Sunday, July 13, 2014

Three Ways to Make Noodles from Zucchini and Other Vegetables (and Recipes with Vegetable Noodles)

Three Ways to Make Noodles from Zucchini and Other Vegetables found on KalynsKitchen.com
Low-Carb Zucchini "Noodles" are delicious and easy to make.

Have you noticed how many cooks are suddenly making "noodles" from zucchini and other types of vegetables?  I think the abundance of vegetable noodles popping up everywhere is mostly due to an amazing machine called the Spiralizer.  I'm a little obsessed with my Spiralizer lately, so watch for a few dishes with vegetable noodles coming up soon on the blog. But for those who don't want to spend nearly $35.00 for a machine to make noodles, there are actually several less expensive noodle-making gadgets that work pretty well.  I have three different cooking tools that make noodles from vegetables, so I thought it would be a fun Meatless Monday post to compare them for anyone who's curious about vegetable noodles.

Three Ways to Make Vegetable Noodles

Several years ago I bought an inexpensive Julienne Cutter which works just fine for vegetable noodles, especially if you're only cooking for one or two people.  Basically you just drag the cutter along the edge of the vegetable, as if you were peeling a carrot.  I like to cut longer vegetables in half, which makes them a little easier to julienne.  As you can see in the photo, there's some waste because eventually the piece is too small to hang on to.

Still, even as low-tech as it is, I used the juliennne cutter to make this big pile of of zucchini noodles when I made Julienne Zucchini Mock Spaghetti with Quick Sausage, Basil, and Tomato Sauce back in 2011.  I've made a few other recipes using it since then as well.

My brother Rand is the one who told me about this Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Cutterthat he found at CVS, and I immediately ordered one from Amazon.com.  This is even a little cheaper than the Julienne Cutter and it's a bit more versatile because you can make two thicknesses of noodles.  It comes with a gripper to use when you're getting down to the end of the vegetables.

The Vegetti has two ends; one has very close blades for spaghetti-like noodles.

The other end has the blades slightly farther apart, for thicker noodles.

To use the Vegetti, just insert the vegetable into the desired end and turn it to make the noodles come out.  For larger vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, or jicama, you'll have to cut pieces that are small enough to be inserted into the end.  One thing Jake and I quickly learned when we experimented with this is that if you don't cut a slice in the vegetable before you start to make noodles you'll end up with l-o-n-g strings of vegetables, which would be pretty difficult to eat.

But if you cut a slit halfway through the piece of  vegetable like you see on this cucumber, you'll get perfect little short noodles.

And here's a comparison of the thin and slightly thicker noodles you can make with the Vegetti.  There's some waste with this, because eventually the end gets so small you can't really turn it any more, even with the gripper.

That brings us to the gadget that I think has created the vegetable noodle craze, the Spiralizer.  The machine has five pieces, the base, the pushing mechanism that slides into the base, and three blades for very thin noodles, medium-sized noodles, and slices.  There are suction cups on the legs to hold it in place when you're using it.

To use the Spiralizer, you attach the vegetable on to round disk that has teeth to hold it in place, and center it on the round hole at the top of the blade that helps keep the vegetable in place.  Then just turn the handle and noodles come out like magic!

This is the small size noodles, about the same diameter as cooked spaghetti.  I cut a slit in the zucchini (as shown above with the cucumber) to get the short pieces of noodle. (Some people combine the words zucchini + noodles and call them zoodles.)

This photo shows the thicker noodle size, probably the one I'm going to use the most.

You can also make thin slices, or cut slices like you see here if you cut a slit in the vegetable.

Eventually you get to the point where the vegetable won't push in any more, and you're left with this core and a small piece of vegetable.

And one thing I was delighted to discover is that the Spiralized zucchini kept remarkably well in the fridge for a day or so, and it was actually a little drier after it had been refrigerated.  Depending on the recipe the vegetable noodles can be used raw or cooked slightly. 

More Spiralizer Tips:
If you're sold on the idea of vegetable noodles and ready to invest in a Spiralizer, you can find a wealth of information about spiralizing and recipes for a variety of vegetables at Inspiralized.  (Yes, it's an entire blog of information about spiralizing and recipes using spiralized veggies!)
 
Recipes from Kalyn Using Vegetable Noodles
(I'm just getting started on my Spiralizer obsessions, so I'll be adding more recipes here as I go along, but here are recipes I've made so far using vegetable noodles.)
Julienned Zucchini Vegan Mexican Bowl with Black Beans, Avocado, Tomato, Poblano, and Lime
Cucumber Ribbon Salad with Peppers, Radishes, and Thai Dressing
Julienne Zucchini Mock Spaghetti with Quick Sausage, Basil, and Tomato Sauce 

Other Bloggers Who Like Vegetable Noodles:
Spicy Spiralized Shoestring Jicama Fries ~ Inspiralized
Five Gluten-Free Noodles Dishes Made from Vegetables ~ The Kitchn
How to Make Zucchini Noodles and 10 Recipes Using Zucchini Noodles ~ Everyday Maven
Have You Made Noodles with Vegetables?
If you've made vegetable noodles using one of these gadgets (or something different that I haven't tried) or if you have a good recipe using noodles made from vegetables, please share what worked for you in the comments.

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon! counter customizable free hit

13 comments:

  1. I have the Vegetti and love it, thanks for the tip on the cut in the zucchini. Are you going to post any recipies here. I did try my homemade pesto but didn't love it as much as I thought I would

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  2. Kate there are some recipes of mine at the end of the post; many more to come! I do think these types of noodles are best in dishes with strong flavors.

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  3. Happy to see you did mention that there is waste with the Veggetti. I recently purchased one and was disappointed at the amount of zucchini that was unusable. I'm thinking of returning it so may have to consider your other options listed.

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  4. Kalyn, that was useful. I've got the simple julienne peeler, but I do like the look of Veggetti (I don't mind the little "waste" - I can always eat that bit raw!).

    The Spiralizer looks too big, haven't got so much space in the kitchen.

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  5. Debbie, if you have room for it, the Spiralizer definitely has the least waste. I guess if you're paying premium prices for zucchini (especially in the winter) that could really add up.

    Pille, glad you liked it!

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  6. I've been using my mandoline to make "noodles", and I love it because it's not a single-purpose tool. I used my Spiralizer once, and went back to the mandoline!

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  7. Lydia, if I was downsizing that might be a consideration for me, but I really love the Spiralizer noodles.

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  8. I am a little bit obsessed with my Spiralizer which I got in January of this year. I found that pasta was bothering my stomach and I'd not had any in a long time. The first day I had a bowl of zucchini noodles with tomato sauce I was so happy. My boyfriend prefers these to regular noodles. I have Spiralized a lot of veggies. One of my favorite meals to make is zucchini noodles with cauliflower Alfredo sauce. No joke this is amazing and very low cal. I tend to get very excited telling people to consider a spiralizer lol…glad you posted about it.

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  9. Rocky Blast, I can see myself getting obsessed with the Spiralizer as well! And great idea to try it with the cauliflower alfredo sauce (I MUST try that sauce!)

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  10. I make my veggie noodles with a Benriner (japanese mandoline). You do get to a point where you can no longer make the long noodles, but what I do to avoid waste is freeze those leftover "middles" and use them to make stock.

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  11. KFM Cooks, brilliant idea to save the scraps for making stock!

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  12. I have always used a julienne peeler, I am tempted by the Spiralizer. It looked fun to use and I think my boys would enjoy it.

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  13. Andrea I was using the Spiralizer when my niece Kara's kids were there and they loved helping with it!

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