Z is for Zen, Zoos and Zoodles

I’ve often heard the old saying lately ‘when life gives you lemons make lemonade’. I’m sure we can all agree we’ve had a fair bit more than lemons thrown at us this year, it’s been more like Jurassic Park run amuck, an outright zoo! What do you do with that? Make zoodles?

I’ve long been contemplating this blog post, it being the final in my alphabet series, and originally I was going to call it ‘Looking for Zen in a Zoo.’ It is no stretch of the imagination to see life right now as a chaotic zoo given all the trials, tribulations and tragedies that we’ve experienced. Funny, when you think about it, much of what’s added to the zoo quality of our existence has been there all along. It’s like the band aid holding society together has been ripped off revealing the gaping wound beneath. And what do you do with that? It’s so overwhelming and out of control.

Then there’s Zen. Zen comes and helps gently clean the wound, applies a soothing salve, and carefully re-bandages it. Zen looks at the practical, the doable, and takes action. Zen focuses on what can be done. It does things like sit with you and bring you your favorite treat. Zen plays games with you and tells silly jokes to make you laugh.

Now that I think about it, Zen is a zoodle! It’s a smile, a giggle and a game all rolled into one. Face it, just try saying zoodle without the faintest smile coming to your lips, or giggling, even a little bit. Come on, can’t you hear that jingle running through your head?

Elephants, Lions, Zebras, Giraffes
Zoodles are animal noodles
Come on tell all your friends
Tell a whole bunch
I just had a hippopotamus for lunch
Have you ever gone hunting with a bowl and spoon?
Get hunting, with Libby’s Zoodles!

More importantly, Zen – and zoodles – help you live in the moment. They help you see the multitude of good things, recognize the tremendous kindness in people, and reminds us to be grateful for the small things.

So, the next time the ‘zoo’ happens, find your Zen and make some zoodles.

Want to elevate your zoodles? How about using zoodles pasta with that fantastic TikTok sensation – baked feta pasta?

TikTok’s viral baked feta pasta is worth the hype

Aaron Hutcherson, The Washington Post

Or how ‘bout a creamy mac and cheese zoodle? When I make homemade mac & cheese, I start with a white sauce then add cheese. It turns out as a beautifully creamy cheese sauce. This recipe walks you through this awesome sauce which you can then mix with zoodles and eat, or put in a casserole dish and top with MORE yummy cheese and bake at 350° for half an hour. I like mixing things up by adding various kinds of cheese – sharp Cheddar, gruyere, gouda – whatever you fancy. And I’ll let you in on my secret ingredient: mustard. You won’t believe the zippy yumminess it gives the sauce. Just add a squirt of prepared mustard to the sauce then continue with adding cheeses.

Homemade Cheese Sauce

Alyssa Rivers, The Recipe Critic

Oh, and when you are feeling down, break out the chicken zoodle soup!

Homestyle Chicken Noodle (Zoodle) Soup

Damn Delicious: Quick and Easy Meals for the Home Cook

And, of course, you can always go the gluten free route with zoodles of another sort – zucchini noodles! I love substituting the pasta for zucchini noodles in this recipe:

Ham and Peas Pasta with Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce

Damn Delicious: Quick and Easy Meals for the Home Cook

Mmm… I can’t wait to have a hippopotamus for lunch!

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