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Many of us are familiar with the poem, “March winds bring April showers, and April showers bring May flowers.” As April approached, I thought of a twist for my column - April showers also bring May’s vegetables and fruits.

My friend Kelly Wisner posted an interesting article on Facebook, "34 Alternative Noodle Recipes That Pasta Fanatics Will Love.” This was my introduction to spiralizing. I found it intriguing and contacted Wisner and we made a plan to get together to make good, healthy food. I wanted her to teach me about spiralizing.

Spiralizing was a new term for me. Spiralizing is an art transforming vegetables and fruits into noodles. To do this, you need a spiralizer. It is an inexpensive kitchen tool. Kelly uses a Spirali spiralizer but also recommends a Veggetti spiralizer. These cost approximately $25 to $30. The Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer got 71 percent 5-star reviews on Amazon.com. Amazon.com has many varieties. If you own a Kitchenaid stand mixer, there is an attachment available for spiralizing.

The spiralizer functions like a giant pencil sharpener.  Firm vegetables and fruits must be washed and peeled. They are held in place with a clamp over the grinder. As the crank is turned, the vegetable disappears into the hold of the tool producing a pile of noodles. This form of ‘Pasta’ is gluten-Free, carb-free and grain-free.

You may ask the benefits of spiralizing. It can have many benefits such as adding a variety of fruits and vegetables to the diet. Vegetables and fruits are naturally full of antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and other nutrients. They are also lower in calories, sugar and carbohydrates. These are good, unprocessed carbohydrates. According to Wisner, spiralizing is a healthier way to eat. It also makes a beautiful presentation of textures and colors.

The spiralizer creates a larger volume of “noodles.” It seems like you are eating a larger portion. Wisner adds different sauces to the noodles. Wisner believes in making different “noodles” and interchanging them with her sauce recipes. The first dish she made was Papaya “noodles” using a firm papaya. She added black beans, tomatoes and topped it with coconut curry sauce. This can be served warm. It can also be served cold as a salad over a mix of greens. Beans may be added for protein.

The second dish was Asian Pear Pad Thai. This can be served warm or used as a cold salad. This can also be topped with beans, peanuts, peas or edamame.

My favorite was the third dish, Rosy Pear Salad. This consisted of red pear and red beet noodles topped with a sweet and sour dressing. Wisner suggested freezing the beet first, then thawing it to make it softer thus eliminating the need to cook it. This makes a great salad. I used it the next day over mixed field greens for lunch.

The next dish was Lemon Feta Cucumber Salad. This dish uses a homemade Greek dressing, Kalamata olives, Feta cheese onion and grape tomatoes.

The last dish she made was used for our delicious supper. We shared with our husbands and my Mom, Palma. The “noodles” were spiralized zucchini with a pesto sauce. We did mix in Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Ancient Grain Pasta Purchased at Giant. I made a salad which I topped with spiralized pear and red beets. My husband Bill and Wisner’s husband Ed, both meat and potato men, enjoyed the meal. It’s a great way for me to get Bill to eat zucchini, which is not a favorite vegetable of his. I think this will be my future method to have both Bill and my son Chris to eat more veggies.

Wisner teaches Hands-on Culinary Classes in her home the third Monday of every month from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

“The best part is you eat what you make,” she said.

If you want to learn to spiralize and prepare healthy food, contact Wisner by phone at 610-507-1733 http or by email at theherbalpeasant@yahoo.com.

For more information, check out http://www.theherbalpeasant.com/ or her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/The-Herbal-Peasant-176050219125669/?fref=ts

April Column: Spiralizing

Many of us are familiar the poem “March winds bring April showers and April showers bring May flowers”. As April approached I thought of a twist for my column, April showers also bring May’s vegetables and fruits.

My friend Kelly Wisner posted an interesting article on Facebook” 34 Alternative Noodle Recipes That Pasta Fanatics Will Love”. This was my introduction to spiralizing. I found it intriguing and contacted Wisner and we made a plan to get together to make good, healthy food.  I wanted her to teach me about spiralizing.

Spiralizing was a new term for me! Spiralizing is an art transforming vegetables and fruits into noodles. To do this you need a spiralizer. It is an inexpensive kitchen tool. Kelly uses a Spirali spiralizer but also recommends a Veggetti spiralizer. These cost approximately $25 to $30. The Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer got 71% 5 star reviews om Amazon.com. Amazon.com has many varieties.  If you own a Kitchenaid stand mixer there is an attachment available for spiralizing.

