The spiralizer isn’t just for churning out zucchini noodles anymore. In Ali Maffucci’s new book, Inspiralized & Beyond, she encourages cooks to be creative while adding vegetables to meals by spiralizing, chopping, ricing, and mashing as well. Ali is the voice behind the blog Inspiralized and has two additional cookbooks under her belt, Inspiralized and Inspiralize Everything. (Let me apologize in advance for how many times the words spiralizer or inspiralized appear in this article.)
Implementing more vegetables into your meals is easy when you have a spiralizer in your arsenal. This handy tool has revolutionized the way I approach meals. Not only is spiralizing a useful way to add nutrients to your diet, it also makes it easy (and fun) to replace pasta or carbs with veggie versions, which will, in turn, assist us in meeting our personal health goals. Long gone are the days of adding steamed broccoli or a tossed salad to the dinner plate so that our “good mom or dad badge” isn’t revoked. Get the kids involved in dinner prep too – the spiralizer is like a Play-Doh factory for vegetables!
We all appreciate a vibrant plate of food, and when vegetable-centric menus are still crave-worthy, it is a win-win for all involved. Personally, I prefer a yam, carrot, beet and yes, even a zucchini noodle, with a zesty dressing instead of a heavy pasta dish, especially in the warmer months when cool and refreshing dishes are a welcomed alternative in terms of preparation and consumption.
Ali does not live and die by the spiralizer though – this new book goes above and beyond by offering other methods to keep meals exciting from breakfast to dessert. How about a spiralized vegetable bun for an open-faced sandwich approach or a vegetable slab as the base for a slider or pizza? Craving tortillas or tacos? Create healthier options by boiling starchy vegetables, mashing them and baking them to create the Yucca Tostadas with Veggies or Vegetarian Breakfast Quesadilla. Ricing vegetables is a popular replacement for pizza crusts and rice in stir-fry dishes.
Yes, you will need a spiralizer to create some of the recipes in this book, but many dishes are made with a food processor, knife or hand-held grater. Think of the spiralizer as an investment in your future, offering brilliant ways to bring more healthy options to the table. Shredded Brussels Sprouts Carbonara can be on the table in a little over a half an hour and a Ricotta & Spinach Spaghetti Pie (using spiralized potatoes instead of pasta) takes 15 minutes of hands-on time and can cook while you are relaxing or working. The author doesn’t offer only vegetarian dishes in this book – Eggplant Rolls with Chicken Shawarma and Tahini Drizzle or Gingery Braised Short Ribs with Scallion-Spaghetti Squash Cakes can please the carnivore at the table.
Busy cooks and working parents can efficiently tackle most of the recipes in Inspiralized & Beyond, the other recipes can be “made simple” with just a bit of planning. For this review, I chose one such recipe – the rainbow-colored Thai Cashew Chopped Salad with Sesame-Garlic Dressing. While it takes some time to prepare, it saves well, so making the dressing the day before or prepping the veggies on the weekend will reward you with four servings that can be a great lunch or a revamped leftover meal (the simple addition of grilled shrimp will make all the difference). Serving this salad for guests will surely wow and impress but you may be tempted to save it for yourself, and that’s okay – we won’t tell.
Sign up to receive inspiring, expert advice on living your best life from Books for Better Living and Penguin Random House.
Thai Cashew Chopped Salad with Sesame-Garlic Dressing
Serves 4 / Saves Well / Vegetarian / Dairy-Free
Prep Time 30 minutes / Cook Time 15 minutes
For the dressing
2 tablespoons avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (use coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari, if gluten-free)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, chopped
For the salad
⅓ cup roasted cashews
12 ounces shelled edamame, steamed
4 cups shredded rainbow chard leaves
1 large carrot, spiralized with Blade D, noodles coarsely chopped
2 scallions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, spiralized with Blade A, noodles chopped into 2-inch pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, spiralized with Blade A, noodles chopped into 2-inch pieces
2 cups spiralized red cabbage (use Blade A; about ½ small cabbage)
½ cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
½ cup cooked red quinoa, preferably chilled
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds, for garnish
Make the dressing. In a food processor, combine the avocado oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, honey, ginger, and garlic and process until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl. Clean out the food processor bowl and blade.
Make the salad. In the clean food processor, combine the cashews and edamame and pulse until minced. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the chard, carrot, scallions, bell peppers, cabbage, cilantro, and quinoa.
Drizzle the dressing around the rim of the bowl, toss the salad well to coat, garnish with the sesame seeds, and serve.
Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories 420 / Fat 26g / Sat Fat 3g / Sodium 595mg
Carbs 43g / Fiber 5g / Sugar 15g / Protein 13g
Images and recipes courtesy of Clarkson Potter, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright 2018 by Alissandra Maffucci. Photographs copyright 2018 by Evan Sung.