Thursday, September 8, 2011

Gone Spiral

summer squash, daikon and carrot noodles with cinnamon basil pesto

Holee molee, this post has been a long time getting off the ground. It's been sitting in my publish Q since last Sunday...better late than never, I guess. 

Last Saturday, when I received my latest kitchen acquisition, I couldn't wait to try it out:  

I'm a big believer in the saying that the best tool in the kitchen is your hands but, I'd be hard pressed to do this to such effect with my bare hands: 

spiralized veggies 

I've been wanting one of these for a while, and in looking around for which kind to buy I read several product reviews. Some spiralizers were said to produce a lot of waste, leaving a lot of the vegetable unspiralized after it was all over. Others worked on soft veggies like zucchini but didn't do so well with hard ones like carrots and beets. This one got good reviews on both those counts. 

It has a simple design, which is an attractive characteristic in a gadget if you ask me. It may seem a little pricey for what it is, but it works well, is easy to use, and easy to clean. I feel like it's worth the money, provided it's something you'll use with some frequency. It's funny, you read such wildly different reviews; some people hated this product, others loved it. In the end, everyone has to decide for themselves. 

I know a lot of you have spiralizers: any tips or tricks or things you especially like to use them for? There's a picture in the instruction booklet of potato curls...(I'm thinking curly fries). 

For my first run, I decided keep it tame and make some veggie noodles to toss with pesto.

Speaking of kitchen gadgets, I don't know whether a pestle and mortar qualifies as one or not, but either way, I don't have one.  A shameful state of affairs really, so I usually make pesto by chopping it up really fine, tossing it into a bowl and stirring in a tablespoon or two of oil at the very end.  I used cinnamon basil for this batch--the leaves are less spongy than sweet basil and it has a subtle cinnamon scent and taste. It's great used in desserts and produces pretty purple flowers.

In other new products, I ran across these tofu-based dips:

We tried the curry flavor, which was reminded me of tofu "egg" salad, but, I'm not sure I'll buy it again. They have a few other flavors, has anyone seen or tried any of them? 

We spent most of the weekend lazing around in the garden, which gave way to making pickled nasturtium seeds.  I have lots of them in the garden and it was easy to gather a little jar full of fresh green seeds. It's an interesting idea from one of my fav kitchen books called The Magic of Herbs; they're supposed to be a similar to capers when they're done, which makes sense. They won't be ready for another six weeks, and I'll post more about them then if they turn out well. 

green nasturtium seeds

And finally, please ignore my gnarly knuckle, but here's a cute little ring made from a blade of grass, a clover, and some teeny yellow flowers. It actually stayed on most of the day; I was quite chuffed about it:


  1. That ring is too cute!! I remember being a kid and making daisy and clover chains that made me super happy.
    Very interested to see how the nasturium seeds come out - I love capers.
    And I just spiralized tonight but I didn't do as thorough research as you into hard/soft veggies. I have yet to try anything except zucchini. I did read something about spiralizing sweet potato - that I'd like to do. I assume it'd be similar to the carrot. Looks gorgeous, as always.

  2. Yikes, Rose, we must be on the same wavelength. I just got the exact same spiralizer, maybe even the same day, and have photos ready to go for almost the exact same post! I used different sauces for my pasta but yours looks delish. I was so busy with the Vida vegan posts I didn't have time to get this one published, but it's coming soon. I really like the gadget but find it a little hard to clean because food gets stuck around the blade. It's fun, though, and works well. I also did carrots and beets but found I had to apply pressure to get it to work well.

    Are you going to the harvest festival on Saturday?

  3. I really need to find myself a spiralizer. I'm dying to try zucchini noodles!

    The ring is amazing too, I love it!

  4. and once again, i feel like coming over to eat : )

  5. Maud:

    I think beets and potatoes are going to be the next sprializing project to give those tougher veggies a try. I always loved daisy chains too; that's what got me started in the grass, but I don't have any daisies.

    I'll let you know about the nasturtiums. I'm very interested to see what they're like too!


    Wow, we really must be sharing some space in the ether! I'll be looking forward to your post and see what you got up to. Do you mean the food gets caught around the lower blade? Yeah, I've notice that but I've been able to get it out fairly well using the cleaning brush from the juicer.

    I'm going to try beets next.

    As for the harvest fair, I doubt it. I went last year (or was it the year before?) and wasn't very impressed...I was expecting way more veggies, starts and harvest feasting, but it seemed like a bunch of sales booths and there wasn't much to eat for vegans. I'm also a little miffed at Seattle Tilth with the way they promote city chickens and city goats. I used to be a member, but I didn't renew my membership this year.

