Happy New Year! This is my first post of 2016 so it kind of had to be a healthy one really. After the vast quantities of desserts, cheese and alcohol I consumed over the Christmas period I feel I should probably cut back a bit and try and be healthy for a little while at least... That is proving to be rather difficult while there are still piles of Christmas chocolates scattered around the house; it is probably a good idea to eat them all to get rid of the temptation...
I have no problem with cooking healthy meals however, especially after receiving my new toy - an OXO hand held spiralizer. This is my first experience of spiralising and although I was initially a little skeptical about the whole thing I am now hooked! I've been spiralising loads of different vegetables and it's definitely got me excited about cooking healthy foods (and some not so healthy, I reckon you could make amazing curly fries with spiralised potato...). It took a bit of practice to get the technique right; my preferred way to use it is to place the spiraliser flat on a chopping board, hold the vegetable in place with one hand and turn the spiraliser with the other, rather than turning the vegetable. I had good results with courgette, carrot, sweet potato, potato, cucumber and beetroot; the sweet potato is a bit of a workout and the food holder doesn't work very well with it as the potato is too hard but it is worth the effort; I also found that it works best with fairly fat vegetables, it is difficult to spiralise a skinny carrot so with things like carrots and courgette use the fattest ones you can find. The best thing about it is the size though, it is small enough to fit in a drawer so doesn't take up much precious kitchen space!
My favourite dish that I have made using it so far is these vegetable noodle bowls with peanut sauce; I used a colourful mix of sweet potato, carrot and courgette with buckwheat noodles and a really simple but incredibly tasty peanut sauce. It is an extremely healthy, nutritious meal, yet is also really filling and delicious, not to mention quick and easy to make. You'll notice that I didn't use exclusively vegetable noodles, that is because I don't believe in cutting out carbs completely, I simply do not feel satisfied unless I have at least a bit of something carby in a meal; it is still mostly vegetables though! The part that takes the longest is preparing all of the veg, spiralising everything takes a while! Once that is done though it only takes about 15 minutes to cook everything, you only want to cook the veg until it has just started to soften as it is nicest when it retains a bit of crunch. I also made this dish using spiralized beetroot, which was lovely but does turn the whole dish pink, which is why I didn't include it here. If you don't mind eating pink noodles then add the beetroot to the pan at the same stage as the sweet potato.
Spiralized Vegetable Noodle Bowls With Peanut Sauce
- 3 tbsp smooth peanut butter or tahini
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- ½ tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp sriracha/hot sauce optional, add more or less to taste
- 1 garlic clove crushed or finely grated
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger peeled and finely grated
- 2 tbsp boiling water
- 140 g (5oz) buckwheat noodles
- 1 medium/large sweet potato peeled and spiralized
- 1 large fat carrot, peeled and spiralized
- 1 large courgette zucchini, spiralized
- sesame seeds/chopped peanuts slices of lime and sliced spring onions to serve
- To make the sauce, whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl until smooth; alternatively you can blitz them in a food processor. Set aside.
- Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet, drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
- Place the sweet potato noodles in a wok with a splash of water, cook over a low heat, stirring regularly and adding more water as necessary, for about 10 minutes until the potato is tender but still retains some bite.
- Add the carrot noodles to the wok and cook for another minute or two until the carrot just begins to soften. Add the courgette noodles and cook for another minute, stirring regularly.
- Finally add the buckwheat noodles and the sauce, toss everything together and continue to cook until it is all warmed through. Be careful not to overcook it, you want the vegetables to retain a bit of crunch.
- Season with salt and pepper then serve topped with toasted sesame seeds or chopped peanuts and a scattering of sliced spring onions and a spritz of lime juice if you like.
Disclosure: I was sent a free OXO spiralizer to review but I was not paid to write this post and all opinions are my own.