Okay, okay, I really messed up this time… and I have no excuse. I know I haven’t posted anything in a while, but I really should have, because so much has happened to me health-wise in the last month! I’ve been having a pretty relaxing summer, and with that extra time that I didn’t have when I was back in school, I’ve been cooking up a bajillion different recipes, working out and going all crazy on Pinterest. (Ask my mom, I’m literally obsessed). With that other, non-spare time, I’ve been traveling with my family and working on an online course for my major. I have so many new recipes to share with you guys, and I’m truly sorry that I haven’t been updating this blog… I promise I will get everything up to date for you ASAP 🙂 Please forgive me, and if you don’t, I understand. So, a little more than a month ago, my mom and I were window shopping in this fancy outdoor mall in our city that has a bunch of ridiculously expensive stores that we can’t afford. Sur la Table is my mom’s weakness though, so like usual, we went in and browsed a bit. Turns out, they were having a sale on spiralizing gadgets, so we gave in and (halfway) splurged on a little handheld one.
“What is a spiralizer?” you ask. Well, I’ll tell you, it’s the best invention in the whole wide world, and it’s changed my lunch game forever. I’ve always loved pasta. My birthday dinner as a kid was always at the Spaghetti Factory, and last year, when I went on my graduation trip to Italy, I was in actual pasta heaven. When I first heard about turning vegetables into noodles, I was skeptical. I mean, pasta is pretty bomb. Why mess with pasta? Even though I love myself a big bowl of spaghetti, turns out, pasta isn’t exactly the best food to eat when you’re trying to lose weight. Especially if you’re eating white pasta, without whole grains, you’re not getting any nutrients, and you’re loading up on a bunch of empty calories. It amazed me when I found out that the normal serving of pasta was only supposed to be the size of my fist (1 cup)… that was maybe a third of what I ate on a normal night growing up! The spiralizer I bought was the GEFU Spiral slicer SPIRELLI, a little hourglass-shaped one that looks kind of like the Vegetti thing on that infomercial. Basically, it turns vegetables into noodles! I chose this model over the giant machine with a crank that they were selling because it was a little cheaper and I knew that I wasn’t going to have room for the giant version in my little apartment kitchen when I go back to school. The downside to the handheld version is that it can only turn a limited amount of food into noodles, but hey, I’m satisfied with the foods that have worked so far! As a plus, this gadget has two sides, one that makes thicker strands, and one that makes thinner. The first noodle I tried was the ‘Zoodle’, which in normal-people talk is a zucchini noodle. All you have to do is wash a zucchini, stick it in one end of the hourglass and twist. Almost magically, I got these beautiful green noodles. that you can toss into a skillet with your favorite sauce and cook in 2 minutes flat.
Yes, I sense your skepticism… but I’m telling you this honestly, from the bottom of my heart… these things have the same exact texture as regular noodles- and you feel like you’re eating a TON, when you’re actually just eating a big bowl of veggies! They taste amazing and you can eat them just like regular noodles- with a fork, with a spoon, with chopsticks, with a shovel, whatever. I feel like the government was hiding this secret from us, because why else would these have just gotten popular? I mean, two cups of white pasta is around 350 calories… two cups of zucchini noodles is 58 calories… with so many nutrients packed in!
Now, after I got comfortable spiralizing zucchini, I moved on tocarrots. These were a little harder to spiralize, and left a lot of waste, but I just chopped up the extra carrot that didn’t go through the blades and saved them for a salad or sautéed meal later. I also tried sweet potato, which not only makes great noodles, but can make some pretty great curly fries (A recipe to come soon)! Cucumber is another fun, easy to spiralize food, but it’s probably best eaten in a raw salad. I also spiralized some zucchini-shaped yellow squash a few days ago, and it turned out great! All of these foods (except for the cucumber) can be sautéed with a little olive oil for a few minutes and seasoned, or sautéed with sauce for a few minutes, and they turn out like regular noodles. I’m so impressed.
My newest favorite “spiralable” food is the daikon radish. I found this recipe on pinterest for “Spicy Thai Noodles”, and I knew I just knew that this was a perfect opportunity to replace regular noodles with daikon noodles. What do you know? They turned out fantastic! (Note: I also replaced canola oil with olive oil, skipped the peanuts and added in some eggs for protein) I seriously felt like I was eating real noodles! Daikon is also pretty great on it’s own, chopped up into a salad. So to end this post, I’d like to share with you the zoodle recipe that I shared with my family. It’s also from Pinterest, so don’t give me credit for any of this… but it’s definitely worth sharing, because it seriously tastes like authentic Asian food. This was the first spiralizer recipe that my family tried, and they LOVED it. Hope you do too 🙂
Ginger zucchini noodle egg drop soup
via Snixy Kitchen (Sarah Menanix)PREP TIME: 10 MINSCOOK TIME: 15 MINSTOTAL TIME: 25 MINSYIELDS: 4-6 servingsINGREDIENTS
- 4 medium to large zucchini
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 5 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 8 cups vegetable broth, divided
- 2 cups, plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
- ½ teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 5 tablespoons low-sodium tamari sauce or soy sauce
- 2 cups thinly sliced scallions, divided
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- Salt & pepper to tasteINSTRUCTIONS
- Prepare the zucchini noodles with a spiralizer
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the minced ginger and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
- Add the shiitake mushrooms and a tablespoon of water and cook until the mushrooms begin to sweat.
- Add 7 cups of the vegetable broth, the remaining water, the red pepper flakes, tamari sauce, and 1½ cups of the chopped scallions. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, mix the remaining cup of vegetable broth with the corn starch and whisk until completely smooth.
- While stirring the soup, slowly pour in the beaten eggs in a thin stream. Continue stirring until all of the egg is incorporated.
- Slowly pour the corn starch mixture into the soup and cook for about 4-5 minutes to thicken.
- Season to taste with salt & pepper (usually I add just a bit of pepper, but as long as I’m using a full-sodium vegetable broth, I don’t need any extra salt).
- Add the spiralized zucchini noodles to the pot and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, or until the noodles are just soft and flexible (remember, they’ll continue cooking in your bowl!).
- Serve topped with the remaining scallions.