27 July 2011


Behold, my first zucchini noodles! Made with my new Spirooli that I was talking about in my last post. (Go check out the demo video there.)

Here's a look back at December 2008, and my first (and last) attempt at making zucchini noodles without a special noodle making machine. I nearly grated off a couple fingers that time, and the whole process just took too long, which left the noodles too watery -- the thing about zucchini noodles is that they need to be made immediately before eating, because once the zucchini is cut, it begins to weep. Which makes the Spirooli the perfect tool: it literally takes about 15 seconds to turn your zucchini into a bowlful of beautiful noodles. So you prepare the sauce and toppings first, then just shoot out some noodles and dinner is served!

What to serve them with? I fried up some onions and tomatoes, mixed in some pesto and smothered it with grated Parmesan. The noodles by the way don't have to be cooked at all. They have an al dente-like texture to them.

My next attempt: I made a Thai curry sauce using green curry paste, fresh grated ginger, lime juice and coconut milk. There's some spinach in there too.

I tried to make some carrot noodles to mix in, as I'm sure I will get bored sooner or later of just zucchini. This tasted fine, but ultimately, carrots are too skinny for the Spirooli. It would be just as easy, if not moreso, to use a grater for them. There are other veggies you can use though; the next ones I want to try: summer squash, eggplants, beets and sweet potatoes.

I used the larger noodle attachment to make these udon-like noodles.

In Raw Food class we touched on the five tastes -- sweet, salty, spicy, sour and bitter -- and how all five must be present and balanced for a dish to be really, well, tasty. Basically, if you hit all the tastes, you experience THE MOST TASTE.

For my udon noodles, I revisited my Thai curry recipe:

• curry paste -- spicy (curry!); salty (well I assume there's salt in there); bitter (garlic & onion)
• ginger -- also spicy
• lime juice -- sour
• coconut milk -- uhhh?

What was missing? Sweet. So, I chopped up a couple of dates and mixed them into the sauce. I also added some chopped walnuts, just because. (What taste are walnuts? Bitter?) Anyway: all five tastes were achieved, and? What they say is true: ULTIMATE TASTE.

(Now, what about umami...?)

I tried using the flat blade on a Gala and Granny Smith apple to make this apple salad. I topped it with some lemon juice, honey, sea salt, cayenne pepper, and chopped dates and walnuts. Going for that five tastes thing again.

I really missed the mark on balance, however: way too much lemon juice. I also should have added fat, maybe some olive oil. (The cancer-fighting lycopene in apples is fat-soluble, so oil aids in its absorption.) Also: the combination of cayenne pepper and lemon juice brought back memories of the Master Cleanse (shudder). So for spicy maybe next time I'll go with basil or ginger, or the appley classic, cinnamon.

To get rid of the taste of Master Cleansey apples in my mouth, I ate a couple handfuls of cacao nibs. Maybe next time I will just add them to the recipe.

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