Zucchini Noodles and the Cauliflower Craze

I truly and sincerely believed I had been the first one to stumble upon creamy, alfredo sauce goodness in the form of cauliflower a couple summers ago.  I was ready to call the patent office, or Gordon Ramsay, or the Food Network, or whoever controls food recipes today, because I had just invented the world’s best veggie alfredo sauce.

And then I Googled it.

You know how Google works–confirming all your fears and dashing all your hopes…Not only was creamy cauliflower sauce already in existence, but I also discovered cauliflower “pizza crust”, cauliflower “mac&cheese”, cauliflower “rice”, cauliflower “buffalo chicken bites”…I’d had no idea the cauliflower craze was out there in full swing!  I have found many different variations of the cauliflower alfredo sauce, so I don’t know who to credit, but this is my version: Cauliflower Corn Cream Sauce.  I use this white sauce as alfredo sauce for noodles, lasagna, mac&cheese, the white sauce for a pot pie–the list can go on.  It is delicious and creamy and full of veggies.

For this recipe, I made sautéed zucchini noodles and red pepper and topped it with my Cauliflower Corn Cream Sauce, a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and sunflower seeds.  It was all the pasta-y goodness of fettuccine alfredo without that big-stuffed-full-pasta-y belly!

zucchini pasta with cauliflower corn cream sauce


ZUCCHINI NOODLES WITH CAULIFLOWER CORN CREAM SAUCE

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS FOR THE SAUCE

  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups of corn, fresh or frozen
  • 3-4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2-3 tablespoons of half-and-half
  • 2-3 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
  • Optional: you can also add 1/2-1 whole red bell pepper or a handful of fresh parsley; this will turn your sauce an orange-ish or greenish hue, respectively.  Also, if you wish to make this vegan, omit the half-and-half and use nutritional yeast instead of the parmesan cheese–it will still end up creamy and sweet and delicious.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE ZUCCHINI NOODLES

  • 4 medium zucchini, finely julienned, or “noodled”*
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted/salted sunflower seeds
  • sprinkling of parmesan cheese (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Start with the sauce:  Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the cauliflower, onion, and corn (and red pepper, if using), and salt and pepper to taste.  Saute until the cauliflower is golden, then add vegetable stock until the vegetables are covered and allow to simmer until the cauliflower is just tender.  Load everything into your blender (a BlendTec is nice because it all fits!), and add the half-and-half, parmesan cheese, and parsley, if using.  Blend until you get a creamy consistency.  Play around with adding water/stock/half-and-half until you get the consistency you want.
  2. While the vegetables are simmering for the sauce, heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add the zucchini noodles and chopped red pepper, salt and pepper to taste, and saute 5-7 minutes–the zucchini should be just tender, not mushy or cooked until it’s falling apart.
  3. Timing tip:  while the sauce veggies are simmering in the pot, you can prepare your zucchini noodles.  While the zucchini noodles are sautéing, you can blend your sauce.  Everything should be ready right on time for a hot dish!
  4. This will make large servings for 2 or smaller servings for 4; divide evenly among your bowls.  To plate, you can add the sauce on top of the zucchini noodles in the pan and coat everything evenly, or place the noodles in your bowl and top with sauce, however you prefer your noodles.  Sprinkle with roasted/salted sunflower seeds and parmesan cheese.

meatlessmain.com

zucchini tool
* I found this handheld noodler/julienne thing at TJ Maxx for a couple dollars and it’s been a dream.  I’ve seen vegetable noodlers out there, but this has worked for me.

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