By Bethany Trainor
While there are some seriously amazing gluten-free pastas out there, spiralized vegetables are a fun and fantastic alternative to the standard pasta night. It’s also a great way to increase vegetable intake.
Spiral “noodles” can be made from carrots, sweet potatoes, zucchini squash, and more. Try “spiralizing” fresh cucumbers for a twist on cucumber salad that won’t disappoint. The best part is it looks
like you put a lot of effort into spiralized dishes but they are secretly super fast and easy to whip up. There are many types of spiralizer gadgets to choose from and it’s all up to personal preference on which one to use.
Zucchini Noodle Bolognese
3 medium zucchini squash
½ Tbsp. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup gluten-free plant-based beef
alternative (such as Beyond Beef crumbles) *Can be replaced with ground beef if desired.
1 ½ cups favorite marinara sauce
recipe (can be store bought sauce for convenience)
Using a spiralizer, process the zucchini until spiral “noodles” are achieved. Set aside.
In a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and frozen plant-based beef alternative crumbles and cook until heated through. (*If using ground beef, skip olive oil and cook ground beef from fresh. Drain off any excess fat).
Add onions and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent.
Add marinara sauce.
Incorporate the zucchini spiral noodles and cook for 5-7 minutes or until al dente (retaining a somewhat firm texture).
Remove from heat and serve warm.
Sweet Potato “Pasta” with Spinach & Alfredo
2 large raw sweet potatoes, peeled
1 cup alfredo sauce of choice (or dairy-free/vegan alfredo sauce as alternative)
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and cracked black pepper
Over medium-high heat, bring one large pot of water to a boil. Optional: Add salt to water.
While the water is rising to a boil, peel and cut the ends off of two large sweet potatoes so the ends are flat.
Load one sweet potato at a time into the spiralizer and process. The result should be thin ribbon-like spirals of sweet potato. You may wish to cut some of the longer pieces depending on the size you want.
Once the spirals are ready, set a timer for 1 ½ to 3 minutes (maximum) and place them carefully in the boiling water. Cook for up to 3 minutes and check to ensure doneness (able to be easily cut by a knife or fork). Tip: Do NOT overcook. Overcooking can cause the noodles to break into small pieces and loose the noodle effect. (*If this does accidentally happen, you can always turn it into mashed sweet potatoes by mashing the pieces with a fork).
Once cooked, drain the noodles and top with your favorite traditional alfredo sauce or dairy-free/vegan alfredo sauce. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
In a small skillet over medium heat, quickly sauté spinach until it starts to wilt.
Add spinach to alfredo sauce and sweet potato noodles and serve warm.
Cucumber Spiral Salad with Pecan, Aged Cheese, & Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 or 2 large cucumbers
½ cup crumbled cheese of choice (aged
cheddar, blue cheese, shaved parmesan, or goat’s cheese work well). *Can replace with non-dairy alternative.
½ cup whole or chopped pecans
Using a spiralizer, process cucumbers until ribbon-like spirals are achieved.
Assemble all ingredients in a large serving bowl and toss with balsamic vinaigrette and serve.