Do You Need a Spiralizer?

Zucchini Noodle Laksa

Want to know something I hate about cooking? Apart from washing up, my biggest ‘pet peeve’ is single-use kitchen gadgets. You know, the tools that only have one purpose.

As a lover of simplicity I can’t stand a cluttered kitchen with cupboards and drawers crammed full of stuff that hardly ever gets used.

Which is one of the reasons I put off buying a spiralizer for so long.

I already had the technology to make ‘pasta’ and ‘noodles’ from my veggies using either my mandoline or vegetable peeler.

But a few months ago I saw a photo on Instagram of someone’s spiralized zucchini noodles and I had to do a double take. Really. It looked like proper pasta.

After much deliberation, I decided to get myself a spiralizer to try it out. With the proviso that if it didn’t earn its keep, I’d donate it to charity.

Do you need a spiralizer?

No. It’s not something you need in the kitchen like a good sharp knife and chopping board.

But! I must admit I do love mine. It’s not going to charity any time soon.

The first time Fergal and I made our zucchini ‘noodles’ to serve with a ragu, my kitchen helper actually ate all of his zucchini (even with his toddler’s distrust of green vegetables). I can’t tell you how happy I was.

Which Veg Can You Spiralize?

1. Zucchini
My go-to noodles so far because of their mild flavour and pasta-like quality. Plus it’s zucchini season around here right now!

To prep: Make noodles then noodles then sprinkle with salt. Stand at room temp to soften and warm slightly for up to 3 hours. Use raw.
OR
To prep: Make noodles then cover with boiling water. Stand for 60 seconds then drain well.

2. Carrot
Stronger flavour and higher carb content than zucchini but super pretty! And a firmer bite.

To prep: Make noodles then cover with boiling water. Stand for 2 minutes (or longer for softer noodles) then drain well.
OR
To prep: Make noodles then then pan fry in a little oil or butter.

3. Beets
I haven’t tried beet noodles yet but imagine they’d be best raw in salads or prepped the same way as carrot noodles.

4. Parsnip
Something I haven’t tried yet but imagine they’d be best pan fried in a little oil or butter.

5. Celeriac
Also called celery root these noodles have a lovely sweetish flavour. And the colour is nice and pasta-like. A good Winter time noodle.

To prep: Make noodles then cover with boiling water. Stand for a few minutes then drain well.
OR
To prep: Make noodles then then pan fry in a little oil or butter.

6. Potatoes
Another spiralizer use I have yet to try. Have book marked this idea for post-pregnancy (and gestational diabetes). We had fried potato ‘squiggles’ at a restaurant in Sydney and they were off-the-scale good from a crunch perspective!

7. Sweet Potato
OMG. I hadn’t even thought about using sweet potato until I sat down to write this post. I’m thinking these might need to be gently simmered until no longer crunchy and then well drained. OR pan frying in butter or oil. If you try it – do report back!

3 Ways to Use Your Spiralizer

1. Pasta Substitutes
The obvious choice! But don’t be limited by just replacing your spaghetti in your spag bol. You can use your spiralized noodles with any of your favourite pasta sauces. Really there are no limits.

Some ideas to try:
Mushroom Ragu with Carrot Noodles
Baked Meatballs with Celeriac Noodles
Zucchini Noodles with Broccoli & Pine Nuts.
Zucchini Noodles with Sausages & Crushed Peas

2. Noodle Substitutes
It took me a little longer to think of this but your spiralized noodles work equally well with Asian noodle dishes. Sometime even more so than with Italian style dishes because there’s usually so much flavour going on the noodles only provide bulk and texture.

Don’t believe me? Then check out my Zucchini Laska recipe below.

More ideas:
Parsnip or celeriac or carrot noodles in this Simple Soba Noodle Soup.
Serve this stir fry with Zucchini noodles.
This Asian Beef with Zucchini Noodles.

3. Raw Salads
Think about your favourite shaved vegetable salads and your spiralized noodles can add a new textural element.

Some ideas to try:
Spiralized Carrot instead of grated in this Carrot Tabbouleh.
Spiralized Beets instead of grated in this Raw Beet Salad.
Spiralized Carrots in this Carrot Salad with Pesto & Cashews
Spiralized Celeriac instead of Cabbage in this Rolls Royce ‘Slaw

What about you?

Are you a spiralizer fan? Got any other tips for getting the most out of it? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Zucchini Noodle Laksa-2

Zucchini Laksa

Laksa is the most delicious noodle soup that hails from Malaysia. It’s fragrant, it’s rich, it’s spicy. Plus there are noodles to slurp! Since focusing on eating grain-free and low carb, however, laksa has been off the menu at our place. But not any longer!

I was so excited when I had the idea to use some zucchini ‘noodles’ instead of the usual wheat or rice based laska noodles. It’s really that good!

enough for: 2
takes: 20 minutes

2 medium zucchini
1 jar laksa paste
1 can coconut milk (400mL / 14oz)
chicken 2-4 thighs, diced.
basil small bunch

1. Using a spiralizer, turn your zucchini into medium thick noodles. Sprinkle noodles with a little sea salt and stand while you make the soup.

2. Bring laksa paste and coconut milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add chicken and continue to simmer until chicken is just cooked through (no longer pink.) About 5 minutes.

3. Add zucchini noodles and bring back to a simmer.

4. Taste and season with salt or fish sauce (if you have it). Some people might like a pinch of sugar.

5. To serve divide soup between two deep bowls and top with basil leaves.

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Variations

no spiralizer – use a mandoline or vegetable peeler to slice zucchini into long ribbons then hand cut into medium ‘noodles’.

vegetarian / vegan – make sure your laksa paste is vegetarian and replace chicken with firm tofu chunks. Or use chunks of roast sweet potato instead. Cauliflower is also lovely – just simmer until florettes are tender.

carb lovers – add cooked hokkien, singapore or rice noodles with the zucchini noodles (or instead of the zucchini). Non purists could also use cooked spaghetti.

no laksa paste – use another thai curry paste like red or green curry or even an Indian curry paste. Just be careful to adjust the quantity to your liking (you probably won’t need a whole jar). The other option is to go for a coconut milk based soup so just skip the laksa paste and use a good squeeze of lime juice for some zing.

hot! – add finely sliced fresh red chilli.

no basil – you could skip it or replace with mint or coriander (cilantro) leaves.

more veg – add in chopped veg such as carrot, red capsicum (bell pepper), cauliflower and simmer until tender before adding the chicken. OR serve with a handful of rinsed bean sprouts.

Video version of the recipe.

Big love,
Jules x

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PS. Like some more simplicity in YOUR life?

Then I encourage you to checkout a special program I’m proud to be a part of. This year as a presenter AND a student!

It’s called ‘A Simple Year’ and basically it’s a year long program of guided simplicity that focuses on simplifying a different area of your life each month.

Including cooking and eating. Which is where I come in.

For more details go to:
www.simpleyear.co/course

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NOTE: Registration ENDS 31st January.

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