The spiralizer functions like a giant pencil sharpener.  Firm vegetables and fruits must be washed and peeled. They are held in place with a clamp over the grinder. As the crank is turned the vegetable disappears into the hold of the tool producing a pile of noodles. This form of ‘Pasta’ is gluten-Free, carb-free, and grain-free.

You may ask the benefits of spiralizing? It can have many benefits such as adding a variety of fruits and vegetables to the diet. Vegetables and fruits are naturally full of antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and other nutrients. They are also lower in calories, sugar, and carbohydrates. These are good, unprocessed carbohydrates. According to Wisner spiralizing is a healthier way to eat.  It also makes a beautiful presentation of textures and colors.

The spiralizer creates a larger volume of “noodles”. It seems like you are eating a larger portion.  Wisner adds different sauces to the noodles. Wisner believes in making different “noodles” and interchanging them with her sauce recipes. The first dish she made was Papaya “noodles” using a firm papaya. She added black beans, tomatoes and topped it with coconut curry sauce. This can be served warm. It can also be served cold as a salad over a mix of greens. Beans may be added for protein.

The second dish was Asian Pear Pad Thai. This can be served warm or used as a cold salad. This can also be topped with beans, peanuts, peas or edamame.

My favorite was the third dish, Rosy Pear Salad. This consisted of red pear and red beet noodles topped with a sweet and sour dressing. Wisner suggested freezing the beet first, then thawing it to make it softer thus eliminating the need to cook it. This makes a great salad. I used it the next day over mixed field greens for lunch.

The next dish was Lemon Feta Cucumber Salad. This dish uses a homemade Greek dressing, Kalamata olives, Feta cheese onion and grape tomatoes.

The last dish she made was used for our delicious supper. We shared with our husbands and my Mom, Palma. The “noodles” were spiralized zucchini with a pesto sauce. We did mix in Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Ancient Grain Pasta Purchased at Giant. I made a salad which I topped with spiralized pear and red beets. My husband Bill and Wisner’s husband Ed, both meat and potato men, enjoyed the meal. It’s a great way for me to get Bill to eat zucchini, which is not a favorite vegetable of his! I think this will be my future method to have both Bill and my son Chris to eat more veggies!

Wisner teaches Hands-on Culinary Classes in her home the third Monday of every month 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM. “The best part is you eat what you make!” If you want to learn to spiralize and prepare healthy food contact Wisner by phone at (610) 507-1733http or by email at theherbalpeasant@yahoo.com. Wisner mantra “My mission Changing the world, one bite at a time.”

For more information check out http://www.theherbalpeasant.com/ or her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/The-Herbal-Peasant-176050219125669/?fref=ts

SPIRALIZABLE VEGETABLES

*Wisner recommends using firm vegetables and fruits. If they are too soft they will not spiral.*

Cucumber, Carrot, Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Sweet potato, yam, other potato, Butternut squash, Beet, Jicama, Kohlrabi, Parsnip

Turnip, Daikon radish, radishes, Pear, Apple, Plantain, Onion, Cabbage, Fennel, Yucca, Eggplant, Broccoli stem and Zucchini/summer squash

RECIPES

Papaya Noodles with a Coconut Curry Sauce

1 peeled, seeded, spiralized papaya

Sauce

1 can unsweetened coconut milk

One-fourth cup peanut butter, cashew or almond butter

One-fourth cup tamari or soy sauce

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 tablespoons agave or pure maple syrup. May use molasses

1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons hot or sweet curry, tandoori or garam masala seasoning to taste

Stir the sauce ingredients in a large pot. Toss in noodles and warm over low heat until noodles are softened. Thin sauce if desired with small amount of water or vegetable broth.

Rosy Pear Salad

1 firm pear

1 large red beet

Spiralize the pear first then the beet

Dressing

Half-cup Agave or maple syrup

One-fourth cup vinegar or lemon juice

3-4 tablespoons mustard

Stir ingredients together in large bowl

Drizzle half dressing on the beet noodles. Drizzle the other half on the pear noodles and add onion and tarragon.

Prepare

1 wedge Brie cheese, chopped

2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

One-half tablespoon finely minced tarragon

Add beet noodles to large bowl and top with pear noodle mixture. Top with Brie cheese.

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