INSPIRALIZED.

Anybody that spends any time at all with me / follows me on Instagram will know that recently bought a Spiralizer. For those of you that are blissfully unaware, you are about to discover the greatest kitchen appliance known to man. A Spiralizer is a device that basically turns vegetables into spaghetti. GENIUS HUH. For the last few weeks I’ve been experimenting like crazy and I’ve finally mastered the art of making the most sensational Courgetti, AKA courgette spaghetti. The Spiralizer I use is the Lurch Spirali and I got it off Amazon – there are a few others you can choose from but I love mine and highly recommend it. It also turns vegetables into ribbons so you can create an amazing stir fry  or salad if you get bored of Courgetti. It makes vegetables look ever so fancy.20140628-182353-66233107.jpgThe Spiralizer is pretty easy to use. Essentially all you’ve got to do is attach the courgette to the machine and turn the arm until the Courgetti starts coming out the other end. It takes a bit of practice but you’ll get there in the end. There are 3 different blades so you can create Courgetti (or whatever vegetable you wish to manipulate) in 3 different shapes and sizes, its very exciting and I’m sure you’ll discover what works best for you after some practice.

It’s hard to say how many courgettes to use per dish but I’d say one large one per person as a side dish or 2-3 as a main depending how hungry you are. You’ll find that there are rarely leftovers no matter how many you use because it’s so moorish! I always plan on making extra for my lunch the next day but it just never happens. I suggest chopping a large courgette in half to make it easier to spiralize and then once it’s all done it’s good to chop it up a little bit so the length isn’t long and unmanageable. I also sometimes dry it out with kitchen towel if I have time to take out some of the moisture. No matter what I cook it in or how I cook it there is always quite a bit of liquid that is produced whilst it’s cooking – the best thing to do is just drain this away before serving it up. it doesn’t make the courgetti soggy or anything it just doesn’t look great.20140628-182420-66260500.jpgThe picture above is Courgetti Bolognese. Pretty simple and so satisfying, you really won’t miss the spaghetti and you can eat as much as you want without feeling half as guilty as you would with real Spag Bol. For my bolognese I did the following…

Ingredients: Extra lean beef mince / chopped onions (red or white – I like to use one of each) / crushed garlic / tomato pesto / 1 tsp Marmite / tomato puree / a big squeeze of Heinz tomato ketchup / chopped sun-dried tomatoes / a splash of tabasco / salt, pepper & a tablespoon of brown sugar

Method: Fry off the onions and garlic until soft, add the mince and cook through, simmer for a while and add seasoning (leave the sugar until the end), add the sun-dried tomatoes, pesto and puree and stir through, add everything else (add as much or as little as you like – keep tasting it), leave to simmer for half an hour on a low heat. Use a big pan to cook the courgetti – fry it off lightly in Lurpak’s cooks mist and mix in the sauce. Leave to cook through for about 10 minutes.

FYI – Usually for my bolognese I’d add chopped tomatoes but with the courgetti being so watery it’s better not to.20140628-182454-66294504.jpg

20140628-182523-66323540.jpgMy most popular Courgetti dish yet has got to be my Homemade Pea Pesto with Toasted Pine Nuts and Fresh Basil. I’ve made it quite a lot and it’s gone down a treat every time.

Ingredients: Frozen peas / olive oil /pine nuts / fresh basil / fresh parmesan / salt & pepper

Method: Place the frozen peas in boiling water to defrost slightly and then drain. Throw in a blender with all the other ingredients (I haven’t given quantities because it’s best just to do it to taste) and whizz it all up until it resembles a thick paste. Heat the courgetti in a large pan and spray with Lurpack’s cooks mist, leave to simmer for 5 minutes. Stir through the sauce and leave to cook through for about 10 minutes. Sometimes I add roasted veg (see below), sometimes I add sugar snap peas (see above 2 images) or sometimes i just top with toasted pine nuts and fresh basil and serve. it’s extra delicious with a handful of shaved parmesan on top too but that all depends on how naughty you’re being.20140628-182545-66345420.jpg

20140628-182803-66483268.jpgBefore I dissevered the pea pesto recipe I was experimenting with different things. Something that really worked well was the dish above. Creamy King Prawn Courgetti with Avocado & Sugar Snap Peas.

