I don’t know about you, but I love having a few no-cook recipes in my wheelhouse. Nutritious no-cook meals like zucchini noodle tomato salad are completely essential for those of us who juggle work, family, and a whole bunch of extracurricular activities. Do I have time to make an extravagant meal every night? No. Am I able to put a deliciously healthy meal on the table each and every day? You betcha!
It’s meals like this 15-minute zucchini noodle salad that make me seem like superwoman to my friends and family. It has so much depth of flavor from the tomato and balsamic dressing that no one would guess that I threw it together at the last minute. And this recipe uses simple ingredients that are almost always in the crisper drawer, so that’s pretty incredible, too!
Why I Love my Vegetable Spiralizer
You really don’t need a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles, but I would suggest you get one anyway. Sure, you can buy zoodles at most grocery stores, but they tend to get a little dried out as they sit in the styrofoam packaging. You could also cut the noodles by hand or buy a vegetable peeler with a julienne side, but they’re not round.
There’s something perfectly special about the shape that these spiralizers make. The sauce seems to cling to the outside of these noodles better than using a hack method. They’re also significantly easier to make – all you need to do is hook them into the spiralizer and twist the knob. Out pours a ton (and I mean a ton!) of noodles.
I really like the Inspiralizer because it’s easy to use and it makes perfect noodles every time. It is definitely a worthy investment if you’re trying to cut down on gluten or are following a low-carb or Paleo diet.
Getting a Full Serving of Vegetables
The really great thing about this recipe (other than the fact that it will be ready in 15-minutes) is that it’s chock full of vegetables. This zucchini noodle salad is pretty much all vegetable and nothing else. The noodles themselves are zucchini, which is then tossed with juicy tomatoes and sweet carrots. Add that aromatic basil into the mix and you’ll feel so satisfied you won’t miss the meat!
I think the sauce is a huge contributor to making this all-vegetable meal taste so satisfying. It’s full of umami-rich ingredients like tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. These ingredients allow your taste buds to sense savory foods, which will signal a sense of fullness to your brain. Just like that, you’ll feel totally satisfied!
If you did want to add meat to this meal, though, that’s easy enough. I’ve eaten this a ton of times for lunch as a vegetarian option, but when I throw it together for dinner I usually top it off with some nice grilled chicken or even an oven skirt steak. Those flavors go really well with the sauce on these noodles and the pair well with the tomatoes, too.
You can even prep up for the week by making a few servings of this zucchini noodle salad and storing them in airtight containers. That makes meal prep so much easier on especially busy weeks. Give it a try and let us know how it worked for you!
Yields: 6 servings | Serving Size: 1/2 cup | Calories: 47 | Total Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 45mg | Carbohydrates: 10g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Protein: 2g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 2
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1 cup carrot, shredded
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon red onion, minced
- 3 tablespoons dark balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Using a spiralizer, cut the zucchini into long 'noodles' and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the carrot, tomatoes, fresh basil, and red onion to the zucchini and lightly toss.
- In a blender, combine the vinegar, tomato past, garlic, and honey. Blend until smooth and pour over the zucchini mixture. Gently toss to coat the vegetables in the dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.