Shaved Zucchini Salad with Marcona Almonds & Manchego
SHAVED ZUCCHINI SALAD WITH MARCONA ALMONDS & MANCHEGO
FOOD AS MEDICINE
Zucchini are an excellent source of manganese and vitamin C as well as a good source of vitamin A (through its concentration of carotenoid phytonutrients), B vitamins, and a combination of antioxidant nutrients. Some antioxidants deserving of special attention include carotenoids (found in vitamin A concentration) lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants are especially helpful in antioxidant protection of the eye, including protection against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. The maganese, zinc, and B vitamins found abundantly in zucchini serve in blood sugar metabolism support for our system. What’s more, the pectin form of soluble fiber found in zucchini, D-galacturonic acid, helps keep insulin metabolism and blood sugar levels in balance, and protecting against the onset of type 2 diabetes. This slow moving fiber acts as a gel to decrease the breakdown of carbohydrates into sugar, aiding to curb blood sugar spikes. The combination of the antioxidants and this “oopy-goopy” mucilaginous fiber act to cool and soothe the body decreasing inflammation, particularly in gastrointestinal disorders including ulcerative colitis, gastritis, and leaky gut. Beyond inflammation, seeds of summer squash and oils extracted from its seeds have been used in traditional medicine for their anti-microbial and anti-parasitic properties.
Zucchini makes an awesome grain-free substitute for pasta, but its texture can sometimes be a little bit off-putting when served completely raw. By marinating the zucchini in lemon juice and olive oil, it softens and gains a more “cooked” texture that is much more appetizing. You can use a mandolin slicer to cut your zucchini ribbons, or just use a vegetable peeler and run it down the length of the zucchini until you reach the core. Once you marinate the zucchini, this salad comes together very quickly and should be eaten day of or it will get too soggy. It would also go nicely with some torn prosciutto and basil! YUM!
2 medium zucchini
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/4 cup Marcona Almonds
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 oz raw aged Manchego cheese, thinly sliced and crumbled
3-4 sprigs fresh mint, leaves removed
pinch sea salt
Using your mandolin or vegetable peeler, slice the zucchini into long ribbons, keeping them as uniform in size as possible. Place the ribbons in a medium bowl and add the lemon juice and olive oil. Toss to coat and let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour, until zucchini begins to soften. Be careful not to leave marinating too long, as the zucchini will become mushy. Add the almonds, tomatoes, cheese crumbles and fresh mint leaves. Sprinkle with the sea salt and serve alongside grilled protein of choice!
Makes 4 servings
Nutrition per serving: 147 Calories, 10g Fat, 8g Carbs, 5g Protein
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