Zoodles with Creamy Roasted Poblano Sauce

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You guys, it's April.  And in a few short months, if the garden gods are good, we will have tons and tons of zucchini!  Last year, my zucchini were plagued by disgusting little creepy crawlers called squash bugs.  It was AWFUL.  I still got quite a few zucchini early on, but by the end of the season, my plants were not producing and they were NOT looking so hot.

Please keep your fingers crossed for me and my future zucchini plant babies!  Zukes are one of my very favorite veggies and possibly the garden crop I look MOST forward to.  Grilled, stuffed, spiralized, fried, baked, lasagna, fritters... you name it, I'm PUMPED for it.

We eat zoodles all the time, and usually with red sauce.  But lately, I've been craving something rich and creamy and different .  So I decided to make this Creamy Roasted Poblano Sauce.  It has a deep, warm, spicy flavor from the roasted poblanos, and is super creamy thanks to... you guessed it, cashews!

I served these poblano noodles with a Sous Vide Lemon Cod, but they are fantastic on their own as well, and would also be great with chicken or shrimp!

p.s. this little cutie is always trying to get in on my recipe shoots :)


Zoodles with Creamy Roasted Poblano Sauce

[Whole30 - Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Dairy Free]

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Ingredients:

1 cup of raw cashews

1.5-2 cups of boiling water

2-3 poblano peppers (depending on how spicy you like it!)

1/3 cup yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 - 1 1/4 cups water

Juice of 1/2 of a lemon

1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)

lots of zucchini (I usually figure 1.5 medium zucchini per person)

Instructions:

To make the sauce:

  1. First, soak the cashews.  Add 1 cup of cashews to a bowl.  Cover (by about 1 inch) with boiling water and sit them aside for 15-20 minutes while you prep the other ingredients.
  2. Then, roast the poblanos.
    • OVEN - Pre-heat to broil.  Place whole peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet, and blacken them in the oven, turning every 1-3 minutes until the pepper is charred all over.
    • GRILL - Pre-heat the grill to high.  Place whole peppers directly on the grates, turning as each side gets charred, until it is evenly charred all over.
  3. Once the poblanos are charred, place them in a zip lock bag and seal.  The steam will make the skin easier to remove.
  4. Once they have cooled, peel the skin off using the blade of a large knife, or just with your hands!  I found my hands to be easier.  Split each pepper open and remove the stem and the seeds from inside, then set aside.
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to the skillet, then add the onions and minced garlic and saute for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.  Sit aside.
  6. Drain the cashews and add to your food processor along with 1 cup of water.  Process until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
  7. Add in the onions and garlic, peppers, salt, and juice of 1/2 of a lemon.
  8. Mix again until everything is well combined and you don't see any pieces of the individual ingredients swirling around in there.
  9. At this point, taste for seasoning and test the consistency.  Add more salt if needed.  You want the sauce to be pretty thick (since zoodles tend to be watery), but if you want it to be thinner, add some more water now and blend.

To make the zoodles:

  1. Spiralize your zucchini.
  2. Heat up 1 Tbsp of olive oil in the same skillet you used for the onions and garlic (no need to wash it)!  I like to cook zoodles on high so a lot of the water cooks off.
  3. Add zoodles to the pan and using tongs, move them around, scoop the bottom ones to the top and vice versa, for 3-5 minutes or until they are cooked to your liking.
  4. If there's a lot of water in the pan, either drain the zoodles in a colander or use a scrunched up paper towel to blot the liquid out of the skillet.
  5. Add a nice dollop of the Poblano Sauce right into the pan and toss to coat, cooking until the sauce is heated through (1-2 minutes).
  6. Plate up the zoodles and sprinkle with crushed red pepper if you like things spicy!
  7. Store the rest of the sauce in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.