Hi, I'm Dr. Bianca!


I’m a menopausal woman. I write about what it's like to get through the hormonal transition we’ve come to know as menopause. My intent is to help us all age together in the best and healthiest way possible. Let’s not suffer in silence. Let’s normalize the conversation. 


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Hello, summer produce!

Have you ever passed those zucchini spirals in the grocery store and didn't know if you should cook them or eat them raw?

This healthy zucchini zoodle salad recipe is low carb, packed with simple ingredients, and is the perfect side dish or main dish when paired with a protein you love.

Healthy Zucchini Zoodle Side Dish Salad Recipe

The Non-Pasta, Pasta

I love pasta. I'm Italian, after all! I was given a spiralizer by a friend many years back and thought, "she actually wants me to make pasta from zucchini???" 

That's blasphemy for an Italian! Pasta is food from the gods! 

That zoodle-making kitchen gadget sat in my kitchen for a long time. Until I had a lunch prepared as a raw zucchini pasta salad fresh from the garden. That was the day my love affair with the spiralizer began. 

healthy zoodle salad side dish

The Non-Pasta Pasta Salad

I love salad. Most of my friends and family call me the "Queen of Salads." So, I thought, why not marry fresh zucchini with feta cheese, fresh basil, and a simple vinaigrette made from lemon juice? 

Soon to become one of my favorite summer zucchini noodle salad recipes?
I'm also finding new cooking methods as I move into menopause.

Since women become more insulin resistant as they age, we must find foods that do not contribute to glucose spikes. Using veggies as a swap out for flour during our needs for a pasta meal can be a great choice of wholesome yum.

Try this TriColor Quinoa recipe if you are looking for other foods to reduce insulin resistance during menopause.

Can You Eat Fresh Zucchini Raw?

Zucchini is known as summer squash. It is considered to be a fruit and not a vegetable!  It is grown and found fresh in farmers' markets from June through August in the US.

Like the cucumber or gourd, this fresh and fab courgette can be washed and eaten without peeling or pitting! 

Making it an easy breezy ingredient to use in a salad or for a delicious side dish. 

What Does Zucchini Taste Like?

It is a super mild taste, meaning it's bland in my Italian food-loving palette. 

This is good because it can take on the flavors it is paired with.

Whether you eat it raw, cooked, or grilled, it can pop with flavor if seasoned correctly.

The Health Benefits of Zucchini

Whether you cook, saute, grill, or eat raw, the zucchini's nutrition information stays the same: HEALTHY!

It has three staple health benefits for those looking to lose weight:

  1. high in dietary fiber
  2. low in calories
  3. fat-free

Suppose you are a woman looking to eat more foods with a 5-star rating for menopause. In that case, you should include adding this fresh summer salad during zucchini season for these reasons:

  • it helps to keep your blood sugar stable 
  • it supports healthy bowels
  • it keeps your gut microbiome in good balance
zucchini zoodle noodles

HowTo Pick A Good Zucchini

Not all grocery stores carry raw zucchini noodles

Spiralized zucchini can be done at home using a spiral slicer

However, it adds another 10 minutes to prepare this zucchini salad recipe

When choosing a good zucchini, look for these 3 things:

  • a firm texture (if it feels mushy, put it down!)
  • blemish free (the skin should be without nicks or scrapes)
  • bright and vibrant green skin

Size Does Matter

Large zucchini is more bitter than its smaller and medium-sized family members. 

If you slice into an over-ripe zucchini, it could be stringy, spongey, or filled with larger seeds with an odor. 

Therefore it is best to stick to small to medium-sized produce.

You can keep the unwashed, uncut and unpeeled zucchini in a loose paper bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days before it begins to spoil.

The Ragweed-Zucchini Allergy Connection

For most, eating raw zucchini salad doesn't pose any threat.

However, for some with a ragweed allergy, zucchini might spark inflammation in the throat or mouth. 

This is known as Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS) or Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome (PFAS).

If you notice any of the following symptoms the first time you eat zucchini, you might be having PFAS:

  • itchy mouth
  • swollen tongue or mouth
  • scratchy throat
  • itchy ears
  • hives
  • nausea
  • diarrhea

Please seek medical care if you experience any food reactions

Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome to Zucchini Infographic

The Best Thing About Zoodling

You don't have to wait for a hot day to make this fun summer salad

I often make it as a healthy side dish instead of regular pasta. 

Playing with the mandoline slicer or the julienne peeler can add to the fun of making thin ribbons or a totally different noodle shape. 

Add in some fresh herbs, grape tomatoes, goat cheese, and a little bit of a homemade lemon vinaigrette, and you've got a new simple salad to love on. 

Happy Zoodling!

xo Bianca 

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healthy zoodle salad side dish

Healthy Zucchini Zoodle Side Dish Recipe

  • Author: Dr. Bianca Beldini
  • Total Time: 10
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


If you don’t know what to do as you pass the zucchini spirals, aka “zoodles,” in the supermarket, grab your salad bowl and your taste buds because you are in for a treat! This salad packs a crunch! Its lemony garlic dressing puts you over the edge into Puckersville!


Units Scale

zucchini zoodle salad ingredients

Ingredients for the zoodle salad:

  • 1 package of organic zucchini noodles
  • 1 cup of organic wild baby arugula
  • 1 pint of organic cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of organic crumbled feta
  • 1/2 cup of chopped basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup of raw slivered almonds

Ingredients for the lemon dressing: 

  • 1 TB organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon zest
  • 1 full lemon juiced
  • 1/2 tsp raw honey
  • 2 cloves of garlic mashed
  • 1 or 2 pinches of salt to taste
  • ground pepper to taste


How to put the salad together:

  1. Empty the whole package of zoodles and cup of arugula into a large salad bowl
  2. Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves and add to bowl
  3. Add in the feta, chopped basil leaves and almonds

How to make the lemon dressing: 

Add the lemon juice, zest, olive oil, honey, and garlic to a cup or measuring container, and whisk until the honey mixes to become liquid.

Pour over the salad and toss!

zucchini noodle and arugula combined in salad bowl

Ingredients of healthy zucchini noodle side salad

mixing up zucchini zoodle salad


You can omit the raw garlic if it doesn’t agree with you.

Keep the dressing on the side, if you do not serve the salad immediately so the zoodles don’t get soggy.

If you don’t want to use arugula, substitute spinach, kale, watercress or any other type of loose green leafy healthy goodness you prefer.

To bring a nuttier taste to the salad, toast the slivered almonds in a dry pan for 2 minutes then add.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: Summer Salad
  • Method: Chop and whisk
  • Cuisine: Salad

Keywords: zucchini salad, side salad, keto, gluten free, noodle salad, low carb noodle salad


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Healthy Zucchini “Zoodle” Side Dish Recipe

healthy zucchini noodle side dish recipe


August 22, 2022


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Dr. Bianca Beldini

I’m your Doctor of Physical Therapy, Acupuncturist, Master Dry Needler, and Triathlon and Running Coach. I’ve been in the health, wellness and fitness industry for over 25 years, and I’m here to help you reach your optimal health.