Confident BeginnerA Jack of no Trades
#FBF: Vegetable Noodles: Greatest or the Greatest?
Two and a half years ago, a group of wonderful ladies and myself started the Craft Collective, a lifestyle, crafting, knitting, and recipes blog from 7 different perspectives. Now as I am in the Confident Beginner blog’o’sphere, I hope to get all of my musings in one easy-to-find spot. Thusly, I am going to embark on a series of #FBF (Flashback Fridays, for all of your geezers out there) of previous blog posts from my time at the Craft Collective.
If you have followed my blog-life career intently, then these will be old news for you, however even I was surprised when I went back and re-read some of these posts. Wait, I did that?
Think of it like when Ira Glass takes a few weeks off in the summertime, so you spend 15 minutes listening to a newly downloaded podcast that you are sure you have already heard before investigating and finding out it was from 2 years ago.
Vegetable Noodles: Greatest or the Greatest?
(From February 7th, 2015)
I read somewhere that February 5th is the most popular day for people to give up their New Years Resolutions. So, thanks February 5th for being total dick about everything.
This year, myself and 90% of the free world most likely made a plea that ‘this year is the year I get Beyoncé fit’*.
*ok, noted, maybe 90% of the free world didn’t use Sasha Fierce as a guide to the ultimate personal temple, but they should, because Queen Bey is perfect in every single way.Thusly, in the year of our gourd 2015, I have decided to make healthy living a legitimate thing. Not just an‘this carrot will do until the pizza arrives’ thing, or a ‘I will get a green smoothy after I eat this cinnamon bun’thing. However, in the past, this has always been a trying endeavor. When carrying home food from the grocery store, squash is always heavier than potato chips, and my extra large box of salad greens that I WILL EAT THIS TIME (something I always mutter to myself in the produce aisle) always seems to go a bit ratchet before I am reminded to eat salad again.
I know, I am a horrible person, you should have realized that from my eyebrow confession last time guys.
This week, after some mega vegetable research, and through the beautiful happenstance that my mother-in-law has a Spiralizer (oh what beautiful fates!), I embarked on a week* of Vegetable Noodle dishes.
*and by a week, I mean 4 days, because it is law here in Vancouver that you have to go for sushi at least once a week. Right guys? It’s a law, right?!
PS. The spiralizer I am using is the Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer, which you can find here! The Mandoline I am using is the Starfrit 093087 4-Blades Easy Mandoline Slicer with Container, which you can find here!
Sweet Potato Noodles with Turkey Meatballs in a Tomato, Garlic, Oregano Sauce
(nothing fancy about this meal, not GF, not Veg/V, but you could very easily change that with a GF or V meatball recipe)
I used the small blade on my Spiralizer for these noodles, and saute’d them in the sauce for 5-10 minutes (dependent on how al dente you want them). If you are interested in a recipe, the meatballs are a basic meatball recipe with an easy tomato sauce, nothing overly fancy. I tend to pull from my Italian heritage and do things off the book for this kind of stuff, however for all you non-guidos both are very easy skills to master (and you can almost never go wrong with spaghetti and meatballs). I thought these noodles were great, they had the sweetness that you would expect from a Sweet Potato, but had a carb-y feel of a noodle, and they held their shape very well. For the richness of the meatball and the sauce, they held up on their own and left me feeling incredibly full, and for only about 500 calories a bowl (depending on your level of meatball consumption). For the first vegetable noodle dish, I felt pretty confident that I would NEVER HAVE TO EAT SPAGHETTI AGAIN.
Thai-Inspired Noodles with a Spicy Peanut Sauce
(GF, Veg/V, although peanut allergy peeps: u str8 ded)
Zucchini noodles are basically the face of the vegetable noodle game. They are the most popular vegetable to spiralize, and have the most recipes attributed to it. Instead of using a tool that some of you may or may not have, I opted to try to julienne my zucchini with an attachment from my mandoline (which, er, some of you may or may not have). I am pretty obsessed with julienned vegetables, so I use this handy little device all the time, plus you can grate and slice with it too, but who cares about that when you can have all of the julienned vegetables ever. You can find this recipe by Jennifer Smith at Shape.com here, and I stayed pretty close to what she had written here (save of using chili sauce instead of tomato puree). Eating this was like dying and going to vegetable heaven, where everyone was thin and healthy and satisfied with the food they put in their mouth, bird were chirping, life felt perfect and beautiful once more. Everything about this was a masterpiece made in vegetable noodle heaven, and one gigantic serving comes out to about 500 calories (depending on how many peanuts you shovel into your mouth when no one is looking).
Parsnip Noodles with Ham and Butternut Squash Sage Sauce
(Could be Veg/V if you leave out the Ham and switch the chicken stock to a veggie stock, and GF if you double check if your prepared ham has gluten in it)
This was my first time on the parsnip game. I like carrots. I like parsley. So I was p sure that this would go down without a hitch. I used Ali Maffucci’s recipe found here. PS, if you want to start the spiralized lifestyle, Ali’s website, Inspiralized is where you want to be at. She is the Beyoncé of curly vegetable noodles. Now, back to it. I followed this recipe with no substitutions and, well, found out that I am no parsnip woman. No parsnips, no cry. They noodles did hold their shape, and were still very noodle-like in the dish. They were sweet, but also maybe a bit bitter? I am not too sure because I immediately tried to forget what they tasted like as a sulked about it for the rest of the night. If you feel in your heart that you would love them, I definitely suggest giving this recipe a try. Also, at around 250 calories a bowl (depending on the type of ham used), you could literally eat this dish until you died of parsnip OD and still lose weight.
Beef and Bean Chili with Cabbage Noodles
(GF, Veg/V if you used a vegetable chili recipe)
If you have no desire to spiralize or buy a mandoline, why have you read this damn far?! Jk jk. I was going to say you could also use a knife like people in ye ol’ tymes. Cabbage is the best example of how to do such a thing. For this recipe I used Rosie’s Skinny Spaghetti recipe found here. I switched up a few ingredients in her recipe, due to lack of items and or laziness levels, but it’s a chili: it’s meat and things in a pot and cooked for a certain amount of time. You can do it, I know you can. I steamed the cabbage a little bit passed al dente, about 6-8 minutes, and slapped a mean tbsp of sour cream on the top for kicks. Now, the cabbage doesn’t do the greatest job at pretending to be spaghetti in this case, but it doesn’t matter because this meal was still off-the-chains delicious. But again, you top anything in hot meat and tomato sauce, youre probably going to feel good about your life and the decisions that you have made. The cabbage noodles didn’t have any real particular taste, but left me with the (ready, ready for it) mouthfeel of an excellent hearty chili meal of just 400-450 calories.
Let me know if you have any other vegetables you love to spiralize, or if you try any of these recipes, of if you also have a terrible parsnips story you are ready to share.
Thanks for reading, and as always, sorry about the ratchet phone pics friends!