Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Zoodles (and why this zucchini noodle maker is for so much more than zucchini)

I have been obsessed with the idea of zucchini noodles for a long time. I just loved the idea of them. In salads, mixed with pasta to bulk up my veggie intake (and cut down on my pasta intake!) alone, mixed with other things, as a side dish. The idea of being able to twirl my zucchini instead of stab it made me very excited. Maybe because it is different or that because we are so conditioned to look at pasta as something indulgent....so twirling zucchini taps into that happy place for me?

Sometimes it's better to just go with it.

So I did.

I sucked it up and bought myself a vegetable spiralizer. I was so excited when that box showed up on my front porch that I squealed. Mama had a new toy to play with! Since it was one of those things I really, really, really, really wanted, I looked into a bunch of different kinds before I bought it and narrowed it down to two:

the kind that spiralizes the way you would sharpen a pencil (like the Kitchen Basics® Spiral Vegetable Slicer)


the kind that you turn a crank and out pop the noodle shaped veggies (like the Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer)

Since I am of the overdramatic, overcommitted, go big or go home mentality, I went with the Paderno. Plus I figured I would get really annoyed sharpening multiple zucchini at a time. I am not a patient person. (I pretty much trick my husband into cutting and dicing veggies whenever I can.) I figured that one would just end up in the back of a drawer after I my arm hurt from doing it the first time and I would never use it again. But if you are more patient than I, it may be a nice option. It would take up less space in an already crowded kitchen for sure.

I was a little disappointed in the plasticness of it. It wasn't very sturdy feeling. I wanted something that felt solid like if I was going to crank out veggie noodles for the next three hours it would stand up to the challenge. 

But overall, not bad. Once I got the push and crank at the same time thing down it went really smoothly. A little messy (ok a lot messy but that was probably 90%my fault as I am the messiest cook ever.) AND I found out this little baby is not just for zucchini. 
I spent the week spiralizing anything I could get my hands on. Apples (for a awesome zucchini apple salad I took to a cookout), sweet potatoes, turnips, rutabagas, yellow summer squash....and I have lots on my list to try. Like beets, carrots, cabbage, pears, cucumbers....basically if I can get it to stick onto the little grippers, I am going to try and spiralize it. (Which is another reason I am glad I chose the crank and turn version, I am not too sure how well a big old sweet potato would fit in the little one.)

I have also been making a big batch of a basic zoodle salad and keeping that in the fridge. I then dress it up with different things for lunches or dinners. Ground turkey, salsa and all my favorite taco toppings for a spin on a taco salad,  lamb meatballs and tzatziki sauce for a little greek flavor, chopped tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella for a summery caprese salad. 

The Paderno also came with a few extra blade sizes so you can do little c shaped cuts, thicker linguini style noodles or the ones that are more like spaghetti. Which I probably will never use. I was hoping one would cut potatoes like the ribbon fries you can buy at a fair in the summer. I mean how much would baked ribbon fries rock with some clean burgers for dinner? I was sadly mistaken and just ended up with linguini sized cuts instead.

But overall I am still super stoked about my newest kitchen tool. I mean they even twirl like spaghetti. And my kiddo thinks it is way more fun to eat worm veggies instead of cut up veggies. She devoured her zucchini and made birdie noises while she did it. A new toy for me and a win! I will chalk that up to an awesome day.

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