Courgette spaghetti has been a revelation to me. It is a fantastic food for diet days. You just shred a courgette with a peeler, quickly fry and then serve in a sauce of your choice. It’s quicker to cook than pasta. It is much, much tastier than zero pasta (a diet pasta substitute). One large courgette, enough to make a big bowl of spaghetti, has only 36 calories.
Spaghetti or tagliatelle
If you want to make authentic looking spaghetti, you really need a julienne peeler. This wasn’t something I owned before but a quick look online showed me that a simple hand-held peeler can be bought for under £5. It is well worth the small outlay if you develop a taste for it.
If you don’t own a julienne peeler, never fear, there is an even simpler alternative. Use a standard vegetable peeler to create thin flat pieces of courgette. You could call this courgette tagliatelle. It tastes just as good and the preparation method is exactly the same.
Whichever type of peeler you use, start with one large washed courgette. Run the peeler down the full length of the courgette. Repeat on the same side making long pieces of courgette until you reach the seeds in the centre. Make a quarter turn in the courgette and begin again. Go all round the courgette until you have an oblong strip of seeds which can be discarded. Be careful as you near the end of the courgette as the julienne peeler is sharp and you could easily cut your finger.
Place all the peelings on a piece of kitchen paper and blot with more kitchen paper to remove excess water.
Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil (27 cals) in a wide frying pan on a high heat. Try using a flavoured oil such as garlic or chilli oil. When the oil is hot, toss in the courgette and stir. Fry for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly. When cooked the courgette should be soft with a few burnt edges. Season well with salt and pepper before serving.
Flavours such as garlic and tomato work really well with the courgette, although feel free to try out your own favourites. To make the meal more substantial, chicken, fish or prawns work really well too.
I will be posting various recipes in the next few weeks that use courgette spaghetti, so don’t forget to pop back and check.
Today I have simply combined the cooked courgette with 1 clove crushed garlic (4 cals), 2 chopped tomatoes (28 cals) and 1 chopped jalapeño pepper (4 cals) and warmed through. A generous seasoning of salt and freshly ground black pepper finished off the dish.
1 large courgette (36 cals)
1 tsp olive oil (27 cals)
1 clove garlic, crushed (4 cals)
2 tomatoes, chopped (28 cals)
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped (4 cals)
Total for the dish: 99 calories