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In the Kitchen: Time to start spiralizing

Have you gotten on the spiralizer bandwagon yet? 

Even if you haven’t, you have probably noticed packages of spiralized vegetables in the produce department. It’s fine to buy those, but spiralizers are super affordable — I think I paid $25 for mine a few years ago. 

They make “noodles” out of vegetables and make a great substitute for pasta. They cook super quick since they are so thin. Besides being a great way to serve otherwise “boring” vegetables, they make an interesting presentation — remember you eat with your eyes first. I wish these had been around when our children were young. I know this would be a great way to encourage children to cook and eat vegetables. 

The food community calls spiralized zucchini “zoodles,” spiralized carrots “coodles.” Spiralized beets and butternut squash are “boodles” and my favorite, spiralized potatoes are “poodles.” How fun! 

The best vegetables to spiralize are zucchini, sweet potatoes, beets, yellow squash, carrots, bell peppers, broccoli stems, jicama, butternut squash and cucumbers. I recommend buying organic whenever possible. You can also spiralize apples and pears. 

Here are some recipes to get you started spiralizing. 

Slow cooker chicken noodle soup with zoodles

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Salt and pepper

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, chopped

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

8 cups chicken broth

1 bay leaf

2 zucchini

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup parsley, minced

Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Add chicken to slow cooker and then add onion, carrots, celery, chicken broth and bay leaf. Cook on low six to eight hours or on high four to five hours. Remove chicken breasts and shred and then return to slow cooker. Remove bay leaf and discard. Spiralize zucchini and add to the slow cooker. Cover and cook another eight to 10 minutes. Stir in fresh thyme, rosemary, lemon juice and parsley. Serve. 

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This is a great way to use up leftover chicken and to elevate the humble carrot to a whole new level. 

Spiralized carrots “coodles” with peanut sauce

4 carrots, peeled

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

1 clove garlic, minced

3 green onions, minced

1/2 pound cooked chicken breasts, chopped

Toppings: chopped peanuts, mung bean sprouts, chopped mint

Spiralize carrots and set aside. For dressing, whisk together ½ tablespoon sesame oil, peanut butter, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, crushed red pepper flakes and soy sauce. In a skillet, add remaining ½ tablespoon sesame oil and heat over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic, cooking a few minutes. Add spiralized carrots, tossing well. Cook four to five minutes until carrots have softened but are not mushy. Add green onions, chicken and sauce, tossing well to combine. Using tongs, divide “coodles” and top with peanuts, bean sprouts and mint. 

•    •    •

Yellow squash with 

caramelized lemon slices

3 yellow squash (more if they are smallish)

3 lemons

1 1/2 olive oil

Salt and pepper

Pinch of sugar

1/3 cup parsley, minced

1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Cut squash in halves and scoop out some of the seeds. Spiralize the squash and then spread the squash out on several layers of paper towels. Cover with a few more layers of paper towels and set aside for several hours. 

Zest one of the lemons and then juice it. Slice the other two lemons into thin slices, removing seeds. When ready to cook, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the sliced lemons with salt, pepper and a little sugar — the sugar helps them caramelize. 

Cook the lemon slices until they are caramelized, about five minutes per side depending on how thin they are. Add the spiralized yellow squash, tossing to combine. Cook a few minutes until squash begins to soften. Add parsley and parmesan, tossing well. 

•    •    •

Beets are particularly beautiful when spiralized. Beets pair naturally with spinach and gorgonzola cheese, but any blue cheese works well. 

Spiralized beets with spinach and gorgonzola salad

1 beet

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cups baby spinach

1/4 cup raw walnuts, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup gorgonzola cheese, or other blue cheese, chopped


2 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon

Pinch of salt and pepper

Peel beet and spiralize. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and the thyme leaves. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss with the 1 tablespoon olive oil. Pour beets onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast for eight to 10 minutes. 

For dressing, combine olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon, pinch of salt and pepper in a small jar and shake well. Put spinach in a bowl and toss with the dressing. 

To assemble the salad, divide dressed greens into four bowls or plates. Top with beets, walnuts and gorgonzola.