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SPIRALIZER-MANIA

Whereas there were only a handful of these machines on the market just 5 years ago, now there are dozens.  My favorite is the Paderno Spiralizer, but there are others out there, like OXO, that look great.  Each will have 2-4 interchangeable blades that allow you to make fine threads, chunkier noodle-like cuts, and even accordion-like cuts.  Look for a machine that suits your needs, is easy to set up and take down, and most importantly, easy to clean.

Let's drill down as to why spiralizers have become so popular.  They give us a novel, slightly fancy way to eat produce - and anything that can convince me to eat more vegetables is a good thing!  Secondly, they produce noodle-like strands of vegetables which can substitute partially, or entirely, for pasta - and if you've been told by your Doc to cut or eliminate your carbs, a spiralizer is literally a life saver.  Lastly, these contraptions actually can save us time and $$, while making us look like superheroes in our kitchens.  So with that said, I wanted to share my 3 favorite Spiralizer cutters with you, show you what they can do, and what you can do with the results!  It's not just about zoodles (zucchini noodles) anymore!

 The  Paderno Spiralizer  (generation 2).....suction feet hold it steady on the counter, there's a blade "garage" beneath, all parts are easily assembled and disassembled, easy to clean, and folds up like a Ninja!  I tried a pretty good assortment of vegetables to see what really works, so let's get to it!

The Paderno Spiralizer (generation 2).....suction feet hold it steady on the counter, there's a blade "garage" beneath, all parts are easily assembled and disassembled, easy to clean, and folds up like a Ninja!  I tried a pretty good assortment of vegetables to see what really works, so let's get to it!

  LARGE BLADE:   typically will have big barbs on the blade, and is best used with sturdy vegetables like yams, sweet potatoes, butternut squash (use the neck, where there are no seeds).  For this oven baked "fry" blend, wash and peel a small sweet potato, a purple yam, and the neck of a butternut squash.  Spiralize all 3.  Peel a small brown onion, cut the ends so they are flat, and spiralize it, too.  I wash shocked how quickly it processed, no tears, and created a lovely strand of onion goodness to mix with the squash and sweet potatoes.  Put all on a sheet pan, sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil.  Toss to evenly coat all.

LARGE BLADE:  typically will have big barbs on the blade, and is best used with sturdy vegetables like yams, sweet potatoes, butternut squash (use the neck, where there are no seeds).  For this oven baked "fry" blend, wash and peel a small sweet potato, a purple yam, and the neck of a butternut squash.  Spiralize all 3.  Peel a small brown onion, cut the ends so they are flat, and spiralize it, too.  I wash shocked how quickly it processed, no tears, and created a lovely strand of onion goodness to mix with the squash and sweet potatoes.  Put all on a sheet pan, sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil.  Toss to evenly coat all.

 Put into a preheated 400 degree oven.  After 10 minutes, turn all the goods, and return the pan to the oven until the purple yams are crispy - about another 8-10 minutes.  The squash and sweet potato will emerge with varying levels of crisp and soft.  Taste and season again - and serve aside your favorite protein.  I liked these with a spritz of lemon or lime and a dash of Frank's Hot Wing Sauce....I'm just sayin'.  Because the sugar content of the sweet potato and butternut squash are high, be careful not to scorch and wilt them.  The purple yam will hold up the best and be the crispy counterpart.  These probably would fry up well in an air fryer, too.

Put into a preheated 400 degree oven.  After 10 minutes, turn all the goods, and return the pan to the oven until the purple yams are crispy - about another 8-10 minutes.  The squash and sweet potato will emerge with varying levels of crisp and soft.  Taste and season again - and serve aside your favorite protein.  I liked these with a spritz of lemon or lime and a dash of Frank's Hot Wing Sauce....I'm just sayin'.  Because the sugar content of the sweet potato and butternut squash are high, be careful not to scorch and wilt them.  The purple yam will hold up the best and be the crispy counterpart.  These probably would fry up well in an air fryer, too.

  LARGE BLADE:   This works brilliantly for raw slaws and salads.  It's especially great when you use apples - no peeling or coring necessary.  Spiralize apples by cutting off the ends just so they are flat.  Center the core on the hub of the spiralizer.  As you process the apples, you'll see that the seeds and core just drop out.  Try spiralized apples in your pancake or muffin batter!

