Delicious Veggie Noodles
Eat Your Vegetable/Veggie Noodles
Veggie noodles have become increasingly popular over the past few years, and for good reason—they’re an easy and tasty way to cut carbs, add variety to your meals, and get more nutrients into your diet every single day. With one simple piece of kitchen equipment, you can bring all kinds of dishes to life, and every one of them is centered around vegetables.
Convenient and Healthy
One of my favorite things about spiralizing, beyond how delicious veggie noodles can be, is how incredibly easy it makes meal prep. I will often spiralize an onion instead of chopping it on a cutting board because it is so much faster than using a knife. I try to spiralize a bunch of veggies at the beginning of the week and put them in separate containers so they’re ready to go. They cook quickly, and many of them are also great raw, so having them pre-spiralized makes cooking and throwing salads together all week fast and easy. Here are a few ingredients that are super easy to spiralize and hold up well in the refrigerator:
- Zucchini (the perfect substitute for traditional pasta)
- Summer squash (a nice alternative to zucchini—sometimes harder to spiralize because of its shape, so look for larger ones that don’t have much of a curve)
- Carrots (delicious when cooked, but also great as a crunchy raw noodle in salads)
- Onion (the perfect start to any dish)
- Cucumber (great for adding crunch to salads)
I find that in addition to substituting veggie noodles for carb-heavy staples like pasta or rice, I add more vegetables to my overall diet when I’m spiralizing. Having zucchini noodles or carrots ready to go often means that I’ll add them to an omelet or a wrap that otherwise might have just been filled with meat and cheese.
How to Spiralize
Let’s get into it! This next section is all about your spiralizer and some best practices for using it to its fullest potential.
An Overview of Spiralizers
There are a lot of different spiralizer brands and types on the market today, so you can take your pick when it comes to price and style. The most important thing about the spiralizers we’ll use for this book is that they have easy-to-change blades, so you can switch up your noodles. Keeping food-related boredom at bay is kind of my thing, especially when it comes to veggies.
These spiralizers stand up on your counter, and you turn a handle to slice the noodles. Unlike hourglass spiralizers, these spiralize more than just long and round veggies—you can do beets, onions, parsnips, apples, and so much more. If you can peel it and fit it on the machine, you can make noodles out of it! They’re relatively inexpensive and easy to clean, but they are a bit large and take up some space in your kitchen. The blades are incredibly sharp, so you want to make sure you always handle them with care! It’s only happened once, but I have sliced my thumb on mine and it wasn’t a great experience.
I use the Inspiralizer brand, but there’s also Paderno, SpiraLife, Brieftons, and many more. The blades may differ in some minor ways, but overall, they have the same offerings. There’s usually a big ribbon noodle, a classic spaghetti noodle, and one or two different-size pastas like fettuccini or linguine. Most of the time they’re labeled A, B, or C (and D, depending on what brand you own), and each of the recipes in this book calls out a specific blade to use, although you can use whichever one you like if you decide you have a favorite.
I like using the ribbon blade for sautéed dishes and salads, the fettuccini and linguine blades for more traditional pasta substitutions, and the spaghetti blade when I’m really trying to cut down on cook time (it yields the thinnest noodle, so it makes quick work of softening hardy vegetables like sweet potato or butternut squash). How to Use: Hand-crank spiralizers vary by brand, but generally you will set them down on your counter and attach the veggie you plan to spiralize to the side of the machine with the blade. Then you slide the hand-crank over to secure the vegetable in place and turn the handle to create veggie noodles.
Veggie Noodles. Pros:
- Much sturdier than the hourglass model
- Can spiralize virtually any fruit or vegetable
- Has an assortment of blades for variety in noodle shape and size
Veggie Noodles. Cons:
- More expensive
- Takes up more space in kitchen/storage
- Takes a little practice to master
If you aren’t sure you want to invest in one of the hand-crank spiralizer brands (they’re bigger machines that stand up on your counter), you can always start out with a cone-shaped handheld spiralizer like the Veggetti. How to Use: Hold the hourglass spiralizer with one hand and place the vegetable into the cone with your other hand, turning it to slice noodles. Most of the time these spiralizers have two size options, so you can make a thicker noodle or a thinner one depending on which side of the hourglass you choose.
Veggie Noodles. Pros:
- Easier to use/learn
- Less of a space and/or budget commitment
Veggie Noodles. Cons:
- Limited function
- Not as long-lasting
A handheld hourglass spiralizer, while cheaper and space-saving, is going to limit you to veggies that fit in it—zucchini, cucumber, carrots, and that’s about it. Your vegetables need to be long and round, so onions, turnips, and any other noncylindrical veggies are not going to work.
Easy Spiralizer Cookbook: 100 Vegetable Noodle Recipes You Can Make in 30 Minutes or Less
Megan Flynn Peterson
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