Zoodles? Isn’t that a toy for kids in a pool? Nope. Zoodles are veggies “spiralized” into long strands, perfect as a pasta replacement. What’s not to love?
One of the hottest kitchen gadgets in 2014 and staying strong in 2015, a spiralizer is a hand-cranked device. Place your veggie of choice into the holder, crank it through the mill, and out will come lovely strands of yummy goodness.
Why eat zoodles when you could just dig into a big bowl of pasta?
Reduces starch consumption
Veggie pasta has two great advantages. It replaces a high-calorie, low-nutrition item on your plate and it opens up a whole new world of flavor combinations. These veggies make great zoodles.
- Summer Squash
- Sweet Potato
- Butternut Squash
Most people start off with zucchini and/or summer squash because they are easy to work into a recipe. Start with your usual Italian pasta dish and use zoodles instead! If you’re feeling a bit adventurous how about an Asian-inspired noodle soup? If you really want to explore the world of zoodling, there is even a blog, devoted JUST to living the zoodle lifestyle (yes, the internet has everything).
Zoodle cooking tips
Before you begin cranking that spiralizer, keep these tips in mind when using veggies instead of pasta.
• Pat it all down. Obviously, veggies have a lot more water content than pasta. After you’ve spiralized your supply, take a paper towel and press down to absorb some water before cooking.
• Watch the boiling pot. The higher the water content, the faster the cooking time. Dense vegetables like butternut squash will take longer than zucchini. Keep an eye on your dish the first time through to establish the proper cooking time.
• Don’t overcook! Your zoodles will turn into and you will be bummed. Also, you might scare your family who will never eat another zoodle again.
The original veggie pasta
If you don’t want to invest in a spiralizer, just cook the original string-like vegetable, spaghetti squash. After a bit of a cajoling, my family now prefers spaghetti squash to actual pasta because it tastes amazing! Here’s my favorite, simple spaghetti squash “pasta” recipe.
Spaghetti squash “pasta”
• Medium to large spaghetti squash
• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• ½ tsp kosher salt
Choose a medium to large spaghetti squash. Preheat oven to 350°F split open the spaghetti squash length-wise. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, combine the olive oil and salt in a small bowl and then brush liberally on the spaghetti squash. Place the squash on the baking sheet and place on the middle rack in the oven for 50 to 60 minutes. When the squash pierces easily with a fork, it’s done. Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes. Use a fork to scrape the squash into spaghetti strands. Add your topping and enjoy! Serves 6 to 8.
Let us know if you’ve tried a veggie spiralizer and if you liked it. Do you have any quick recipes? We’d love to see those too.
TapGenes Take Away: Zoodles are a fun, healthy alternative to starchy pasta and one more opportunity to get in more veg.