LARGE BLADE:  This works brilliantly for raw slaws and salads.  It's especially great when you use apples - no peeling or coring necessary.  Spiralize apples by cutting off the ends just so they are flat.  Center the core on the hub of the spiralizer.  As you process the apples, you'll see that the seeds and core just drop out.  Try spiralized apples in your pancake or muffin batter!

 SMALL BLADE:  it's just a "junior" version of the large one and best suited when you want to create delicate "noodles" to substitute for pasta, or when you want to make some fine-textured salads, as I have done here.  I just peeled and processed a daikon radish, a carrot, and an unpeeled cucumber.   

SMALL BLADE:  it's just a "junior" version of the large one and best suited when you want to create delicate "noodles" to substitute for pasta, or when you want to make some fine-textured salads, as I have done here.  I just peeled and processed a daikon radish, a carrot, and an unpeeled cucumber.

 

 STRAIGHT BLADE:  my spiralizer is equipped with a straight blade and an accompanying skewer.  This can make accordian lengths of most small long vegetables - zuccini and carrots work very well, as do yukon gold or small russet potatoes.  First run the skewer down the center of the vegetable to make a "pilot hole."

STRAIGHT BLADE:  my spiralizer is equipped with a straight blade and an accompanying skewer.  This can make accordian lengths of most small long vegetables - zuccini and carrots work very well, as do yukon gold or small russet potatoes.  First run the skewer down the center of the vegetable to make a "pilot hole."

 I put my zucchini onto a sheet pan, sprinkled it with Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil and roasted it for 18 minutes at 400 degrees until the zucchini was starting to brown on the edges and released its moisture.

I put my zucchini onto a sheet pan, sprinkled it with Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil and roasted it for 18 minutes at 400 degrees until the zucchini was starting to brown on the edges and released its moisture.

 For an easy salad, use the large blade to cut a red beet, a carrot and an apple.  Scatter onto some leaf lettuce - sprinkle on blue cheese, walnuts, sunflower seeds and some prepared raspberry dressing.  Delicious and so easy - AND you get a big jump on your 5 servings of produce a day!

For an easy salad, use the large blade to cut a red beet, a carrot and an apple.  Scatter onto some leaf lettuce - sprinkle on blue cheese, walnuts, sunflower seeds and some prepared raspberry dressing.  Delicious and so easy - AND you get a big jump on your 5 servings of produce a day!

 I made a dressing with 1/4c rice vinegar, 1/4c canola oil, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp grated ginger, 1 tsp soy sauce, and a couple of teaspoons of toasted sesame seeds - this is light Japanese-style salad to serve aside some sushi or a beautiful piece of grilled fish.  Alternately you could dress this Thai style with 1/4c fresh lime juice, 1-2 tsp fish sauce, 1 tsp sugar, 1 TB water and a healthy dash of sriracha.  Add some chopped cilantro and chopped peanuts to Thai this one on!

I made a dressing with 1/4c rice vinegar, 1/4c canola oil, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp grated ginger, 1 tsp soy sauce, and a couple of teaspoons of toasted sesame seeds - this is light Japanese-style salad to serve aside some sushi or a beautiful piece of grilled fish.

Alternately you could dress this Thai style with 1/4c fresh lime juice, 1-2 tsp fish sauce, 1 tsp sugar, 1 TB water and a healthy dash of sriracha.  Add some chopped cilantro and chopped peanuts to Thai this one on!

 Now, run the skewer through hole in the blade plate and back into the vegetable (see the photo on the left).  After several turns you'll see that the vegetable remains in one piece, but becomes a continuous corkscrew, almost like a Hawaiian lei.

Now, run the skewer through hole in the blade plate and back into the vegetable (see the photo on the left).  After several turns you'll see that the vegetable remains in one piece, but becomes a continuous corkscrew, almost like a Hawaiian lei.

 I plated this in a pasta bowl, napped it with a little marinara, sprinkled on some pecorino romano, and garnished with some basil.  This would make a lovely "primi" (first course), or can sub instead of pasta in the event of wheat allergy or carb-restriction.

I plated this in a pasta bowl, napped it with a little marinara, sprinkled on some pecorino romano, and garnished with some basil.  This would make a lovely "primi" (first course), or can sub instead of pasta in the event of wheat allergy or carb-restriction.