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Are you a lover of all things pasta but are trying to cut back on the carbohydrate overload? Vegetable pasta may not sound very interesting, but you’d be surprised what a little change in shape and the addition of a delicious pasta sauce can do to an otherwise neutral-tasting vegetable. The spiralizer is an incredibly useful addition to your kitchen appliance cabinet, as it lets you enjoy pasta in the most nutritious, figure-friendly and delicious way possible. Step away from the boiling water and discover just what a zucchini and some strategic cutting can add to your dietary arsenal. Enjoy!

A spiralizer is a device that quickly and effectively transforms vegetables, such as zucchini, beets and carrots into curly, pasta-like strands. Spiralizers are very useful in a plant-based kitchen, because aside from their aesthetic benefits, spiralizers take normally rough, chewy vegetables and ultimately makes them easier to chew and a pleasure to munch on raw. Spiralizers are the tools behind the creation of raw “pastas” that adequately mimic the real deal.

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The method is simple. Depending on the thickness and shape of the raw pasta you’d like – there are generally three sets of blades, one with 1/8-inch spacing, one with ¼-inch space, and another straight blade for making ribbon cuts. You fasten the vegetable (or fruit) between two prongs and turn the wheel. As you turn, the two ends of the prongs cut the vegetable and move closer together until the blade end reaches the base of the vegetables. Another, more thrifty, albeit second-rate, alternative to a spiralizer is a julienne peeler, which is a handheld device that cuts fruits and vegetables into thin, straight slices, much to the same affect as a spiralizer. Both options are affordable and beyond useful! 

Try you hand at this raw spiralized pasta with tahini tomato dressing recipe and then try different vegetable and sauce pairings until you find your favorites! Bon Appetit!

Raw Spiralized Pasta with Tahini Tomato Dressing

Serves 2

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Ingredients

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (nama shoyu)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Avocado, herbs, red pepper flakes, and/or cherry tomatoes for garnish (optional)
Directions
Slice off both ends of the zucchini with knife so that the edges are even. Place the zucchini between the Spiralizer prongs so that the edges hit flat against both the base end and the blade end. Begin to turn the wheel, applying pressure inwards toward the zucchini as you go. When you reach the end, collect the pasta strands and place into a medium-sized bowl. Season with salt and massage lightly with clean hands. Set aside while you prepare the dressing.
For the dressing, mix all remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix until smooth. Pour the dressing into the pasta bowl and fold the zucchini strands until each is covered evenly with the sauce. Serve with your choice of garnish. I used sliced avocado and red pepper flakes.

Photo Credit: GlowKitchen, Jessica Mullen