Living a Paleo lifestyle means I don’t eat wheat, so bye bye pasta. Without pasta I don’t eat one of my old favourite dishes, it’s probably the only thing I miss, a large bowl of spaghetti with an unfussy tomato and basil sauce. Simple but if the balance of garlic, tomato and basil is correct it’s nothing but delicious.
Substituting spaghetti for a wheat-free version isn’t really an option, the free from products often have hidden ingredients such as Xanthan gum, this acts as gluten would have – to glue the food stuffs together. I tried gluten free spaghetti and never really enjoyed it enough to make it part of my diet full time. I was on the hunt for something different, something Paleo friendly and not too much of a hassle that I could whip it up quickly and more importantly easily. Enter spiralizing and spiralized vegetables!
What is Spiralizing?
Without Paleo I probably wouldn’t have ever know about spiralized vegetables– spiralizing is taking a vegetable and making into noodles, essentially making vegetable “spaghetti”. This was instantly appealing to me, it’s clean, natural and I don’t have to worry about what’s in my dish. I thought if it looks like I am eating spaghetti and feels like I’m eating spaghetti then it’s a bonus.
Spiralizing is also a great way for people to sneak in more vegetables into their diet without even realising. It’s a great way for mums to do the same, spiralizing instantly gives a zing of colour to any plate, which makes the process even more enjoyable. I’m going to try this with my nephew – green “spaghetti”, perhaps I’ll tell him it’s from space and eaten by his favourite superhero!
I searched online for the best spiralizer in my budget, not having tried it out yet I didn’t want to splurge on the most expensive gadget available assuming that would be the best. After reading the reviews for Lurch Spirali 10203 I took the plunge. A few days later it arrived.
Never being one for reading instructions when it comes to gadgets I jumped right in to figure out how it worked. Happily, I can report it’s one of the easiest kitchen gadgets I’ve ever used. There are 3 slicer options to chose from, offering different types of noodle, small, large and flat. Not only are spiralizers great for creating noodles but also a quick and colourful way to engage salad ingredients and slice fruit for a quick snack, therefore the 3 blades allow you to change things up effortlessly.
First things first, I cleaned my spiralizer ready for action, I chose the small noodle blade and got to work washing a courgette. To start you need to even the ends of the vegetable you’re planning on spiralizing, then attach to the spiked part, and the blade at the other end. Next, turn the handle and you’ll start to see a wonderful sight – noodles of courgette!
Here you will need to either have a clean surface, chopping board or bowl to catch the noodles, don’t make the mistake I initially made and lose a batch to the floor, it’s safe to say I lost myself with overexcitement.
Now you have a few of options to what you do with these wonders…
- Blanch them in hot water – quickly!
- Stir fry them in a hot pan – quickly!
- Eat them raw – the speed here is really up to you.
The reason I say quickly with options 1 and 2 is because they are rather fragile and don’t need long to cook, this counts for all vegetables that have been spiralized. Vegetables are mainly water based so simply just don’t need much time to heat through.
If you’re spiralizing for salad I would suggest not cooking any of the ingredients at all, which will give you both pleasing flavour combinations and textures.
Recipes for spiralized vegetables
Anything that has the word spaghetti in can easily be made into a spiralized creation and some of the classics are just as, if not more delightful with spiralized courgette, carrot, potato, parsnip, and anything that will allow itself to be twirled through a spiralizer!
“Spaghetti” Bolognese, now made with courgette noodles is a favourite in our home.
Butternut squash also works very well! It gives a calming flavour to a rich and spicy Indian or Thai based curry – like my Paleo yellow curry.
Parsnip compliments a chicken soup, if you’re in need of comfort food to either warm you up, or relieve a cold this is an ideal way of replacing actual noodles in a classic chicken noodle soup.
There are a ton of recipes online if you’re thinking of making some spiralized vegetables, a popular blog for all things spiral is inspiralized.com – I found her through her amazing Instagram account, take a look for inspiration.
Spiralizing for snacks!
Spiralizing doesn’t have to be with the goal of making noodles or Paleo friendly “spaghetti”, you can create some lovely savoury and sweet snacks. Two of my favourite are:
- Spiralizing sweet potato with the thinnest blade, tossing in a bowl with some oil, breaking the noodles up, then baking in the oven for no more than 15 minutes on 220 C. This makes a messy but lovely kind of potato hash. Perfect for a quick and satisfying snack, ideal for watching a movie with.
- Using the thicker, or flatter blade and spiralizing an apple. Throwing some cinnamon on top and heating in the oven. Or leaving uncooked and dribbling some almond butter on top.
The Spiralizing trend
I’m really pleased that my mum, best friend in the UK and great friend across the pond in Boston now all have spiralizers – not only do I feel they are a useful kitchen gadget but a way to get creative with vegetables. Let the craze commence and never cease! When you create noodles that seem like they could stretch for miles, it’s a fun and easy way to get creative in the kitchen, with friends and family of all ages.