Ingredients: Raw king prawns / sugar snap peas / low-fat creme fraiche / 1 small avocado / frozen peas / sweet chilli sauce / chilli flakes / salt & pepper / lime juice / coriander / parmesan

Method: Fry off the prawns in the sweet chilli sauce until cooked through and pink, add a squeeze of lime and a handful of chopped coriander, stir in the peas and the sugar snap peas and cook for 5 minutes then stir through a big dollop of creme fraiche and let it simmer. Cook the courgetti exactly how I’ve previously mentioned but this time also stir through a mashed up avocado and add the sauce. Top with a drizzle of the sweet chilli, some shaved parmesan, chilli flakes and a sprinkling of coriander.20140628-182818-66498082.jpgThe dish above is my Courgetti with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto. It’s exactly the same recipe as the pea pesto but instead of whizzing up peas in the blender I used roasted red peppers and tomatoes that had just come straight out the oven. I added a healthy squeeze of tomato puree and topped with LOTS of fresh basil, rocket and grated mozzarella. See below.20140628-182830-66510425.jpg

20140628-182856-66536430.jpgCourgette’s don’t always have to resemble spaghetti, they also work very well as noodles. See above my Oriental Vegetable Stir Fry with Courgette Ribbons.

Ingredients: 3 courgettes (two spiralled into noodles and one into ribbons) / frozen peas / sliced shiitake mushrooms / bean sprouts / soy sauce / sweet chilli dip / lime juice / salt & chilli flakes

Method: Fry off all the ingredients in a wok until soft, add seasoning and sauces as you go – VERY SIMPLE. This dish would also be delicious with prawns or chicken added in.20140628-182917-66557766.jpgObviously there are only so many courgettes one can eat in a lifetime. I mean I’m pretty certain I’ll NEVER get bored of Courgetti but I had to see what else my Spiralizer was capable of. Turns out cucumbers are also very versatile. I’ve only just started experimenting but here are a couple of my cold cucumber noodle salads. Above is a delicious and fresh Avocado, Coriander & Lime Cucumber Noodle Salad for you to have a go at. it’s one of my favourites.

Ingredients: Half a large cucumber (spiralized into noodles) / 1 lime / 1 large avocado / a handful of chopped coriander / soy sauce / salt & pepper

Method: Slice the avocado and put it in a bowl with the cucumber noodles, add the lime juice, soy, coriander and seasoning and stir through. Leave to marinate for at least half an hour. Voila.

P.S. this dish is AMAZING with chopped raw tuna – leave it all to marinate over night and the tuna cooks in the acid from the lime. IT’S DIVINE.20140628-183041-66641969.jpgI decided I wanted to make a Vegetarian Satay Salad and created my own satay sauce from scratch. I wouldn’t say I have perfected the recipe but it was definitely a good try.

Salad Ingredients: Half a large cucumber (half ribbons and half noodles) / sugar snap peas / chopped baby corn / frozen peas / chopped celery / bean sprouts

Sauce Ingredients: 1 large spoon of low-fat peanut butter / toasted sesame oil / sweet chilli dip / soy sauce / a drizzle of honey / boiling water

I’m not going to give you a method for this one because it’s pretty simple and I want to try it again but I basically reduced all the ingredients for the sauce down in a pan and stirred in boiling water until it was a good consistency. Then I waited for it to cool down and stirred it into the salad. As I said it wasn’t perfect but it was pretty damn tasty.20140628-183100-66660917.jpg

20140628-183514-66914075.jpgI’m going to experiment a bit more with cucumbers and I want to see what I can do with other vegetables but in the mean time feast your eyes on tonight’s dinner…20140629-210410-75850704.jpgOriental Vegetable Stir Fry with Okra & Water Chestnuts

Ingredients: 2 large courgette’s (spiralized into noodles) / frozen baby Okra / tinned water chestnuts / kale / sugar snap peas / frozen peas / baby corn / sweet chilli sauce / lime juice / coriander AND THE BIGGEST CHEAT OF ALL – a Sainsbury’s packet terriyaki & ginger sauce sachet!

Method: stir it alllllll up in a wok and add the sauce. DUH.

I will be back with more riveting recipes soon y’all – I hope you enjoyed that and HAPPY SPIRALIZING!

P.S. I am not the genius that came up with the term ‘INSPIRALIZED’, this girls is…. Ali Maffucci.

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