We are loving this cool kitchen gadget! Definitely a useful tool for transforming vegetables into delicious, low cal healthy alternatives to pasta.
When it’s time for summer squash harvest bonanza, or, if you’re just looking to create healthier but delicious dishes, this is a must-have kitchen gadget, in our opinion. We’re loving a new kitchen gadget that transforms squash and zucchini into low-cal pasta!
This year, we planted a variety called Lemon Squash which indeed resembles a bright yellow lemon and has become a favorite veggie. The softball sized fruits seem to have a slightly tangy flavor and they’re delicious in all manner of recipes. They are also great for slicing and grilling. Add to that another bonus: unlike baseball bat-size zucchinis, these prolific and attractive round fruits are pretty darn easy to give away!
Speaking of zucchinis, any experienced gardener cannot claim they don’t know what they’re getting into when they dedicate a corner of their garden to growing zukes. What is special about this growing season, is that we actually planted zucchini with a specific purpose in mind.
We’re growing Spaghetti!!
Well OK, actually we had procured early on a gadget called “The Spiralizer”. With several family members who have allergies to gluten, we’ve found numerous workarounds with “pasta” made from quinoa, corn, rice, and Jerusalem artichoke. These are okay substitutions, and we’re grateful to have so many options these days, but most of these are still high in carbs and starches. For anyone watching their weight or trying to lose weight, it’s important to cut back on starches because of how they convert to sugar and get stored as fat.
As luck would have it, we discovered an article mentioning a gadget which rendered vegetables, especially summer squashes, into spaghetti-like noodles. This way we could reduce our carb intake, eat healthy veggies, and still have an array of sauces to top off our “pasta”.
With “pasta” made out of 100% vegetables like squash and zucchini, you can make guilt-free, healthy pasta. This summer… and likely ever summer from now on, we’re putting this coolest kitchen gadget to work making fantastic vegetable “pasta”.
Converts Those Who Don’t Like Zucchini
Due to some mishap with zucchini squash years ago (a minor case of food poisoning at a local restaurant), our son had developed the tendency to gag whenever presented with undisguised zucchini dishes! But when this personally repulsive (though innocent) veggie is rendered into long strands and served al dente with marinara, cheese, and or garlic butter topping, he’s returning for seconds and thirds, without it being “hidden” from his awareness in breads and casseroles.
Not all gadgets you see advertised are actually as good as the commercials, but the Spiralizer actually does an impressive job! The gadget also works (like a horizontal mandolin) on smaller squash like our lemon, and many other veggies like carrots, kohlrabi, beets, potatoes, turnips, and firm fruit like apples. Any way you slice it, dice it and especially spiralize it, this handy little gadget is a kitchen workhorse that will turn your garden goodies into gourmet delectables that all will love. Next we’re going to try chinese noodle stir fry using zucchini “noodles”.
So, if you’ve been think about it, we’d definitely recommend to go ahead and get one. If you get one, please let us know how you like it and what you’re making. We’re betting that you’ll be loving this awesome kitchen gadget too!
As a bonus, here’s a video demonstration of how to use the Spiralizer.
For Spiralizer Recipes, just use the spiralized vegetable zucchini in the same way you would use spaghetti pasta. So far, we’ve used spiralized squash and zucchini in these ways:
- with marinara spaghetti sauce
- pumpkin seed pesto
- chopped up some and baked into casseroles
- steamed and eaten plain or topped with a little garlic salt and butter
Next, we’re going to try adding a few ingredients to make it into patties and fry up like burgers, stir fry like asian noodles, and fried with onions to make “hash browns”.
Here’s to healthy, low carb, high nutrient, gluten free pasta! And here’s a modified Parsley Pesto recipe we like to make with it.1)https://gardensall.com/healthy-recipe-garden-parsley-pesto-recipe/
Craving Pesto… but out of Basil!
So I was craving pesto with fresh basil, tomatoes, garlic and olive oil using that new kitchen gadget to make zucchini “spaghetti” for a scrumptious, guilt-free healthy summer pasta. Out to the garden… uh-oh. No more basil! We used the last.
You know that moment when you get ready to make something, only to find that you’re missing a key ingredient? That’s what happened one time when I planned on making a pesto sauce for our garden fresh zucchini spaghetti, only to discover that we didn’t have enough basil.
Parsley to the rescue! We had tons of it just sitting there in the garden waiting to be harvested. I didn’t think it would taste that good for pesto, but if you ever find yourself in the same position—or you just want a new twist to a traditional recipe—this Parsley Pesto is poppin’!
Poppin’ Parsley Pesto Recipe
1 c Parsley, (washed)
1/3 c Olive Oil (extra virgin cold pressed)
1/2 c Pumpkin Seeds (or Pine Nuts) (We prefer to toast of roast them for added flavor)
1/4 c Parmesan Cheese (or your favorite Italian blend)
1 clove Minced Garlic
Dash of Lemon Juice
Salt & Pepper to taste
If you’re going to toast the pumpkin seeds (or pine nuts), do that now. We just pop them into our toaster oven for 3-4 minutes until lightly toasted. The pumpkin seeds actually do “pop”… puffing up a little.
Meanwhile, place all ingredients in a food processor. Add the seeds or nuts. Blend till smooth. It will look like your typical basil pesto.
Then top the pesto on veggies, sandwich spread, spaghetti, or … just dip your finger in and taste it. ? Okay, maybe not the last one if you have to share with others.
The whole process takes just 20 minutes max.
When we first made it, I thought it would have an overly “parsley” flavor, which I don’t typically mind unless basil pesto is something I’m craving. But it’s pretty subtle. You can even, make it half & half with basil and parsley which we did one time and it was fantastic.
Pesto is one of my favorite sauces because it’s so light and adds a “summer” flavor to a dish. Also, it’s extra special when we can use garden veggies, nothing compares to the home-grown flavor. 🙂
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