My Favorite Kitchen Gadget - The Spiralizer!
I have been sharing veggie spiralizer recipes for a couple years now! We use ours ALL the time! Although, the kids do get some pasta, it definitely isn't a regular thing around here, other than the Banza Chickpea Pasta! But, we do eat tons of Zucchini Noodles! It's a great way to add veggies to your diet, replace less healthy options and honestly, we LOVE them!
The Veggetti, a handheld tool that you twist a zucchini through is the cheapest. I have not used this one, but know several people who have. It is poorly made and doesn't really hold up. The options are very limited with this one, because it isn't good enough quality to spiralize much more than a zucchini. I would not recommend purchasing this one if you plan to use it for an extended period!
The Paderno/Kitchen Basics Stand Spiralizer - this stand style veggie slicer/spiralizer is more durable and easy to use. It has 3-5 different blade options, depending on which one you purchase. I used this one for a couple of years without any issue! It has a hand crank, so it takes a little elbow grease, but my 5 & 6 year old helped with it, so not too intense! It works well and yields the larger noodles and the smaller ones! It works easily for zucchini, squash, apples, other soft veggies. It is a little tougher to spiralize butternut squash or potatoes, but cut them into smaller planks, and it works okay! The only negative is that it isn't all that easy to clean! It's only about $30 on Amazon. I would recommend this one - it's so easy My Caveman can do it! ;)
The Kitchenaid Spiralizer Attachment - This is the one I use now and is by far my favorite! For only about $65-70 it is well worth the $! It attaches to your Kitchenaid Stand Mixer in one little click! It has several blade options and even includes a corer for fruits! It can spiralize a pile of zucchini in about 2 mins! LOVE this one!!! It is so durable that it even makes quick work of potatoes, butternut squash, everything! You can even spiralize a whole apple into an accordion for a fun kid snack! It's simple to assemble and the pieces, other than the motor, are dishwasher safe! Anyone can use this one easily! My 8 year old Sous Chef literally spialized ALL my zucchini for me last week with zero help at all, he even set the whole thing up!
You can spiralize anything! But some of our favorites:
Sweet Potatoes - curly fries, hash browns, pancakes, even pressed buns! You can add them to your egg muffins, casseroles, sausage and egg hash, etc.
Apples - Apple slaw, salads, fun snacks! Even sprinkle with cinnamon and microwave or bake for a healthy topping for your yogurt! My husband loves cobbler, so we do the cinnamon apples over greek yogurt drizzled with honey and topped with crushed walnuts or pecans!
Zucchini/Squash - ANYWHERE you could otherwise use pasta! I like the bigger noodles for most "pasta" dishes. If you want shorter noodles, make a small cut lengthwise down the zucchini, only slightly in, not all the way through, then it will produce shorter noodles for things like pasta salad, orzo and rotini substitute! They are great raw! I like to add them to "pasta" salad like dishes and let them marinade in the dressing for a little while before serving! Just a little vinegar and spices helps to soften and flavor them!
HUGE tip - for hot dishes do not cook them for long! They are best when they are just barely warmed up so they retain that meaty bite! If they cook for longer than about 2 minutes, they start to sweat and release their moisture and then the get soggy and mushy! You can spiralize ahead! As long as they are kept tightly covered and refrigerated,they can hold up for 2-3 days! I like to do a giant bowl at once and use them for a couple things through the week!
10 Minute Dinner Ideas
Spaghetti w/ Meat Sauce - Cook up 1lb. Ground Turkey or Beef in a sauté pan. Once completely browned, drain fat if necessary, add 1 large jar your favorite marinara or pasta sauce, stir to combine, turn to low and simmer the meat sauce until warmed though. Spiralize 4-5 zucchinis, add to a separate sauté pan with a tiny bit of olive oil and cook on medium/high heat tossing for about 2 minutes! Top with meat sauce and a sprinkle or parmesan if you like!
Lemon Shrimp Zucchini Noodles - Add 1 lb. fresh, peeled shrimp to a medium bowl, drizzle with olive oil, generously pepper, slight salt. Toss well to combine, set aside while you spiralize 4-5 zucchinis. Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to large sauté pan, turn to medium high heat and add shrimp. Cook while tossing for about 2-3 mites or until starting to pink. Add zucchini noodles and continue to cook for 2 minutes, tossing well. Remove from heat, add juice of 1 lemon, generously sprinkle of chopped parsley, serve!
There are several more Entree options, mini meals and sides on Crayzylife.com!