Cook some ground beef with middle eastern spices and serve over zucchini noodles with a spicy sauce and you've got this Middle Eastern Ground Beef Zoodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce! And this tasty summer dish is low-carb, gluten-free, and South Beach Diet friendly.
I'm getting zucchini from my fun new garden space, and sometimes one gets away from me and gets a little too big. That's when I think about making zucchini noodles, and wonder about something new to do with them.
And there are so many ways to make zucchini noodles into a dish that's really satisfying! I came up with this Middle Eastern Ground Beef Zoodles with Peanut-Tahini Sauce probably because I still had memories of Hummus with Lahmeh from Mazza Restaurant that inspired the Middle Eastern Beef and Hummus Pita Rounds I made earlier this summer. The spicy beef mixture in this recipe is very similar, and it also has onions and plenty of chopped fresh herbs.
In this combination I love the way the slightly-spicy peanut and tahini sauce perks up the flavors of the beef, and also goes great with the zucchini noodles. I love Tahini Sauce, a middle eastern sesame paste, but no worries if you don't have any; just make the sauce with all peanut butter and it will still be great. And if you're looking for something new to do with zucchini noodles and you like middle eastern flavors, I hope you'll give this a try!
Grind together garlic powder, salt, pepper, ground cumin, Greek oregano, dried parsley, and dried mint to make the spice mixture. Brown the beef in a non-stick frying pan, seasoning with the spice mixture. When beef is nearly cooked through, push it to the side, add a tiny bit more olive oil if needed, and brown the finely chopped onion. Then stir together the spicy beef and onions, add the water and lemon juice, simmer about 5 minutes, and then keep warm over low heat while you prepare the zoodles and peanut-tahini sauce.
Whisk together warmed peanut butter, tahini (or more peanut butter), warm water, lemon juice, sweetener, ground garlic puree, soy sauce, and Sriracha Sauce to taste to make the sauce. Chop up a generous amount of fresh mint and parsley, and make the zucchini noodles.
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and saute the garlic cloves to season the oil. Add noodles and cook over high heat for 2-3 minutes, or just until they're barely starting to soften. Stir the chopped mint and parsley into the warm ground beef mixture.
To serve, divide noodles into four bowls; top each with one-fourth of the spicy beef mixture, drizzle over a generous amount of sauce, and sprinkle with sliced green onions if desired. Serve right away and enjoy!
Middle Eastern Ground Beef Zoodles with Peanut-Tahini Sauce
(Makes 4 servings; recipe inspired by the same Hummus with Lahmeh from Mazza Restaurant that inspired Middle Eastern Beef and Hummus Pita Rounds.)
Spice Mix Ingredients:
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. Greek oregano
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried mint
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 tsp. olive oil (plus more as needed)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup water
2 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice (I use my fresh-frozen lemon juice)
finely chopped fresh mint and parsley, about 3/4 cup each (more or less to taste)
thinly sliced green onions for garnish, optional
Peanut-Tahini Sauce Ingredients:
6 T softened creamy peanut butter (use natural peanut butter without added sugar)
2 T Tahini Sauce (or just use more peanut butter if you don't have Tahini)
1/4 cup warm water
2 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp. agave nectar, or other sweetener of your choice
1/2 tsp. ground garlic (pureed garlic that comes in a jar)
4 tsp. soy sauce (gluten-free if needed)
2-3 tsp. Sriracha Sauce, to taste, or use another hot sauce of your choice
Zucchini Noodle Ingredients:
2 medium-large zucchini squash (10-12 inches long)
1 T olive oil
3-4 cloves fresh garlic
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste to season noodles
Grind together the garlic powder, salt, pepper, ground cumin, Greek oregano, dried parsley, and dried mint in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder to make the spice mix. Heat the 2 tsp. olive oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the ground beef, season with the spice mixture, and cook over medium-high heat until the beef is starting to brown, breaking it apart with a turner as it cooks. When the beef is nearly done, push it over to the side of the pan, add a little more olive oil if needed, add the finely chopped onions, and cook until they're softened and starting to brown. Stir the beef and onions together, add the lemon juice and water, simmer 5 minutes over medium heat, and then turn the heat to low and keep the beef mixture warm.
Put the peanut butter and tahini (if using) into a glass measuring cup and microwave about 20-30 seconds, just long enough to soften it.Then whisk in the warm water, lemon juice, sweetener of your choice, ground garlic, soy sauce, and Sriracha (or other hot sauce) to make the peanut-tahini sauce.
Use a Spiralizer or other gadget to make the zucchini noodles. (You can use the small or medium sized noodle for this, whichever you prefer.) Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a large non-stick pan, add the garlic cloves, and cook over medium-high heat just until you smell garlic (less than one minute). Discard the garlic and add the zucchini noodles to the hot pan. Cook about 2-3 minutes or until the noodles are just starting to soften, stirring a few times. Season noodles with salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste.
Stir the chopped mint and parsley into the beef mixture. Divide the zucchini noodles into four bowls, then top each one with one-fourth of the beef mixture and a generous amount of sauce. Garnish with thinly-sliced green onions if desired and serve right away.
If you're not going to be eating four servings of this at once, I would cook all the meat, but only cook the amount of zucchini noodles you're going to eat at that time. Store the raw zucchini noodles, meat mixture, and sauce separately in the fridge, then cook the rest of the noodles and reheat the other ingredients when you're ready to combine them.
South Beach Diet / Low-Carb Diet Suggestions:
If you use natural peanut butter and an approved sweetener, everything in this recipe is a good ingredient for the South Beach Diet, and this should be also approved for most other low-carb eating plans.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn's Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I'm sharing there.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you're a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.
More Tasty Low-Carb Zucchini Noodles:
Ten Amazing Low-Carb Recipes for Zucchini Noodles ~ Kalyn's Kitchen