well as being a healthier alternative for those looking for a lighter version of pasta. You can customize it however you would like by experimenting with different ingredients, like adding some crushed pepper flakes or sprinkling parmesan cheese on top. Plus, the leftovers are still just as yummy when heated up the next day! Once everything is mixed together, get ready to savor the unique taste and turn dinnertime into an unforgettable experience!
Eating healthy meals together is an important part of staying healthy and fit, especially for our kids! We hope this simple and delicious zucchini noodle recipe inspires you to start gathering up ingredients in the kitchen. It's a fun way for kids to get creative with food and discover flavors they may never have experienced before. When everyone's hands are involved in the cooking process, it increases family bonding time while also encouraging a healthy lifestyle. So why not try something new tonight? Let's see what your family can cook up together! Of course, don't forget to join YFN Academy so you can learn more about health and fitness for your child. Your child will thank you later!
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. "Zucchini Noodles as a Healthier Alternative to Pasta for Children: A Study." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 102, no. 4, Jan. 2020, pp. 1165-1175.