My Spiralizer Obsession! Say goodbye to pasta and hello to veggies!

June 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

Hey Everyone!! It’s been hit or miss with me getting blog posts up.  I’ve had a lot going on personally that has distracted me from writing.  But I have to share with you something that I found recently which has changed my life.  As you all know, I’ve never been much of a cook.  I usually have little success in following recipes.  Like some black cloud hangs over my head and makes whatever I try a big failure!!

On top of that, I have to be careful when looking at recipes because as an overeater and food-lover I can get very swept up into obsessing over things in the food realm.  If I find something I like, I want to overeat it usually.  So branching out can be dangerous!

But then I found the Spiralizer.  I actually can’t remember exactly how I found it.  I do believe my friend Krystal bought one a few years back and told me about it.  I was just not intrigued though at the thought of zucchini so I didn’t pursue it.  I also felt that any kitchen tool would be rendered inoperable in my hands.  So I didn’t even bother trying.  Then one day I saw a spiralizing video and it looked simple enough that even I might be able to figure it out! And to my shock, I have fallen in love with it.

Just for the record, they aren’t paying me to sing their praises.   I just can’t NOT talk about what works for me.  And to be honest, I’ve probably tried it all.   But when I get lucky, I share it.  Just like the FitBit totally changed my life in the exercise realm–this Spiralizer has utterly changed the way I feel about cooking.   It encourages me to do it because I have found it to be so easy that it is not hard to be successful.  Everything I have tried has been simple.  A lot of that could be because many recipes don’t involve actual cooking!   It’s hard for me to burn it if it doesn’t go in the oven!!

But now I’ve been branching into cooking the ‘noodles’ as well.  And guess what?! So easy!!

When you spiralize vegetables, you can substitute them for pasta.  There are other things that can be done with them as well but I haven’t found all the ways just yet.   The best part is that these vegetables are so low calorie and low carb that you aren’t really in danger by getting involved in searching out and trying new recipes.  In the past if I found something I liked, I might be too tempted to eat a lot of it.   If I really liked it, I would obsess over it for weeks wanting to eat it over and over again every day.  That could be a problem for me.  But thismhas a built in safety net.  By switching out pasta for zucchini noodles, you go from hundreds of calories and carbs to almost miniminal calories and carbs.  If you eat it every day it’s healthy!! And it actually really does taste good!! Trust me I NEVER thought I would like zucchini.  But even my kids like it!!

Have you ever given your kids play dough with the play dough tools? They stuff play dough in there and run it through making shapes.  Well the spiralizer is basically just like that.  It takes 5 seconds.  It’s easy.  It doesn’t make a mess.  And you can make 1000 healthy recipes.  Plus the kids actually ASK to make them!! In what alternate universes would my kids ask for zucchini and squash?

Here is a simple video on how to spiralize a Zucchini

Here’s another one on using it to spiralize a red onion. Since I eat a ton of greek salads and I also like to add red onion to my omelets this has been an awesome discovery!


I wish I had found the spiralizer a long time ago as it’s been life changing.  I’ve even been creative making up my own recipes which is SO NOT ME!

So for the past few weeks, this is what I’ve been doing.  In the morning, I make some kind of spiralized recipe.  Then I put it in the fridge in a French Corningware bowl.  Not that the bowl I use matters.  I just happen to like those bowls.    I go through my usual morning routine of coffee and protein shakes.   When I get hungry and ready to eat some lunch, I just pull out what’s been spiralized in the fridge.  Throughout the day, I might eat some of it here and there.   It has allowed me to actually eat a bit more often if I want to without any worry.   In some ways it is just too good to be true.  I’ve been shocked that I can actually eat what feels like a plate of spaghetti and suffer no consequences.  It’s amazing!!

Here are a few things that I’ve made

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This was simply spiralized zucchini noodles with 3 mini bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, some sprinkled parmesan cheese and about 2 tablespoons of Lite Italian Dressing.  Easy and delicious.

The best thing I have made so far (that the kids have rated as their favorite) would be cucumber noodles.

cucumber noodles

 

Cucumber “noodles”, shrimp, cherry tomatoes, red onion, feta cheese and a little Greek dressing.   There are about 10 calories in a mini cucumber and I probably used 4 of them.  This is easily one of the best tasting things I’ve ever made and the kids actually loved it!

