Rookie Chef weighs in on this trendy food trend you’re probably seeing everywhere but haven’t tried yet.
We know what you’re thinking: “this too shall pass” when discussing the hype about veggie noodle, zoodles, vegg-oodles – whatever you want to call them. However, we at Rookie Chef can confidently state that we’re on that veggie noodle train and will be on for awhile. With more and more ideas coming out about what vegetables to noodle, the possibilities are really endless.
What Do You Make Them With?
We’ve seen the infomercials for the Veggetti, we’ve seen them pre-packaged in the grocery stores, we’ve seen them in the frozen section, we’ve made them ourselves.
The spiralizer is the OG veggie noodler and really came onto the scene in 2014. Good Housekeeping released an article debuting the clunky kitchen gadget with promises that this product was the future of vegetables and a great low-carb option to add into anyone’s diet (P.S. this is still true).
A few years later the Veggetti came on the scene offering essentially the result of the standard spiralizers that were on the market but as a handheld device that fits in your kitchen utensil drawer. With two noodle size options – a more spaghetti size vs. linguine size – this product really seemed to take off and raise popularity because of the name recognition…it really is fun to say.
The OG spiralizers are a great tool and offer several noodle size options. Unless you’re preparing them for 3+ servings, this might just be a waste of cabinet space. The Veggetti is a great space option and for small serving sizes, however I found that the noodles broke often and the funnel shape made the vegetable tougher to twist. We found this alternative handheld option at Target one day though and enjoyed this version best. The OXO 3 Blade Hand Held Spiralizer is a touch bigger than the Veggetti, offers 3 sizes of noodles (spaghetti, linguine and ribbons), was easier to crank and has a wider mouth, offering more space for larger veggies like a sweet potato or beet.
What Have We Made?
Zucchini Noodles – We’ve discovered that the classic zucchini noodle is a great way to cut carbs while not necessarily giving up your pasta favorites. Noodling 1-2 zucchinis take less time than waiting for a pot of water to boil for pasta. Zucchini noodles with sauce and turkey meatballs are a weeknight favorite. Now, we’re not trying to tell you these will replace your carby pasta cravings and these definitely don’t have the same exact consistency as pasta, but these noodles will get you that same shape and delivery method to your mouth without the massive food coma after.
There are dozens of ways to prepare but the key is to not overheat. With any zucchini dish, you might want to salt the noodles and let rest on a towel to remove some of the excess moisture to avoid some sogginess. We’ve found success with adding a touch of oil to a pan and just heating through for about a minute or two (avoid any longer to prevent soggy noodles). Alternatively, we have used raw veggie noodles as a bowl base alternative to lettuce, rice, Asian noodles and more. While we have only experimented with zucchini we have seen beet, carrot, parsnip, yam and potato options as well.
Cauliflower Rice – Only recently tried this, we must say this is going to be one of our favorite carb swap options. Again, just like with the zucchini noodles, don’t expect to get the same bite and heaviness from this veggie option as your regular rice. That’s the point though! Rookie Chef is a big fan of Asian dishes. Adding cauliflower rice to your entrée will give you a different texture but saves you a lot of calories, carbs and starches. AND you can just check the guilt of going for seconds at the door – it’s just vegetable after all.
In addition to acting as a rice base alternative, we have experimented with adding this into stuffed pepper filling and pizza crusts. While we haven’t yet made our own crusts just yet, the Wegman’s brand Frozen Cauliflower Crust isn’t dry and doesn’t crumble like crackers as you might find with other gluten-free options.
Overall, Rookie Chef says that veggie noodles are here to stay and we’re excited to keep experimenting with new recipes and vegetables! Do you have a go-to recipe for veggie noodles that you love or want us to try? Leave a comment below!