Inspiralized: Turn Vegetables into Healthy, Creative, Satisfying Meals
by Ali Maffucci
Last year I noticed my Giant grocery store had Zucchini Noodles or Zoodles (now all my local groceries are carrying it) so I bought it on a whim. I have never heard of this before so I googled to find recipes for it and came across this amazing book which I borrowed from the library. It's changed the way I look at vegetables. After reading it I purchased a spiralizer. I figured it was cheaper than buying the noodles which cost $6.37 when I can just buy a zucchini and spiralize it myself which I've been doing for eight months now.
The very first zucchini noodle recipe I made was a Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Avocado Pesto. It was so delicious and then I made an Oil-free walnut pesto zucchini noodles. A friend of mine once gave me a tip to use walnuts in pesto instead of pine nuts because it's cheaper and tastes the same. It's been such a creative way to have pasta without pasta by turning zucchini into spaghetti noodles. If you're wondering, once spiralized I put the raw zoodles on the frying pan for a few minutes to soften them up. Spicy Sesame Zoodles is another great dish!
The author of the book doesn't just spiralize zucchini, she also does butternut squash, carrots, sweet potato, broccoli, and exotic vegetables like rutabaga, daikon and celeriac. She explains that "zucchini noodles are helpful for weight loss, thanks to their low calorie and carb count, and high dietary fiber content. They’re also packed with folates, which help your metabolism function properly." If you're trying to low-carb but don't want to eat salads, spiralized vegetables are a great option! It's a way to turn vegetables into noodles and create fun new recipes with it. To me it's been a perfect way to make healthy low calorie dinners. Because let's face it spiralized veggies are just more exciting than chopped veggies! Plus it looks like a larger volume of food, takes less time to cook and are cut perfectly. Here are some of my recent dinners:
Spiralized Sweet Potato, White Bean and Kale Bake
Bell Pepper Fiesta Skillet
Creamy Spiralized Rutabaga with Cherry Tomatoes and Tofu
Kale, Vegetarian Sausage and Butternut Squash Lasagna
Honey Ginger Tofu and Carrot Rice with Bok Choy
I was very skeptical about the last two dishes. Lasagna noodles made out of butternut squash, how would that taste? Surprisingly tasty and filling! I used Field Roast vegetarian apple sage sausages. This week I'm making a sweet potato noodle lasagna with kale and lentils.
I had never had baby bok choy before so I probably over cooked it but with the carrot "rice" and tofu, it was another fulfilling meal. I've also made plantain "rice" and beet "rice". The possibilities are endless! Spiralizing vegetables has really encouraged me to try new vegetables and have fun making new creations with them. This year so far I've lost 10 lbs making the switch to spiralized vegetables for dinner. Have you tried spiralized vegetables?