Fresh, cooling food has been the order of the day here in the hot South West UK. And zucchini noodles (aka ‘Zoodles’) fit the bill perfectly. Eaten raw, they taste surprisingly like regular noodles or spaghetti, but lighter and fresher.
Have you joined the spiralizing craze yet? I started spiralizing this time a year ago, when my sister bought me one of those ‘pencil sharpener’ style spiralizing gadgets for my birthday.
It works surprisingly well for such a simple little tool. It’s perfect if you’re only planning on spiralizing one or two vegetables, or you make single meals. Any more than this and I find my wrist starts to ache from all that twisting action.
If you really get into spiralizing and want to experiment with vegetables like sweet potatoes, butternut squashes and beetroots, then I definitely think it’s worth investing in a bigger spiralizer.
A couple of weeks ago, just as I was contemplating purchasing a bigger spiralizer for the summer, Steamer Trading, a family-owned cookshop, contacted me and asked whether I’d like to test run the Dexam Spiralizer which they’d recently started to sell. Talk about perfect timing!
The Dexam model is similar to other spiralizers that I’d been checking out, where the vegetable is secured onto prongs, then you turn a wheel to start spiralizing. It comes with three different blades – a small grater/noodle blade, large grater/noodle blade and a ribbon blade – which neatly store underneath.
It’s incredibly easy to use and spiralizes a vegetable within a matter of seconds. Turning the handle is a breeze, with no stress on the wrists.
As well as being simple and quick to use, another advantage is that you can spiralize fat, wide vegetables (which you can’t do with the ‘pencil sharpener’ model). On the downside, it isn’t great for thin vegetables (like thin carrots or parsnips) as little of the vegetable actually hits the blade. So when choosing these kinds of vegetables, short and fat is far better than long and thin.
Spiralizing is great fun, and I’m sure kids would enjoy it too! Just make sure they keep their fingers away from the blades (or wear kitchen gloves) as they are super sharp!
One of my family’s favourite spiralized dishes is Tangy Peanut Zoodles. It’s perfect as a warm weather evening meal. It’s really simple to make and comes together in a matter of minutes.
First, whisk all the sauce ingredients together and set one side to allow the flavours to meld.
Spiralize your veggies. You can either use just courgettes or use a mix of courgettes and carrots.
Add in any additional veggies of choice. This week, I chose to add in some finely sliced sweet romano pepper…
and some lightly sauteed spring onions (scallions). If you use spring onions, be sure to wash them thoroughly. Score down the green parts so that you can open them up and wash out any grit. I had a really bad experience one time when I didn’t wash them out properly and ended up with a gritty noodle dish. It put me off spring onions for years!
I also added in some strips of smoked tofu, then it was time to drizzle on the sauce and stir through.
Divide between plates or bowls, sprinkle on some toasted sesame seeds for garnish…
(and some coriander leaves for the coriander lovers), and you’re ready to serve!
Hands-on time: 20 minutes Ready in: 20 minutes
Tangy Peanut Sauce
115g / ½ cup natural peanut butter (I used Meridian)
2 TBSP tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
1½ TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 TBSP maple syrup (I used Clarks Original)
10g / 2 tsp root ginger, peeled and finely grated*
3-4 TBSP water
2 medium courgettes (zucchinis) (500g), trimmed and sliced in half
2 large, fat carrots (360g), trimmed and sliced in half (or use another two courgettes)
Small bunch of spring onions (scallions), cleaned and sliced
1 sweet romano pepper or bell pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
200g / 7 oz marinated or smoked tofu, sliced into thin strips (I used Taifun Organic Smoked Tofu with Almonds and Sesame Seeds)
Toasted sesame seeds
Coriander leaves (cilantro), roughly chopped
To make the peanut sauce, place all the ingredients (except the water) in a small bowl. Whisk in the water, one tablespoon as a time until you have a smooth, fairly thick sauce.
Spiralize the courgettes and carrots and place in a large bowl.
The spring onions can either be used raw or sautéed for a couple of minutes in a teaspoon of oil. (I prefer the latter as I’m not a fan of the raw onion flavour).
Add the spring onions, romano/bell pepper and marinated/smoked tofu to the bowl.
Just before serving, drizzle on the peanut sauce and stir through to combine (you may not need all the sauce). Divide between plates/bowls, sprinkle on the garnish and serve.
Stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator, the spiralized veggies will keep for about 3 days and the peanut sauce for a week.
*To grate fresh ginger, be sure to use a sharp, fine grater otherwise the ginger will end up all stringy. I currently use the Oxo Good Grips Grater. It’s sharp enough to grate ginger well, but not sharp enough to slice your fingers!