Thinking about my spiralizer. I just read a review of a couple of new spiralizer cookbooks that are on the market this fall. One has a basic premise that you can and should spiralize everything. That rolls made out of baked veggie strands and zucchini or beet “pasta” will change your world. That good health is just a spiralized veggie away. Pretty big claims.
There’s a part of me that is uncomfortable with the idea that eliminating or severely limiting carbs, or any food group for that matter, would contribute to good health. I’m a firm believer in moderation. We eat a lot of fresh vegetables around here, but we also eat meat and whole grain breads and pasta.
The thing is, a spiralizer is a tool. Nothing more; nothing less. In my view, it’s much safer than a mandoline for making even slices, and spaghetti-like strands of zucchini quickly sautéed with cherry tomatoes, pesto, and garlic is a great side dish. But zucchini and its vegetable equivalents is not pasta. Occasionally, it’s a good alternative, but not as a total replacement.
Actually, one of my favorite things to do is to combine spaghetti and zucchini strands . If you spiralize a zucchini and let it drain in a colander while you boil some pasta in salted water, and then pour the pasta, water and all, over the zucchini, you have a happy combination as a base for sauce. The zucchini adds a nice little crunch, and lightens the dish.
Don’t get me wrong here. I like my spiralizer, but it’s a tool in my kitchen; not a way of life. I used it this morning to attack a pile of produce that a friend had brought me from her garden last night. I spiralized zucchini, carrots, parsnips, peppers, and onions; tossed them in olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted them in a hot oven. Having a bowl of roasted vegetables at the ready provides an easy filling for quesadillas, crostatas, and omelets. The vegetables can be a simple side dish, or base for a piece of fish or other protein. And using the spiralizer makes prepping a lot of vegetables quick and easy.
I also sliced cucumbers swiftly and evenly as the beginning of a cucumber salad. While I was at it, I spiralized an extra zucchini, chopped it into fine pieces, and made a loaf of zucchini bread. Why not? The spiralizer was set up, and the counter was already overwhelmed with peels and juices. Seemed reasonable to add to the mess and end up with a loaf of zucchini bread.
I guess time will tell if the spiralizer is a trendy novelty or if it has any staying power. In the meantime, I’ll continue to use it, but I don’t plan to add to my cookbook collection with one devoted to it.