There’s nothing quite like a spaghetti Bolognaise on a cold winter night to give you a good dose of comfort food. But pasta (with apologies to Italy), while cheap and filling for a mid-week meal, is not very nutritious. It’s also got a bad rap thanks to its ability to add to your winter tyre.
In the hunt for alternatives both Woolworths and Pick n Pay have spearheaded the “spiralized veggie” movement in South Africa by offering you vegetable alternatives in the form of pre-packaged baby marrow spaghetti (courghetti!) and butternut spaghetti. It’s a delicious way to cut back on carbs and up your veg intake. Hear this: the difference between 100g of pasta and 100g of courgette is about 300 calories!
Using a spriralizer, which is like a giant pencil sharpener, you can create thin strips of spaghetti lookalikes, with a similar texture, but bursting with flavour and of course the nutritional benefits that veg come loaded with. You simply boil these up as you would with your traditional pasta, or sauté them, and serve with a traditional Neopolitana sauce, Bolognaise or any of your other favourite sauces.
3 veggies that make delicious pasta alternatives that you may not have thought of:
#1 Sweet Potato
Nutritional benefits: Vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fibre, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and phosphorus.
How to prep: Choose thin sweet potatoes that are similar in circumference to courgettes – it will make the spiralizing process easier. Peel, wash and dry them. Place 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a cast iron skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add the spiralized sweet potatoes and toss with tongs to coat with the olive oil. Continue to toss with the tongs every few seconds to prevent the potatoes from burning or becoming stuck on the bottom of the skillet. Do this for 5-10 minutes. The cooking time will depend on your preferred texture of the noodles. If you love a little crunch, cook for 5 minutes. If you prefer soft noodles, cook for 10.
Try this: Creamy Spinach Sweet Potato Noodles with cashew sauce by www.pinchofyum.com.
Nutritional content: Potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, and iron, vitamin B, C, E, and K, as well as high levels of fibre and some protein.
How to prep: Wash, rinse, dry and cut off any loose or hard bits. Put through the spiralizer. With this recipe, the parsnip noodles, or “poodles”, are added to the skillet or pan with the tomatoes, tomato paste, stock and browned tempeh and cooked at a simmer until they are al dente (about three minutes).
Try this: Spiralized Parsnip “Noodles” with cherry tomatoes, basil, tempeh, and goat’s cheese.
Nutritional content: potassium, magnesium, iron as well as vitamins A, B6 and C and folic acid.
How to prep: This is a no-cook option, and the colour on your plate will literally blow you away! Toss your spiralized beetroot noodles with the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, oil and salt and allow to sit whilst making your pesto.
Try this: Beetroot Noodles with Pistachio Pesto.
WIN A VEGGIE SPIRALIZER!
We’re giving one lucky reader the chance to win a vegetable spiralizer. To win, visit our Facebook page and like and share the competition you will find there by 30 June 2016. T&Cs apply.