Not raw

You can thank T.J. for this post. He convinced me to blog. [Ok not really, I have been waiting to share this recipe when I had some free time. But if you are reading this Alexandria, you have one awesome man.]



It may not look like much but it was a life saver the other week when I was swamped in the ICU and had 2 seconds to inhale lunch. I’m not even exaggerating. Because I use my breaks to pump or nurse, eating is hard to fit in. But of course I do it. [Hello?! Maintaining this milk supply is my pride and joy.]

Kyle brings P to see me on my lunch. If he didn’t I wouldn’t see my baby boy all day and that’s just unacceptable (he wakes up after I leave for work and goes to bed before I get home). In addition to giving me something to look forward to mid-shift, it’s actually easier for both me and Kyle in terms of feeding him. We live <10 minutes from the hospital and so rather than me pump and Kyle thaw/heat/bottle feed at home, we just cut out the middle man device. We only have another few shifts and then I’ll be on nights, which will be a million times easier for us all. In the meantime, I pump before I go to work, twice (in the AM and the PM) of my 12 hour shift, and again after I get home from my shift. [Plus the nursing on my lunches.]

The staff is awesome and supportive but it’s still difficult given the nature of my job. I don’t know how working moms handle pumping in other fields of work but as an ICU nurse I’m finding it to be a tricky thing.

Like the shift that I brought this zucchini noodle lunch, for instance.


I didn’t actually ever get a chance to pump in the afternoon because there just wasn’t time. I was super busy and I completely forgot about it, until my shift ended and I had a second to think and I realized my boobs were crazy huge. Well duh, I had milk from noon on all stored up…

[How amazing is this post for the dudes reading. All 2 of you. Sorry for the boob talk.]

I also didn’t have any time to grab an afternoon snack. You all know what my lunches look like. I eat lots, especially when I work. LOTS.

Long story short, this meal was perfect. It wasn’t heavy or anything, but totally held my crazy nursing appetite off from noon to 8:30 pm. [I got home late because my shift was loco.]


Now let’s discuss this zucchini noodle business, okay?


I tried the raw form and while it was okay with lots of sauce and stuff, it wasn’t ever something I fell head over heels for. I liked the fun shape of the noodles part. That was cool. It was the raw thing that didn’t jive with me.

Well here’s a novel idea. How about cooking the noodles!?! Duh. I have no clue why this didn’t occur to me sooner, but at least my brain finally caught on. So I sautéed them in sesame oil and that’s where the magic happened.

Well, this thai-asian-esque sauce helped too. Peanut butter always helps, am I right?


Thai Peanut Zucchini Noodle Fry


  • 3-4 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce if you’re not wheat sensitive)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 3 small zucchinis, spiralized or cut like noodles


Spiralize noodles. Add to pan with sesame oil. Cover with a lid and let them sizzle. [I left the lid on so they would cook with the steam and that way I’d disturb them as infrequently as possible, thereby letting them brown in the hot pan.]

Meanwhile, combine the rest of the ingredients together for the sauce. [I used fresh grind peanut butter from the co-op so it had no salt or sugar added. If you use a nut butter with salt or sugar added, you may consider adjusting the tamari or maple syrup. Or not.]

Once noodles have cooked all the way, toss with the sauce. Eat hot or cold.


Mine were chilled and then I veg-ed them out even more by adding spinach and salted peanuts. Then at work I shook it all up in the tupperware so I had a monster mash of greenery with a lovely peanutty soy sauce.


It’s hard to believe something so healthy can taste sooooo good.


I’m in love with zucchini season now. Farmer’s markets watch yourselves!


Any nut butter will work – sunbutter, almond butter, etc.

If you’re sensitive to zucchini, try spiralizing carrots! Or any veggies really.

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Comments (34)

  1. Brooke

    Yum! That looks sooo good! I will definitely be making this for my lunch at work this week 🙂

  2. Aimee

    This looks amazing! I’ve tried raw zucchini spirals and wasn’t a huge fan either… I’m definitely trying this! I love food sauteed in sesame oil. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Angie

    Yum! Glad you’re posting again.

  4. Missy

    I don’t know how you do it, girl! You may have super powers.

    Can you please tell me what spiralizer you use and recommend. I want on every badly.

  5. Christine

    My mouth is watering! I use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce or tamari due to the soy content. I would think that would be an okay substitute. Thanks for posting, I’m holding on to your recipes. Love your blog.

