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Explore the veggie noodle world with Sunshine Vegetable Ribbons

By Melissa d'Arabian, Associated Press
Associated Press
Sunshine Vegetable Ribbons can serve as a first course, a side dish or a vegetarian main course.

Vegetable "noodles" are super trendy, and summer is the best time to make them since the king of veggie noodle — zucchini — is ubiquitous, and inexpensive.

Zucchini is a true powerhouse of vitamins. One cup provides over a third of your daily vitamin C and about 10 percent of five additional vitamins and minerals, and weighs in at under 20 calories.

While "zoodles" are easily the most popular noodle, noodles can be made from a variety of vegetables. Try other summer squashes, winter squash such as butternut, beet, carrot, sweet potato and parsnips. Veggie noodles are easy to make, too. You can buy an inexpensive spiralizer to make quick work of cutting perfectly shaped noodles.

Or, you can even use your vegetable peeler to shave long, thin ribbons from your vegetables. Cooking the noodles is quick: usually by steaming or sauteeing briefly. Some veggies, like summer squash, can be left completely raw if you want, and made into a cold summer noodlelike salad.

If you have been seeking the perfect recipe to dip your toe in the veggie noodle world, today's recipe is just right. Sunshine Vegetable Ribbons can be made in mere minutes using only a vegetable peeler and a pan as equipment. The flavors are bright and familiar: a little garlic, lemon, toasted pine nuts and nutty Parmesan cheese.

Serve this as a pretty first course, as a side dish or even as a vegetarian main course with a thick slice of crusty Italian bread on the side. Once you've mastered the vegetable peeler noodle, get creative and explore the endless options for this new technique, swapping in vegetables for pasta in your favorite recipes.

Food Network star Melissa d'Arabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the author of the cookbook "Supermarket Healthy."