    Have a great weekend; it's going to be a stunner. My bro is visiting from OR and we'll be making the most of the sunny days. :D

  6. Isobelle: You'll be surprised at how filling the squash noodles are...I know I was at least. :D

    Thanks Stephanie! :)

  7. Rose. your spiralized pasta dish looks awesome! You make the most amazing and beautiful dishes! I don't have a spiralizer, but I am wanting one, badly. I've been wanting to try raw pasta for some time now. Looks like I may go shopping this weekend. :o)

    I've never heard of nasturtium seeds, but they sound very interesting. I'm anxious to see how your pickled ones turn out.

    Love the ring! I'm like Maud, I used to make jewelry out of clover when I was a kid. :o)

  8. OMG the ring is SO CUTE! Shen is right, your photography IS amazing. I'm quite jealous. As I'm jealous about your spiralizer. I've wanted one for a while, but have no room for new equipment right now! Your veggie noodles look so pretty!

  9. Haha! Spiral veggies! Too cute. I must say that I would use the shit out of that gadget. :)

  10. Now you have me wondering about what kitchen gadets you do and don't have ... a spiralizer was pretty low on my list, but you are making it look pretty good. I'm intrigued with how you coated the veggies with your pesto - they really held up!

    I get so much use out of my mini food processor for pesto and hummus, but your chopped pesto proves you don't need one!

  11. I agree with you about the Harvest Festival and Tilth in general. That's exactly how I felt, but being an optimist, I always hope this year's event will be better than the last.

  12. Michelle:

    I think you'd really like the veggie noodles, it took me a while to take the leap on the spiralizer, but now I'm happy I did. I was telling myself for a long time that if I wanted veggie noodles I could just take the time and chop them up really thinly by hand, but that never seemed to happen and they wouldn't be as fun as the spiralized version.

    I let you know about the nasturtiums!


    Hey, thanks for stopping by. I know what you mean about not having kitchen is storage-space-challenged. So far, I've just been 'storing' the spiralizer on the chopping block and moving it out the way when I need to chop...not ideal. :D


    Yeah, I think I'll use it quite often too; you should get one; I'm sure you'd have a lot of fun with it.

  13. Jessica:

    I guess you're right, I may have more gadgets than I think I depends on how you define a gadget. To me, things like food processors are kitchen appliances, not gadgets ( I do have a food processor and use it all the time). :D The veggie noodles are sturdy...with the carrot and daikon it was rather crunchy too.


    Yeah, I know. I was expecting something more "harvesty" right?...Whatever that means, but I'd know it if I saw it. Maybe it will be better this time around...I've only been to one, so they may differ greatly from year to year, who knows?

    If you go, give us an update.

  14. I love the ring!

    I do not have a spiralizer or pestal/morter set, so you're one up on me as far as that goes. :) I'll be looking forward to seeing what else you make with the spiralizer. It looks like it would be fun!

    I've never even heard of nasturtium. Interesting! That what I love about blogs- you not only get to know such great people but you also learn fun new things. :)

  15. Molly:

    I agree about the blogs: I've learned so much by reading other people's blogs! It's great. :D

  16. I have a spiralizer just like yours! Wow, you're reminding me to get it out again, especially now that zucchini season is upon us. You're so creative, I'm eager to see what other uses for it you come up with. Plus, that ring is just way too cute ;-)

  17. Your Spirals are gorgeous.

    It seems a crime to chop up that Basil.

    Can't wait to hear how the Nasturtium Capers turn out.

    The 'ring' is delightful. Literally priceless.

  18. I really need to get myself a spiralizer. Those veggies look so pretty!

  19. A spiralizer! Never even considered getting such a gadget, but I so love what you created with yours I'm tempted to add one to my gadget collection! Now look what you did. LOL (At least our new kitchen doesn't scrimp on storage space!)

    The spiralized veggies are so pretty, and the taters you did that ended up making good hash browns are really fun. What a nifty gizmo!

    And I love your ring! Jewelry by Mother Nature, very pretty and very you! :-)

  20. P.S. You and Andrea are spooky! You've got the vegan mind-meld thing going on like Molly and I often do! :-) Have you guys met in person yet?

  21. I think it's a cool gadget to have around...I got it mainly to make veggie noodles.

    Andrea and I haven't met yet, but I'm going to a potluck at her house in Nov, so won't be too long now. :)


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