Guest post by: Mallori Roberts, graduate student and dietetic intern at Auburn University.
If I’m being honest, I was hesitant to start spiralizing my vegetables. It seemed as if it was a way to complicate recipes. I like recipes to be easy and I don’t want there to be too many ingredients or steps that I need to follow. As much as I enjoy being in the kitchen, I stay busy and I want my meals to be very basic throughout the week.
I completed a food log one week this past spring and I realized I wasn’t eating as many vegetables as I had hoped. The USDA MyPlate recommendations are to fill half of your plate with vegetables and fruits. I knew that I needed to increase my daily intake and I decided that including spiralized vegetables would be a great start. Let me tell you, I haven’t looked back. I started buying things pre-prepared but I recently bought my own spiralizer and I’ve enjoyed experimenting and making new and easy recipes.
Zucchinis are a great food option because they are low in calories and a great source of Potassium, Manganese, Vitamin C and Vitamin A. When I decided to try out a recipe with spiralized zucchini, I wanted to make it simple so that I could use it for meal prep.
This is one of my go-to meals. It’s an easy dinner at home and a perfect meal for leftovers the next day. I try to find a marinara sauce full of other vegetables for my sauce and I use chicken for a lean source of protein. Lastly, you don’t want to forget to balance your meal out well with a whole grain, rich in fiber and a great source of energy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
- (3) Chicken breasts
- (1) Tablespoon olive oil
- (1) 28oz pasta sauce – I prefer a Marinara sauce with traditional vegetables
- (1) Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
- (3) Small Zucchini Noodles, stem and bottom removed
- Whole grain bread, as a side
- Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Rub chicken breasts with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place chicken in pan.
2. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Flip chicken and cook until no longer pink in the center, about 15 minutes more. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F.
3. While chicken is baking, spiralize the zucchinis according to your spiralizer instructions. Cut strands into 5 inch pieces. Set aside on paper towel to absorb water.
4. Turn stove top on medium and pour pasta sauce and Italian seasoning in skillet, stirring and heating until boiling.
5. Add zucchini noodles and cook, tossing frequently, for about 3 minutes.
6. Press noodles into sauce to fully submerge them. Simmer over medium-low heat, until noodles are al dente, about 10 minutes.
7. Serve Zucchini noodles with chicken and a piece of whole grain bread. Enjoy!
- Many stores offer pre-spiralized vegetables. Perfect for saving more time and keeping it easy.
Mallori is currently completing her distance graduate degree and dietetic internship through Auburn University. She currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Mallori enjoys community health promotion and wellness and pediatric nutrition therapy. She was born and raised in north Dallas and her goals is to make her way back to Texas!
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