Today’s topic is “zoodles.” Zoodles is short for “zucchini noodles.” I’m using the word a bit loosely today to refer to veggie “noodles” in general, because I don’t have any actual zucchini noodles in this particular post.
There’s a reason we don’t refer to “squoodles” for “squash noodles,” “swoodles” for “sweet potato noodles,” etc.! Talk about a tongue twister! We’ll just stick with “zoodles,” but I did want to talk about what else can be used this way.
Zucchini and other squashes are commonly used as noodle substitutes, but other vegetables can also be spiralized. Carrots, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, beets, etc.
Wait, spira-what? Spiralized. Spiralizing is what makes the distinctive veggie noodles. They’re sliced into long narrow spirals that result in a spaghetti-like appearance. As an added bonus, most veggies cook a lot faster this way, so even if you don’t plan to use them as a “noodle substitute,” this can be really helpful for slow-cooking vegetables. (You’ll see that highlighted a little later with the recipe in this post.) There are a variety of spiralizers on the market, in a handful of different basic styles, mostly manual.
I’ve tried several, and hated them all. They made a huge mess and they just basically didn’t work. But then I got to try this VeggieBullet. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I did not buy this machine. I reviewed a book of NutriBullet recipes on my other blog, and I can only assume the company saw my note about not having tried the actual NutriBullet before, because both machines showed up on my doorstep. And wow, does the VeggieBullet work so much better for this! With a hard vegetable like sweet potatoes, you have to push kind of hard, but it works well.
There’s a small hollow post in the center of blade attachment…
When the rest of the vegetable is all sliced up, you’re left with a piece you need to pull out of the hole from where the post stabilized it.
The only downside is you have to open the container a couple times and empty it out if you’re making a lot of zoodles. See this lovely pile of sweet potato noodles?
These sweet potato noodles were used to make an adaptation of the Sweet Potato Cheeseburger Casserole from PaleoHacks. I have no idea why it’s called “cheeseburger” casserole, because it contains no cheese or cheese substitutes. (If you’re a cheese eater, you can top it with cheese if you like, though.) Perhaps it just looks a bit like cheeseburger casserole because the sweet potatoes are orange?
I omitted/substituted for the tomato ingredients, and replaced the smoked paprika with regular paprika due to food sensitivity issues in our household. I also skipped the other veggies (onions, carrots, celery) this time ’round, simply because of what I did and did not have on hand. It was pretty tasty, and even the non-sweet-potato-lovers in my house liked this okay.
Recipe: Sweet Potato “Cheeseburger” Casserole
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, spiralized
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. grass-fed ground beef, browned (with onions, celery, etc. if you like)
- 1 tsp. oregano (dry)
- 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. paprika
- ½ tsp. chili powder
- 2 c. chicken stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- Dump everything into a very large skillet or a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.
gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free
If your beef isn't already browned, put just the oil and beef in a skillet and brown well, then add the remaining ingredients and follow the instructions from that point. (I usually brown a large package of beef at once and store it in 1-lb. increments in the freezer.)