Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Spiralized Pasta Fake Out

Spiralized Pasta Fake Out... This is going to sound horribly embarrassing to admit but I literally tossed and turned in bed last night unable to fall asleep because of all the spiralized veggie meal ideas that bounced off the walls of my brain. I couldn't contain my excitement.

I love pasta as much as the next guy, but the truth is there is almost no nutritional value in the white floury stuff that fills us with such delightful warmth. I have tried alternatives to feel better about my weekday pasta consumption - whole wheat, gluten free, spaghetti squash. But nothing has really sufficed, partly because whole wheat is really more calories and for me spaghetti squash just doesn't do that real pasta the texture justice I'm looking for. Anywho I have been wanting a spiralizer for some time, and since this seemed to be the Christmas of food pressies (no complaints over here!!) I was a happy camper this past December 25th when I tore into a beautifully wrapped box to see the Paderno Spiralizer staring back at me.

On the menu last night was Italian chicken sausages (form Whole Foods butcher section, better than the turkey alternative in my opinion), roasted portabello mushrooms, and of course spiralized zucchini & squash. Since this was my first experiment and a Tuesday night, I didn't go all out and make my own sauce, but rather used the holy grail of jarred sauces (Rao's) to toss my faux noodles in.

The spiralizer was super easy to use once I figured out where to place the attachments - which wasn't difficult but my excited hands were moving faster than my brain so it took me about 6 minutes to actually get it set up just right. But once it was in place the pasta flowed! You basically give the veggie a good rinse & dry, then cut off the rounded ends so its flat. You push one end into the pokers (that's how it's held in place) and then you just slide it up to the blade and start turning the handle. Voila, in seconds there are beautiful strands of thick spaghetti like curls covering your counter.

They were pretty soft already so it would have likely been fine to just toss them with the sauce in a saute pan, but I figured I'd try the boiling technique so I threw them in boiling water for about 1-2 minutes then drained and tossed in sauce. Literally that was all. So fab.

The rest of the meal was easy, I pan seared the chicken sausages then steamed them with the lid on for another 10-15 minutes until cooked through. The portabellos got a little drizzle of olive oil and balsamic on each side and roasted in the oven for about 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. The meal took about 30 minutes in total and was insanely healthful as well as low in calories - yet I totally felt like I was eating hearty spaghetti and pork sausage.

I don't have kids, or anyone I'm trying to trick into eating veggies, but seriously if you used just the yellow squash I think some serious trickery could take place here. The zucchini might give it away, however if you peeled off the dark green skin you could probably even get that past them.

The spiralizer that I used doesn't require any electricity or major cleaning or set up and was so fast and easy I would totally recommend getting one if you like the sounds of it. More to come from my new toy but for now enjoy these pics!

In all her glory!

1 squash and 1 zucchini were plenty for 2 people



Chicken sausage, portabello, "pasta"

And since you don't feel gilty about the real pasta you can just pile on the cheese!


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