This salad is a little prep-heavy, but it is very simple and makes a huge batch to bring to your next potluck or a few days' worth of lunch. Top it with grilled chicken or some diced pepperoni and you have a light satisfying meal. It tastes better after sitting for a day or two as the veggies have time to marinate in all that Italian dressing goodness. If you are not grain free you can also bulk up the salad a bit by adding a handful or two of cooked and drained spaghetti noodles.
Note: To cut down on prep time, use pre-spiralized veggies from the store. These likely will be dried out enough that you won't need to salt and remove moisture.
Zoodle Italian Salad
4 medium zucchini + 4 medium yellow squash (try to get the straightest ones you can)
1 large English cucumber, peeled, seeded, small diced
1 small purple onion, small diced
1 medium bell pepper (green or red), small diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1 batch Italian Dressing (recipe below)
Set up your veggie spiralizer with several layers of paper towel, or a folded tea towel, to catch all of the zoodles.
Slice the tough ends off the zucchini/squash and start spiralizing, making an even layer of zoodles on the towels as you go. Once you have a nice layer (from about 3-4 zucchini), sprinkle evenly with approximately 1/2 tsp salt.
The salt will help draw out moisture from the zucchini. This is an important step that will prevent your salad from becoming too wet and soggy. After salting, place another layer of towels on top and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Repeat this whole process with remaining zucchini/squash.
While your zoodles are sitting in the towels, prep the rest of your veggies and your salad dressing. Place these in a large mixing or serving bowl.
Now, back to your zoodles. After several minutes, you'll start to see moisture soaking through the top layer of towels. In order to get the most water out of the zoodles, roll them up and gently squeeze.
Unroll your zoodles and dump them into your large bowl with the other veggies and dressing. Mix well, cover, and chill for at least 6 hours. This salad will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Italian Dressing Mix
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 TBS onion powder
2 tsp dried oregano
1 TBS dried parsley
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Mix all spices in small jar. Store in cool dry place for up to 2 months. Use for making dressing, sprinkle over potatoes with a little oil and roast them, or as a seasoning for pot roast or grilled chicken.
To make 1 batch of dressing: combine 2 TBS dry mix with 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, 1/2 cup olive or avocado oil, and 2 tsp water. Mix well.