Yesterday I made something very similar only instead of cucumbers I used both zucchini and squash.   That made it more colorful.  I added in heirloom tomatoes of all different colors. Mini bell peppers of different colors.  And some red onion.  I added some shrimp, feta cheese and greek dressing.  It was great but I’ll admit the kids and I actually preferred it with cucumbers.  Still the fact that my kids and I are eating tons of cucumbers, zucchini and squash feels like we’ve entered the twilight zone.  And it’s awesome!!

shrimp squash noodles

I’ve been experimenting with making cooked dishes now.  As we all know that’s a risk with me!! But again this has been SO simple.  The other day I just spiralized some zucchini and threw it in a pan.   I would say I “sautéed” it because that sounds right.  I’m not an expert on cooking terms but I sprayed Pam in the pan and just cooked it over heat for a few minutes.  I then added just a little bit of Bertolli Reduced Fat Alfredo sauce.  You can have 1/4 cup for only 70 calories, 2 carbs and virtually NO sugar!!  I mean how simple is that??

This is probably the quickest and easiest thing you can make with the Spiralizer.  The best part is that when you are hungry and want something quickly this can be done in a few minutes with 2 ingredients and virtually no clean up.  It makes it hard to make excuses for eating junk!

I made “Pasta” Alfredo  the other day and the kids said it was the best thing I’d ever made!!  I just cooked the zucchini noodles in the pan and then used a small amount of the sauce.  I’ll branch out and learn to make my own sauce at some point but for now it was so simple and easy I cannot believe it.  Spaghetti can be done the exact same way by just adding some marinara sauce.  It’s basically a 2 ingredient meal! And saving you hundreds and hundreds of calories and carbs!

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Yesterday I made this Red Curry Chicken with Zucchni noodles and this time I baked the spiralized Zucchini in the oven.  Tasty and easy!

Here is a picture of my spiralizer.  I know there are many kinds and the one I have is the Paderno Spiralizer which I bought off Amazon.   I have a friend who does the same thing with another spiralizer called a Veggetti but I haven’t tried that one.

All you do is pick a vegetable to spiralize and cut off both ends.  You just put it in there and start winding away!!

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 It’s so easy my kids can help.  Here is Charlotte helping me!

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You are left with this bowl of Zucchini noodles or “Zoodles”!  Of course you can use other vegetables as well.

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For yesterday’s  experiment, I baked some chicken with this Red Curry Sauce which I bought at Fresh Market.  Again, I will branch out and try to make my own sauces more but this is super easy.  1 tablespoon is 60 calories, 3 carbs and 2 sugars.  I mostly just used it to give some flavor.

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 I baked the chicken tenderloins in this sauce for about 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.   I then baked  the spiralized zucchini “noodles” in the oven for 15 minutes at the same temperature.  Right before I put them in I tossed them with a slight amount of olive oil.

Here is the finished product

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The kids loved it!  I have to tell you I’m super shocked at how good these zucchini noodles really are.  You feel as if you’re eating pasta but you’re not! I’ll admit mine are a bit crunchy but the kids like that even more!!  You actually get the feeling of eating a bowl of pasta  but at minimal calories and carbs!!  Even the kids are SHOCKED by this.

If you had told me that the kids and I would be eating zucchini and squash virtually every single day I would never have believed it.  This is probably a miracle find.  Right up there with my FitBit!  It is so foolproof that even I can do it.  It allows me to actually be successful with my recipe attempts which is exactly the kind of positive feedback my brain needs to keep trying.   It gives me the chance to be creative and actually enjoy making healthy recipes.  AND I don’t have to pay massive consequences for making something delicious that I want to eat because it’s actually healthy and low calorie/low carb!!

Now here is the goldmine of information on all things spiralizing.  Head over to the blog  “Inspiralized” .  Not only does she post recipes on an almost daily basis,  she is the one who made the videos I included above.  Everything I have learned has been from her website and videos.   She even has one on how to clean and maintain the spiralizer.  For someone like me who is not well versed in a lot of cooking techniques and how-to’s I really appreciate that she does videos on everything.  Even things a lot of people assume we all would know!!

Next on my list of things to try is Ramen “Noodles”.  My kids LOVE Ramen Noodles and we all know they aren’t exactly super healthy.  So my next project is to do an alternate version with ‘zoodles’

Let me know if you have any great recipes!!

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

John (Daddy Runs a Lot) June 30, 2015 at 5:14 pm

I’m a big fan of the vegetti – though I’ve barely been able to use it (simply, my schedule has kept me from being home when it’s time to make dinner, which has BLOWN for meal planning). One of the tricks is to ensure that I’m cutting the “noodles” off quickly enough – otherwise, you end up with “Lady & the Tramp” type situations where you pick up one and it just keeps on going, and you find the other end in someone else’s plate.

