Recipe: $8.60 | Per Serving: $2.15 | Yield: 4
Ready for the number one easiest low-carb, gluten-free, Paleo, Whole30 beef & veggie entree? With a julienne peeler and a single pan, you can whip together one of our home’s favorite dishes.
I have been making this for the last six months or so, but I kept having other things to post // getting bogged down with schoolwork, and then suddenly it was fall and it was time for all things pumpkin and squash and soup, and then Thanksgiving and Christmas were upon us, and it never really felt like the right moment for this dish to shine. But now that we’re all putting our cookie-loving selves in a closet for a little while (just kidding, I’m eating cookies right now), and loving (or pretending to love) vegetables, I figured we could appreciate this 20-minute zoodle dish.
One thing I should note about the price is that I almost always buy grass-fed ground beef for either $4.99 or $5.99 per pound, so if you can only afford conventional ground beef for $1.99 or so per pound, you will cut back significantly on the cost of this recipe.
Real quick, let’s talk ZOODLES. I don’t use a spiralizer because a) they’re bulky and difficult to transport around the world and b) I bought this handheld julienne slicer that is tiny and awesome. There are lots of options for making vegetable noodles, and I don’t think the julienne slicer would work well for, say, sweet potatoes, but it is perfect for zucchini and cucumbers and carrots and those are the only vegetables I use it for. About 20 ounces of zucchini yielded a pound (16 oz) of noodles.
Second note: Watery noodles don’t have to be an issue. I usually julienne a bunch of zucchini to use throughout the week. I will sometimes sauté it for like 30 seconds to soften it just before eating. If you keep it to a short 30 seconds or so, it will soften without reduce a whole mess of water. The other option is the microwave. If I’m packing this for work, I can skip the sauté step and just put it in the container with the sauce, then I nuke the whole thing for 2 minutes. I rarely have issues with watery noodles using these two methods.
This dish is so easy and so delicious you will be surprised. As much as we’re always supposed to buy local and in season (recommended!), sometimes you find a few out-of-season zucchini in your hungry harvest box, and you just HAVE to make this dish. Do it!
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 can (14-15 oz) coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 2–4 zucchini (about 2 pounds)
- dash of salt, optional
- 1 teaspoon oil (coconut or olive)
- optional add-ins: fresh ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes or hot sauce, shiitake mushrooms, chickpeas, julienned vegetables
- Warm a large pan (preferably a stainless steel pan with high, straight sides) over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground beef into the pan, sprinkle with just a little salt, and brown all the way through.
- Line a plate with two paper towels and drain off the excess fat from the beef.
- Return pan to stove and add the coconut milk and Thai red curry paste and stir well. Bring to a low simmer and cook for about 5-10 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. (It will start to look a little greasy from the coconut milk as the water evaporates, but it’s okay!)
- Meanwhile, wash the zucchini and slice off the very ends. Using a julienne slicer (or a sharp knife, or one of the myriads of spiralizers on the market), slowly create noodles. Place the zucchini in your secondary hand and place the spikes of the julienne slicer towards the end of the zucchini. Using quick, controlled movements, pull the julienne peeler towards you while pressing down slightly to form noodles. (Think of it like peeling a carrot or potato towards you.) Continue until you get to the seedy insides of the zucchini. You can discard the insides, slice them and dip them in hummus, or chop them up and toss them in with the beef, or in just about any vegetable dish.
- In a separate pan, warm about a teaspoon of oil over high heat and quickly sauté the zucchini noodles in batches. Divide among bowls and top with the beef and sauce.
See post for tips on softening / cooking zucchini noodles!