My friend Charlotte and I took a big step in our friendship. We went halfsies on a kitchen appliance – specifically a spiralizer. Now, I know this might raise a lot of questions. Such as, why are we splitting a spiralizer which costs just $30? And how do two people share custody of a kitchen appliance? Aren’t we risking our friendship since one of us could potentially hold the spiralizer hostage for too long?! Yes, it’s a weird thing to do. But we did it. And to celebrate she and I got together and made a sweet potato and beet salad. It was delicious!!
We decided to split the spiralizer because neither of us felt ready to commit wholeheartedly to a spiralizer. It seemed like such a silly, trendy, single-use appliance. Would we really use it that often? Would we even like it? In fact, I think we might love it. Already we’ve both had possession of it more than once. It’s also really fun to use! I find great amusement in turning a crank and transforming a round vegetable into a pile of gorgeous ringlets. And also the end result is so pretty. I know food doesn’t have to be pretty, but it does make it a little bit better though right? And in fact Charlotte and I also made a spiralized pear and apple dessert that cooked down to what Ryan called “fruit slop,” so I think food appearance can matter.
I would also feel remiss if I didn’t mention what Charlotte calls “nubbins.” She was delightfully giggly over the left over bits of sweet potato and beets. Basically when you spiralize a vegetable you push it through a corer and as the vegetable turns it creates spirals. But, the part pushed through the corer makes a cylinder attached to a base of vegetable that’s too thin to spiralize. It’s perfectly edible vegetable, but more hilarious looking than normal. I begrudgingly took a photo of them. But now I think maybe you’ll enjoy the behind the scenes world of spiralizing. Anyway, we roasted our nubbins along with the our veggie noodles.
We decided to roast our noodles, but you can also boil or saute them. What we liked about roasting is that some of the ends and skinnier pieces got crispy and crunchy and really wonderfully delicious.
I’ll be honest, while I’m someone who believes in tricking myself to eat vegetables, I wasn’t sure I’d buy into vegetable noodles. I mean real pasta is pure joy. How could veggie noodles compare?! Wheat pasta will always have a place. Always. But I here’s my discovery: I love vegetable noodles. I have bought in. I get the same pleasure from twirling the colorful strands around my fork and slurping them up, just like I do from regular pasta.
Spaghetti is my favorite meal, and it always has been. So the connection that this meal had to that nostalgic sense memory is pretty powerful. Plus, sweet potatoes and beets have really lovely flavors. Along with the spirals, I threw in some goat cheese (because it’s creamy goodness), I made a balsamic dressing (yum!), and also tossed in some kale (because I’m trying to finish this giant bag – will it ever end?!).
In summation, I wholeheartedly recommend spiralizing. I recommend it so much that I think you should consider going out and buying a spiralizer that’s all yours. Yeah, you don’t even have to share. But I do think sharing is nice as I don’t have to store it all the time. Plus, it’s sort of fun taking this very serious friendship step with Charlotte. So go ahead, find a friend to share a spiralizer with.
Messy level: This is a hard one to judge because beets are inherently messy and they stain everything. However, the cooking part of this is pretty clean. Sprialize you vegetables, roast them in the oven, and then toss a few other ingredients in. Easy peasy friends.
- 1 medium sweet potato, washed and peeled
- 3-4 medium beets, washed and peeled
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 oz goat cheese (more or less to your taste)
- 1 cup kale, leaves washed, torn, and massaged
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- pinch red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard.
- Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C
- Depending on your thickness preference, choose the spiralizer blade that will give you either the thin noodles or slightly thicker noodles. Don't use the blade that cuts ribbons. Once you've chosen your blade set up your spiralizer with a baking sheet placed next to it so it can catch the vegetables.
- Spiralize the sweet potato and arrange it on the baking sheet. I recommend doing the potato first because it will make a lot.
- Next spiralize the beets. Spiralize as many beets as you need to get an even ratio with sweet potato. Arrange the beet spirals on the cookie sheet.
- With a knife or kitchen scissors cut the super long spirals into edible lengths.
- Toss the spirals with the 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Season the spirals with salt and pepper (about ¼-1/2 teaspoon of each should do it)
- Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes. When the timer is done test a piece to make sure it's cooked to your desired level. If it's still too crunch cook the spirals further, at 5 minute intervals, until it's to your liking.
- While the spirals are roasting, make the dressing. In a jar with a lid, or in a bowl, mix together all ingredients for the dressing. Shake the jar (or stir vigorously) until you have an emulsion and all the ingredients are mixed together.
- When the spirals are done put them in a large bowl. Toss in the kale leaves, goat cheese, and dressing. Mix until everything is coated.
- Serve in individual bowls with forks.