The Daily Beet

31 Jul Saving Time with Char: You’ve Got Me Going In Circles

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It’s the summer.  We all want to spend more time outdoors and less time in the kitchen.  While summer salads are all the rage, sometimes, it is more fun to mix it up a bit without having to turn the stove or oven on.  What’s a plant-strong zealot supposed to do?

Well…I love gadgets.  I like the ones that you plug in, the ones that require your own energy, and I also like ones that make loud noises (a Vitamix® with ice in it comes to mind).  Recently, I assembled my never-ending collection of spiralizers. A spiralizer is a tool that cuts your vegetables into curly shapes, it’s like eating pasta.   I have three spiralizers.  Why?  Not sure, but I use them all the time, and in the summer, I especially use them to make delicious pasta from zucchini, raw zucchini.  And it is delicious.  This is perhaps the fastest dinner known in the plant strong world.

Here’s a quick tutorial on my Spiral Slicers:

Hand Held Slicer:  creates more of a Julienne, but is perfect for making summer pasta.  Generally, a hand-held will range in price from $9-20.  They are widely available in most housewares departments of your favorite department store.

Progressive Slicer:  I didn’t even know what it was when I bought it, but it was $5.99 at the QVC outlet, so I had to get it.  This slicer creates a linguine-like strand of zucchini.  Perfect for creating a delicious cold “pasta dish.”

Helen’s Slicer:  I think this is my favorite, because it makes angel hair “zucchini pasta” to perfection.  Within minutes, one zucchini yields a gigantic bowl of pasta.  This slicer was $15!  Another kitchen bargain.

Now that you’ve got the skinny on the spiralizers, here’s where the time saving element comes full force.  Making an Italian dinner within minutes.  The menu includes:

Zucchini Pasta with Fat Free Marinara Sauce and Garbanzo Beans

Ezekiel Garlic Bread

Sliced Heirloom Tomatoes with Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice Dressing

  1. Take one zucchini, and spiral cut it.  One large zucchini will yield three cups of product.
  2. Season with garlic powder and freshly cut basil.
  3. Add a can of rinsed, garbanzo beans
  4. Cover with a jar of Whole Foods Market 365 Brand Fat Free Marinara Sauce.  Toss well.
  5. Garnish with shredded carrots

This is a dinner that you eat cold.  Served with garlic bread and a salad, and well, you’ll think you are dining in the heart of Roma.  With this dinner, there is no need for pots and pans, and clean-up is a breeze.

See if you can’t get yourself a spiralizer.  Then, get some zucchini, and go to town.  I’ve also used jicama and it is another great source of non-pasta.  You can make a broccoli pesto sauce and eat beautiful, green food.  Get everyone involved with this dinner.  It will be loads of fun!

Happy Spiralizing!  And enjoy your day!

 

Screen Shot 2013-07-31 at 10.01.09 AM

From A-Zucchini

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Give yourself a hand with this vegetable slicer…

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Char Nolan
Char Nolan

Char Nolan is a blog contributor and Engine 2 Extra Coach. She's been plant-strong for almost five years. From Philadelphia, she works in the plant-based whole foods arena, and is also the "vegan features writer," for the "Town Dish." She's lost a great deal of weight from being plant-strong, practices yoga, and is always dabbling in her kitchen to create new, plant-strong recipes. Armed with a degree in public health, Char also holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from e-Cornell.

  • LBJROCK

    PERFECT TIMING!! My spiralizer will be arriving from Amazon today!!!

    • Mick

      I’ve been looking on Amazon. What exactly are you buying? I can’t figure these things out. I’d like to see pics of the tools themselves. When I search Amazon for “spiralizer,” I get all kinds of stuff.

      • LBJROCK

        I bought the Paderno world cuisine A4982799 plastic spiral vegetable. Should come today. I paid $35 w/ free shipping.

        • Julie L

          So how do you like it? I’ve been researching on Amazon…tired of reading reviews! Every type of spiralizer has good and bad reviews.

  • jcribbs

    OK, now I’ve got to go find one of the darn things, and I hate shopping! One question: are they tough enough to handle a “hard” veg like a carrot?

  • Erin

    Does the photo at the bottom show zukes using each of the three spiralizers you discussed? (hand held, progressive, and helen’s…left to right)

    • Erin

      or is it hand held, helen’s, then progressive…? thanks!

  • http://veryveganish.com/ Abi

    Oh my goodness, I HAVE to try this! Sounds delicious. But, I’ll probably make my own pasta sauce, with thick slices of baby bella mushrooms. Yum! Makes me hungry just thinking about it. :)

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