Turning Vegetables into Noodles and More with Inspiralizer
A healthy and creative way to eat veggies with Ali Maffucci's ideal version of a spiralizer
If you're in a cooking rut, one way to rediscover a love for vegetables you've been long neglecting is just a different way to cut them. The art of "spiralizing," or transforming vegetables into long spirals or noodles with the help of a tool, has been embraced by vegans to low carb dieters alike—but spiralizing goes far beyond creating pasta substitutes. Noodles are the classic go-to, but you can also transform veggies into burger buns, risottos, gluten-free muffins and even elegant garnishes for cocktails.
One woman who's been making it easier for a lot of people to spiralize is Ali Maffucci, who quit her job to dedicate herself full-time to recording recipes (and vivid photos) on her website, Inspiralized. Her culinary education was simply growing up with Italian-American grandparents and home-cooked meals, and then Maffucci fell in love with the health benefits and creativity that came with spiralizing. After spiralizing nearly every day for two years, Jersey City-based Maffucci slowly began assembling mental notes on what would be in her dream gadget. "Wouldn't it be nice if the spiralizer suctioned firmly to the countertop?" she recalls to CH. "Also, I incorporated many of the gripes I'd get from readers trying to make my recipes with various other spiralizers." The result, the Inspiralizer, is a slim, compact design that feels more like an accessory than a bulky kitchen tool taking up space on the countertop. It boasts strong suction thanks to dual vacuum bases—making it possible to take on tough vegetables like sweet potato or celery root—and has four different built-in blades that don't require any manual changing—just a twist of the knob. And they're the only four blades you really need: ribbons, fettucine, linguine and spaghetti/angel hair.
The Inspiralizer is available for $50 and comes with a few recipes to get you started, and plenty more can be found on the well-organized Inspiralized blog (each recipe comes with detailed nutritional information) as well as Maffucci's cookbook of the same name. Below, Maffucci shares an example recipe of a colorful, creative dish she concocted using the Inspiralizer.
Jalapeño-Citrus Golden Beet Noodle Salad with Crab, Avocado and Toasted Almonds
For the salad:
¼ cup slivered almonds
4 large golden beets, peeled, Blade C
2-3 cups watercress greens
1 cup lump crab meat
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and insides sliced thinly
For the dressing:
¾ tablespoon finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1.5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ tablespoon fresh orange juice
⅛ teaspoon lemon zest
¾ teaspoon seeded and finely diced jalapeno
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper, to taste
Place a skillet over medium-high heat. Once heated, add in the almonds. Toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and fragrant, about two minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing. Taste and adjust to your preferences. Then, in a large bowl, toss together the beets, watercress, crab and dressing. Divide into plates. Garnish with avocado and toasted almonds.
Images courtesy of Ali Maffucci