  6. Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl

    This sounds awesome! I love that you used a peanut-based sauce as opposed to the more traditional pasta sauce. I never would have though to do that, but it sounds delicious!

  7. Sami

    Great minds think alike 🙂 I just made Kelp Noodle Pad Thai last night. <3 xo.

  8. dani

    This looks so good! I am going to need to get my hands on a spiral slicer and give it a try 🙂

    <3 dani

  9. Karen

    Am not familiar with “spiralize”??? Sounds exciting.

    Keep up that pumping, sounds great!

  10. Dana @ Vanishing Veggie

    I am a HUUUUGE fan of zucchini noodles, but I always eat them raw. I’m definitely going to have to try them stir fried. Also, I just have a veggie shredder and not one that makes nice noodles, so I think I need to invest in that as well. Looks yummy!

    Way to go on the super-working mom front!

  11. Wendy

    Elise, you’re awesome. So glad you’re keeping up with the pumping! And I love when moms can nurse at work! Yay! I agree — too long to be away; glad you have a way around it. Beautiful. And those noddles look amazing. I wish zucchini didn’t take so long to peel up like that. But maybe that’s because I’ve only ever used a regular old peeler. Gotta look into that other fancy device!

  12. Elise (Post author)

    thanks wendy! your support is soooo awesome – it really means the world to me. im lucky to have a similarly minded staff. 🙂

  13. Elise (Post author)

    thanks karen. 🙂
    spiralizing does sound kinda fun/funky doesnt it?!?! i use a paderno world cuisine “spiralizer” to make ribbons/noodles out of various food, namely zucchini.

    try it!

  14. Elise (Post author)

    i saw! very similar 🙂 its a perfect summer meal!

  15. Elise (Post author)

    ditto to the sesame oil. mmmm.

  16. Elise (Post author)

    i use the paderno world cuisine spiralizer.
    heres a link:

    i love it! i have no experience w another kind but this one has been awesome. no complaints.

  17. ethel

    mama sale has been shredding her zucchinis to be her “spaghetti” and then sauteeing them and using them in her turkey meatball sauce. =)

  18. Courtney

    Huh. I never thought of cooking the zucchini noodles! Seeing as how it is 90+ degrees here and horribly sticky and icky and humid and I don’t have AC, I don’t see that in my future, but they sound good. It is a good thing I love them raw, though! Zucchini are one of my favorite summer veggies and I am so happy to have the spiralizer! Thank you for the recipe! I can’t wait to try it (in the raw)!


  19. Kathleen

    I learned this too. I could never get into the raw zucchini with sauce thing that everyone raves above. This looks delicious though.

  20. Shannon

    You should be proud of yourself with all of the pumping. It’s hard to keep it up, but sounds like you have a super supportive husband.

  21. Elise (Post author)

    that i do!!

  22. chilled onions

    Thanks Elise. Seriously! For the last 6 months I have been putting all my energy into NOT buying a spiralizer after I felt in love with it at a raw cooking class. And now you too????? Love the zucchini though. And maybe grating it is acceptable after all:)

  23. Jay

    I like the idea of stir-frying these to make them more noodle-like. Is there a specific health reason that you use zucchini for the noodles instead of something like buckwheat or rice? Or do you just prefer the taste?

  24. Missy

    Thank you!

  25. Megan

    Just like spaghetti squash, right? This looks fantastic—

    glad you are posting again—always fun read during a break!

  26. Lacey

    Thank you for the inspiration! I’m 39 weeks pregnant and sick with a cold. My energy levels are at an all time low which makes it really hard for me to make good food decisions. This reminded how easy it is to put something healthy and tasty together. 🙂

  27. Elise (Post author)

    hahaha. sorry 🙁

  28. Elise (Post author)


  29. Elise (Post author)

    youre so close lacey!!! you can do it!

  30. k

    This= artisan level inspiration! If I ever have some nutbutter around will def wanna make something like this

  31. chilled onions


  32. Brooke

    I made this a couple nights ago with organic sunbutter instead of peanut butter and I added shredded carrot and roasted peanuts. It is da bomb! That sauce is soooo good and, dare I say, it’s better the next day after sitting in the fridge as leftovers. Yum!

    Also, I have to reinforce what the other commenters have said – you are so awesome for continuing to pump and nurse at work. I can just imagine how hard it is for moms to do that at their full time jobs and still keep up with everything. You are a good role model for me because I know I’ll probably be a working mom too.

  33. Elise (Post author)

    thanks so much brooke. its really awesome getting supportive comments like yours. encourages me to continue!

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