Last week, I got a spiralizer. I am well aware that they were all the rage last year, but I sort of dismissed them along with the so-called clean eating gurus who were flogging them. I didn’t buy into their crazy rhetoric that such a thing as courgetti could replace such a thing as spaghetti, so I sure as hell wasn’t going to buy the gadget! Yeah, the name works but the taste, texture and overall enjoyment? No thanks. I’m an inclusive eater, no one food group gets cut out in favour of another in my diet… we’re all one happy (mostly) balanced family in my tummy. However in the name of research, I’ve decided to give the courgetti or the zoodles a go, but only alongside rather than instead of their carb friends!
The good thing about jumping on a trend so late is that lots of people have already outlined the pros and cons of each of the main types of spiralizer. The one that’s like a giant pencil sharpener is as silly as it sounds and should be avoided at all costs, but the horizontal and vertical ones (depending on which way the vegetable goes through the slicing process) are much of a muchness. I’ve got a horizontal one which seems to be the most common; it was even the version of choice by two well-known spiralizing sister… mines exactly like theirs minus the branding and the huge mark up!
It was pretty easy to use, and dare I say, actually made my vegetable prep even more enjoyable. Hello, my name is Connie, and I am one of those odd people who finds the slicing and dicing part of cooking very soothing… Anyway, I sliced the ends off my vegetables, pushed one end into the metal knob while holding it in place at the other end with the spikes, then I turned the handle and spiralized. One minute I had a whole courgette and the next, I had a whole bowl of beautiful courgette curls! My spiralizer came with three blades to make thin curls, thick curls, and ribbons, which handily slid under the main body when not in use – a good safety feature I think. The only thing I didn’t like was the wastage from the core but it wasn’t exactly hard to chop that up finely and disperse it in with everything else!
So to enable me to keep playing around with my new favourite gadget and spiralize as much as possible, I decided to make one of my favourite spring salads… an Asian-style prawn and noodle salad. Normally I’d spend a good few minutes meticulously julienning all the vegetables, but with the help of the spiralizer, I was done in a flash! This is a great weekend lunch dish, especially when you have guests as it’s so easy to pull together and you can prepare it a little ahead of time. It’s also cheap to make and so easy to tailor to tastes and dietary requirements.
Asian-Inspired Prawn & Noodle Salad
For the salad
- 1 medium courgette
- 1 medium carrot
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 red pepper, julienned
- 1 spring onion, finely chopped
- 50g vermicelli
- 250g prawns, peeled and cleaned
- zest of half a lime
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the dressing
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 small chilli, finely chopped
Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl, then set aside.
Combine the prawns with the lime zest and garlic, then set aside to marinade.
Cook the vermicelli according to packet instructions, then drain and transfer to a large bowl.
Spiralize the courgette and carrot using the smallest blade, and the cucumber with the large ribbon blade, before combining with the vermicelli.
Add the red pepper to the vermicelli and vegetables.
Pour over the dressing and combine well.
In a frypan, heat the oil and fry the prawns until cooked through. Then add to the rest of the salad, sprinkle over the spring onions and voila – it’s time to eat!
Have you got a spiralizer? Do you use it often?
Thanks to Ideal World for providing me with one of their spiralizers and cookbooks for inspiration, but as always, all opinions are mine and mine alone!