Today I am happy to share with you a food tool that has changed my life: the spiralizer. I can't stop raving about it, and if you've spent time with me the past two weeks, I'm sure you've heard me going on and on about it. As you can probably tell from a lot of my past posts, I really enjoy making hearty, pasta-like dishes. While I normally opt the for healthier kinds anyway, like brown rice, spelt, or whole grain, I have discovered an even healthier, extremely easy, and cheap way to make pasta dishes-- using vegetables!
I stumbled upon this wonderful blog
a few weeks ago, and after reading through some of her posts, I spontaneously purchased a
. I'm so glad I did. I use it every single day, making zucchini, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes into noodles.
It's obvious that I'm into health, but I'm not perfect. For instance, you're supposed to eat heavier meals for breakfast and lunch, and lighter meals for dinner. But sometimes when I come home from work, I'm starving and feel the need to indulge in something comforting and carb-y. This spiralizer has solved my problems. I can now enjoy "pasta" as much as a I want, and I can rest easy knowing I'm only eating vegetables! Generally for dinner, I start off with a protein like fish or bean salad, and then eat my noodles. It fills me up if I eat one or two whole vegetables as noodles, and I feel so light and clean afterwards.
The spiralizer comes with different sized blades, so it can also be used to make thicker fettucine-like pasta, and even curly fries for those who aren't as health conscious. It also can be used to make sweet dishes. I've used the sweet potato noodles and sauteed them in coconut oil, cinnamon and pure maple syrup to make a sweet, but nutritious breakfast treat.
Here are some of my concoctions below:
Some health benefits of zucchini:
- Dietary fiber
- Folate, which helps your metabolism as well as cell growth
- Magnesium, which keeps your bones and heart healthy
- Low calorie (one cup of zucchini is about 36 calories, vs one cup of spaghetti which is about 220 calories)
- Helps lower cholesterol
- Vitamin C & A help fight cancer and are anti-inflammatory agents
Zucchini Noodles With Pesto & Roasted Tomatoes
1-2 zucchinis (depending how big they are/how hungry you are)
5-7 cherry or grape tomatoes
1/8 cup olive oil (very approximate)
Juice of one small lemon
1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup of basil (approximate)
1. Place tomatoes on aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Roast the tomatoes at 425 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.
2. Prepare the pesto by combining chopped basil, chopped garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil in a blender. If you have the Vitamix or other high-powered blender, then there's no need to pre-chop. If you are finding that the pesto isn't smooth enough to blend, try adding avocado for creaminess (about 1/4 to 1/2 of an avocado).
3. Once pesto is prepared, spiralize the vegetable using your
. Inspiralized has a great instructional
4. Heat some olive oil on a pan on low to medium heat. Add the zucchini noodles and cook for a few minutes until soft. Add in the pesto and roasted tomatoes and enjoy!
Some health benefits of butternut squash:
- Dietary fiber
- High levels of vitamin A
- Lots of B vitamins
- High in minerals
- Vitamin C
- Helps regulate blood sugar
Butternut Squash Noodles With Sweet Potato & Greens
1 butternut squash
Handful of grape tomatoes
1/4 white or yellow onion
1/4-1/2 sweet potato, microwaved or baked until soft
1 cup shredded collard greens
1-2 cloves of garlic
1. Chop onions, garlic, and tomatoes.
2. Peel the butternut squash. Chop the bulby part of the squash and put it aside. Use the other part to spiralize (good instructions
3. Heat olive oil in pan. Add butternut squash and cook for a few minutes, then add rest of ingredients, except the sweet potato. Cook the mixture for a few more minutes until everything is cooked. If it is taking awhile for the butternut squash noodles to cook, lower heat and cover.
4. Add already heated sweet potato once the rest is done cooking. Toss with olive oil and eat up!
(sorry for the poor quality photo)
Some health benefits of sweet potato:
- Dietary fiber
- Huge source of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A
- High in iron
- Contains vitamin C & D to help with the immune system
- High in potassium to help your heart function
Sweet Potato Noodles with "Creamy" Sundried Tomato Sauce
(and again, I apologize that I don't measure things properly, so these are just estimates of amounts)
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 clove garlic, chopped
A few large leaves of basil
2 spoonfuls Greek yogurt
1-2 sweet potatoes, depending on size
1/4 white or yellow onion, chopped
Extra chopped basil & sundried tomatoes for garnish
Parmesan cheese, grated for garnish
1. Combine ingredients for sauce in blender. Taste your mix: if it feels too liquidy add more sundried tomatoes and shallots. If it feels too thick, add some white vinegar and/or Greek yogurt.
2. Peel sweet potato and cut in half. If it feels too hard to spiralize, microwave for 1 minute.
3. Heat olive oil in pan. Add sweet potato noodles and cook for about 5 minutes. If you would like, cover pan to steam noodles to soften.
4. Once noodles are soft, add sauce and toss. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped basil.
If you are looking for something more quick and simple, I would recommend starting off with zucchini with marinara sauce or sweet potato noodles with garlic, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. And please let me know if you purchase this contraption--I will be ecstatic for you!!