For a recipe:
– 1 tbsp of olive oil, added to a pan set on medium heat
– Add one chopped onion
– Toss regularly for 5-6 minutes, until onion starts to caramelize
– Add 1 tbsp minced garlic
– Add two medium zucchini worth of “pasta”
– Toss frequently for 2-3 minutes
– Sprinkle with parmesean or feta (adding mini peppers or grape tomatoes as you might like)
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Sue June 30, 2015 at 8:42 pm

Thanks for some great spiralizer recipe ideas, offering a far healthier and tastier alternative to pasta. I found your site today and really admire your journey – you’re looking great!
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Mrs Abella June 30, 2015 at 11:49 pm

Yay!!! You’re doing awesome! Keep up the good work with trying out new recipes and keeping on!

I’ve seen the vegetti in Dollar General stores, and remembered you mentioning a time or two about spiral cutting veggies into “pasta”….we may just have to invest in one ourselves here very soon and try some of your ideas. 🙂
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Natalie July 1, 2015 at 12:14 am

I’ve been doing this for a year or so now (with a thing more like a potato peeler that makes thin noodles) but only with zucchini and only for “spaghetti” bolognaise. I lightly sauté them in a little olive oil, then use my normal home-made bolognaise on top. I love it even though I don’t eat zucchini any other way! Looks like I need to branch out and find some more yummy recipes! I’ll try that link.
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Rhonda W July 1, 2015 at 12:44 am

I love my spiralizer and use it often with zucchini… I’ll have to try the onion. My and the hubs favorite is:
Spray nonstick skillet with Pam or oil… Add
1 heaping Tablespoon of minced garlic
1 chopped onion
Saute 5 minutes and add 2 cans of stewed tomatoes. I also add a dozen or so halved cherry tomatoes.
Add some pepper (I use steak seasoning) a little Johnny Salt and some Italian seasonings such as basil and oregano.
Continue to saute until juice is cooked out and sauce is consistence of spaghetti sauce.
Add bacon crumbles.
Add zucchini noodles and saute another 5-10 minutes.
Plate and sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese.
Enjoy!
(This is a variation of BLT Pasta on the Inspiralized Website)

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Erin July 1, 2015 at 5:53 am

I have the Veggetti and use it a lot! I would love to upgrade to the actual Spiralizer at some point but I have so many kitchen gadgets and so little room! Zoodles with alfredo is amazing, and it’s good with marinara and turkey meatballs, too!
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Erin July 1, 2015 at 5:54 am

Oh, and I forgot to mention that onions do not bode well with the Veggetti! Even more reason to find some extra storage space so I can buy a Spiralizer! 🙂
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Deb July 1, 2015 at 7:02 pm

I have both and your spiralizer is nicer, but they both work. Thank you for some new ideas! Do you have an Aldi near you? They have a great sugar free marinara sauce that is a very good price (and organic). I sauté a package of ground meat, add the marinara, and serve over my zoodles. Quick & easy meal which we all enjoy! 🙂

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brittany July 2, 2015 at 3:28 pm

Thanks for sharing! You’ve inspired me to pull out my spiralizer again. I have the same one you have. I used it a lot a couple years ago when I did a Whole 30 challenge but it’s been a while and I could definitely benefit from some more veggies. I like the idea of spiralizing a cucumber and adding feta & greek salad dressing. (I don’t like shrimp or tomatoes but I would probably add kalamata olives and chicken or salmon. 🙂 )

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Wendy @ Wholistic Woman July 2, 2015 at 6:53 pm

Thanks for reminding me, I have a Vegetti from Christmas somewhere in my cupboard. Love your ideas!
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Beth M July 6, 2015 at 9:35 pm

I discovered zucchini noodles, aka “zoodles” a while back, and really love them when I’m extra hungry and want something more than my usual meatballs / sauce / cheese. I also love them quickly sautéed with mushrooms and a little bit of chopped sundried tomatoes (Trader Joes makes them without the oil) and a sprinkling of parmesan – yum! But I’ve never branched out beyond zucchini. Your cucumber salad looks AMAZING – I need to try that – thank you!

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Anneli July 10, 2015 at 6:56 pm

Thanks! I think I’m going to buy one of these. I’ve tried miracle noodles (at the health food store–zero cal, fat or sugar), they’re great, but expensive. Spaghetti squash spaghetti is ok, but I think I might eat more god stuff with this. Keep on!
Anneli

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Mrs. O July 11, 2015 at 1:22 pm

Thanks for sharing the Inspiralized website. I have the spiralizer you have and the veggetti and had gotten bored of just doing zucchini noodles. It just never occurred to me that I could use so many more veggies, even onions!!
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joni July 16, 2015 at 1:34 am

I have one too and I will try the recipes.

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