Zucchini Noodle Salad

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I am not actually a vegetarian, but I often tend to lean in that direction. I enjoy meat, and am not willing to completely give it up, but I find myself seeking out vegetable based dishes more often than not. I also love finding ways to swap out ingredients in dishes in favor of making it healthier. There are many vegetables that work so well to replace starches such as eggplant lasagna or spaghetti squash, so taking a cue from the latter I decided to try making ‘noodles’ out of zucchini. I am so excited with the results. I flavored it as I would a light pasta salad, and served it warm. It was a perfect light and comforting meal for these early autumn nights.

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INGREDIENTS (makes 4 large servings):

5 zucchini (I used green, you can of course use yellow squash as well)

1 1/2 cups cooked chick peas

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 corn husk

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 orange bell pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

Goat cheese for sprinkling on top

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INSTRUCTIONS:

Cut your zucchini long ways in half and carefully make thin long slices from each half. I laid the zucchini flat on my cutting board and make horizontal slices to get thin flat slices. If you have a mandolin this process should be much easier, I had to use a knife. After you’ve cut all your thin slices slice the zucchini into thin long strips. You can make them as thick or thin as you would like, the idea is just to emulate spaghetti. Keep in mind that zucchini shrinks when it cooks. On a griddle (or in your oven on a piece of aluminum foil) roast the corn until it is evenly cooked. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and sprinkle a little bit of olive oil and salt just enough to lightly coat them. Add tomatoes to griddle and let them roast for a couple of minutes. I used tongs to keep them moving so they would grill from both sides.

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Once the corn is cooked, remove from heat and let it cool down. When it is safe to handle, use a knife to remove the corn kernels from the husk. Add the zucchini to a pot and cook until they are slightly tender but not soggy. Mix in the other vegetables and add remaining olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve with little dollops of goat cheese. You can have this hot or cold, it’s yummy either way.

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