Zucchini Pasta with Vegetarian Fixings

I am not a vegetarian or vegan. I was not raised by vegetarians or vegans. In fact, the opposite is true. I remember as a kid hearing my father chant “Large! Dead! Quadruped!” as  he’d carry a London broil or set of t-bones or filets to and from the kitchen and outdoor grill.

But then I moved to the southern version of hippy central. I was exposed to a very vocal vegetarian and vegan culture. As my circle of friends expanded, I came to know people with “dietary restrictions” including vegetarianism and veganism. Luckily for them I saw their pickiness (whether there’s a greater purpose behind it or not…let’s be honest: it’s a culturally accepted way to be a picky eater) as a culinary challenge.

I do not mind vegetarian food. Sometimes I even prefer it to meatier alternatives. But what I hate are vegetarian dishes that pretend to be meat dishes. Like seeing a veggie burger on a menu will irk me. I’ve tried veggie burgers; they don’t taste like the real thing, and if vegetarians want the real thing they should honker down and have some beef–I promise I won’t tell. Tofurky makes me want to go on a rampage. Shaping tofu like a turkey is not an actual substitute for a turkey.

Anyway…the recipe. This is fairly simple. It’s REMARKABLY filling–it was all I needed for my entree. It tastes healthy while simultaneously tasting delicious (which is rare and makes one suspect). I dare any meat-eater to try this dish and tell me they’re missing something.

ZUCCHINI PASTA WITH VEGETARIAN FIXINGS

INGREDIENTS:

  • Zucchini
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Tomatoes, roasted
  • One egg
  • Goat cheese
  • Vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Shred the zucchini using a cheese grater or mandolin until you have “noodles”. Let them dry on paper towels until you’re ready to cook them.
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  2. When ready to cook, place a small amount of olive oil in a skillet. When it’s hot, start warming the zucchini, seasoning liberally with salt and pepper.
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  3. When the zucchini is warm, add the roasted tomatoes to the skillet.
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  4. While that mix is getting warm, poach your egg (which will require vinegar and water). When the egg is poached, place it–along with goat cheese–on top of the tomato/zucchini mixture.
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