These creamy garlic sesame zoodles are a simple weeknight recipe, perfect for those nights when you feel like curling up on the couch with Netflix and big bowl of tasty noodles without throwing your healthy habits away. They are creamy, garlicky, I just got sauce on my chin, slurpy noodles that are actually really healthy and super comforting.
So last week, I decided that I might give the Whole30 diet another try. You may remember I completed it in February last year (if not, this post should catch you up), and following it I really did feel it changed the way I thought about and approached healthy eating. Fast forward to now and I seem to have forgotten all that I had learnt.
My eating had once again slipped to the convenience choices mixed with some pretty unhealthy habits. This was something I knew I needed to shake and also something I knew that I would have to do in a way that made me accountable so I wouldn’t find myself slipping at the first chance of oh this is too hard.
Enter the Whole30, basically a paleo diet that has you eating real foods for 30 days. Now you can read the above linked post to go into what is actually involved in more detail, but this is pretty much just a meat and veg diet. Not so hard, but difficult for me as I really wasn’t eating that much of either to be honest. One thing though, this is a really restrictive diet. Which is not something I would usually go for, but with this it really makes sense. However, something both my husband and I, and even a friend of ours who also gave it a go found, was that at the end yeah you felt great, but you also wanted to indulge in the foods you loved that you had been restricted from.
Well I don’t want that to happen again, I want this to be more of a lifestyle change for me as I know my body seems to be at its happiest and healthiest when I eat a paleo diet. Now don’t you worry, I’m not going to go all ‘paleo only’ recipes on my blog from now on, but I know that for me to bake and to indulge in the foods I really do love to eat (and to share here!), I probably should be eating a balanced diet as close to the paleo guidelines as possible the other 80% of the time.
So with that in mind, if my situation prevents me from being 100% compliant within the next 30 days, I’m okay with that. I have already had a test at a Thai restaurant – a pre Whole30 decision catch up with a friend – and I ordered a prawn and vegetable stir fry. Most certainly it contained sugar and soy, both not allowed on the Whole30 program, but that was also the first time I have eaten at a Thai restaurant without overloading on rice or noodles, and it was still awesome and I enjoyed every bite. Yes, that is a win for me. It’s all about the choices we make.
So with that tangent out of the way, I do have a Whole30 recipe for you today. As I work to not eat sugar for the next month, you will see a lot of healthy meals being posted here. We will come back to cakes, but for now, I need to focus on resetting my habits, so I hope you’ll join me with these healthy recipes.
Once thing I love and eat, every single week of my life, is stir frys. On the Whole30 diet you cannot have soy, which makes stir frys a little difficult. You can use a coconut alternative called coconut aminos but it’s really not the same and Jarryd actually hates the taste. So how to we stir fry? I thought about the other great flavours we could use and landed on a garlic sesame combination because yum. I realised I had some tahini on hand and decided to give a creamy garlic sauce a go and I was really happy with the results.
This sauce is super simple and uses all the flavours you would find in a traditional asian style sauce with garlic, ginger, lime, and chili, but the sweet component is from dates (hello no sugar) and the creamy sesame flavour is from the tahini. Everything gets added to a blender – I love to use my bullet blender for sauces like this, but you can use whatever you have – and in a couple of minutes you have a creamy, punchy garlic sauce ready to smother all over things.
So let’s talk a little about the zucchini noodles. I really need them to be covered in a flavour packed sauce, and then I can really get into them. On their own, I find them a little plain and I’m just very aware that i’m eating zucchini. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to try and convince you that you can’t taste the zucchini or that you won’t even realise its not real noodles. It’s still a vegetable and it tastes that way, but when you love noodles as much as me, it is a great way to add another sneaky vegetable into your bowl and still get the comfort feel of slurping a big bowl of noodles. But do not overcook them. A minute at most in the pan, just to heat them through so they still have a bit of a snap. Any longer and they can get soggy and just not enjoyable.
So here we go, week one down and feeling good. Especially when we have delicious real food recipes like this to enjoy. This is the kind of simple, weeknight meal that I can come home and quickly make, before enjoying on the couch indulging in some Netflix time. Sometimes we need food to feel comforting, and that is exactly what this does without the negative after feels.
- 3 garlic cloves , crushed
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 2 small dates , softened
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- juice of 1/2 a lime
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons water
- 2 medium zucchini , spiralised
- 1 chicken breast , medium to large sized
- 2-3 cups mixed veggies chopped , I used mushrooms, green beans, and pak choy.
- sesame oil , for cooking
- canola oil , for cooking
- In a blender, add all sauce ingredients and blend until mixture is white and creamy. Add a little more water if sauce is too thick. Set aside.
- Chop up chicken into about 1 inch pieces. In a frying pan or wok, heat ½ a tablespoon of both canola oil and sesame oil and add chicken. Stir fry until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add chopped up veggies to the hot pan, adding a bit more oil if necessary, and stir fry until tender. Add back in chicken and the zucchini noodles and the sauce. Toss together until everything is coated in the creamy sauce and then take off heat. You want the zucchini noodles to still have a crunch to them.
- Serve and top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Vegetarian/Vegan Option: Replace chicken with firm tofu.