Trade heavy winter pastas for lighter fare
No longer reduced to mere toppings, veggies take centre stage in these vibrant, flavonoid-filled "noodle" recipes. Arm yourself with a mandolin, julienne cutter, or spiralizer to find out how almost any vegetable can be made into a delicious, innovative gluten-free pasta bowl—in all the colours that you can imagine.
When we think of pasta, our minds typically go to the traditional wheat and semolina varieties—the centuries-old Italian staples loved by so many. But this norm has begun to change. Our longstanding passion for pasta is being fed with many other options. Gluten-free rice, quinoa, potato flour, and corn pastas now support the celiac diet and other dietary needs. Many of these alternatives don’t even taste very different from their gluten-filled counterparts. Spaghetti squash has also hit the target as an alternative pasta. Its noodle-like strands effortlessly carry all kinds of delicious sauces. Most recently, creative foodies have asked: if spaghetti squash works so well, why can’t noodles be made from all sorts of fresh, firm vegetables? Today, terrific machines, from large to hand-held, can manufacture vegetables into noodles and other pasta shapes right in your own kitchen. The beauty of homemade veggie noodles is that they don’t beg for heavy toppings. Little sauce preparation is required. Most veggie pastas can be eaten raw or cooked, and so make an ideal choice for those following raw food diets. Low in fat and full of healthy antioxidants, vegetable pastas are just what spring calls for.
Spiralizer machines can shave vegetables and fruits into all sorts of shapes, from spiral cuts to various noodle thicknesses, including shoestring.
Hand-held spiral vegetable cutters or “zoodlers” are versatile, as they have two ends and can make two thicknesses of noodles.
Hand-held julienne cutters are the least costly and most practical option. Some are equipped to make both spaghetti-sized slices and slices resembling fettuccine.
Mandolines are available from low cost to top of the line, but an economical model will do the trick as easily as an expensive one.
Food processors have various blades that will produce any amount of noodles in a flash, but the devices are not ideal for making long strands.
You can make noodles out of almost any vegetable, and when you do, you’ll have delicious pasta and a higher daily intake of veggies—a win-win. Softer vegetables such as zucchini or asparagus are better suited to a hand-held peeler or julienne cutter, whereas firmer vegetables such as carrots or beets can be cut into shapes using almost any tool. Try making noodles from any one of the following vegetables.