Zucchini “Spaghetti”

Mark Bittman wrote a piece yesterday in the New York Times about Mayor Bloomberg’s controversial ban on large, sugary drinks. You can read the article yourself and I suggest that you do, but I will underline his main point. Regardless of how you view the ban, or what you think about government interfering with your life and choices that you make, the real people here that lose when nothing is done are the children.

Children are drinking this stuff at alarming rates and they are being sold it everywhere they look. Many kids couldn’t tell the difference between broccoli and a tomato, but they can tell you the difference between coke and pepsi. Mark’s point is that there are millions of advertising dollars being spent by big food and soft drink companies targeting children. They have no obligation or interest in cutting back portions; that does not serve their bottom line. They are not interested in your child’s heath. They are only interested in the health of their balance sheet.

I agree with Mark. If government doesn’t do something, nobody will. I don’t give a damn if you are not smart enough to continue to consume massive amounts of completely empty calories in sodas, but I don’t think that your children should be subjected to the same ignorance.

Speaking of ignorance, I read an article in Forbes by someone named Daniel Fisher. His by line claims that he covers finance and the law. His article claims that there is no scientific evidence that sugary drinks make you fat.  He must not have gotten past the first page of his google search. I read no mention of the research of Dr. Robert Lustig on childhood obesity and sugar; one study that specifically only eliminates sugary drinks with astounding results. I also read nothing about Marion Nestle and her book “Why Calories Count”. This guy simply didn’t do his homework.

There is one other thing that I think is important about Mayor Bloomberg’s ban, and this was probably not lost on him. He must have known that it would be controversial. And when something is controversial people talk about it. A Forbes business journalist is writing about it. He has raised awareness of this important subject. My hat’s off to him for that.

 

This is a fun transformation of a nutritious but boring vegetable. You can serve this just like any other pasta. Last night I made it with sautéed shrimp. I originally had a dish like this in Paris and it was served with mussels. It was one of my favorite lunches ever.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 3 Zucchini
  • 1 Shallot, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme
  • Parmesan (optional)
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Tools

  • Sauté Pan
  • Mandolin with fine tooth attachment
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Fine Grater
  1. Zest the lemon.
  2. Cut the ends off of the zucchini and carefully run them over the mandolin into the bowl. Make sure you don’t go into the seeds. Do all four sides and discard the seeded center. Repeat for the other zucchini. You should end up with what looks like green spaghetti. You might need to gently break apart the strands with your hand.
  3. Salt and pepper.
  4. In the pan melt the butter and heat the olive oil. 
  5. Add the shallots and sauté over med-low heat.
  6. Add the juice of one lemon, lemon zest, thyme and the white wine and reduce by at least half.
  7. Add the zucchini and sauté for a minute or two. Not long. You just want to coat it with the sauce and warm it up.
If you are having shrimp or scallops or even chicken, you can sauté in half of the butter and olive oil and shallots first, then make the sauce with the other half of the butter, wine, etc.
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