Inspiralizing A Recipe

gluten freemeat & poultry

IMG_6757 copy

We all love to flip through Bon Appetit, Food & Wine or Saveur and drool over the recipes. Not only is the photography so perfect that you could practically lick the plate, their actual dishes always impress.

I read all the major food magazines not only to drool, but for inspiration for my own recipes. One afternoon, I was looking at Food Network magazine and I saw a divine looking bowl of spaghetti with pancetta and lentils.

Then my eyes scanned down to the bottom of the page: 650 calories per serving. 650. Calories. Per. Serving. 650!

IMG_6772 copy

Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m not trying to rain down on Food Network magazine. In fact, just the opposite: their recipe was so mind-blowingly delicious, I had to share it with you today.

One difference, though. I Inspiralized it. This is something that’s pretty simple to do: swap out regular pasta/noodles for spiralized veggies. Thus, Inspiralizing.

IMG_6713 copy

Originally, I wanted to do a calorie comparison between that exact same recipe, using zucchini noodles. However, 3 oz of spaghetti versus 3 oz of zucchini noodles is kind of an unfair comparison.

Let’s look at that, for a minute, using the 3 oz:

Food Network Recipe (3 oz of spaghetti): 650 calories
Inspiralized Recipe (3 oz of zucchini noodles): 347 calories

347. Phew, much better. That’s a hearty dinner. And heck, I can categorize it in my “Under 350 Calories” tab on my recipe index.

The Food Network recipe is 95.3% higher in calories than the Inspiralized version. Here it is:

IMG_6753 copy

Here it is again:

IMG_6715 copy

This is all fun, but honestly, 3 oz of zucchini noodles isn’t quite enough to fill you up (or at least not for me, but I have the appetite of a blue whale.) I’d say 12 oz of zucchini noodles is the perfect amount (unless you’re starving or hangry – then bump it up!)

What does 12 oz mean, calorie-wise? About 50 calories. Actually, 49.

That would mean that, if you used a substantial amount of zucchini noodles to replace the Food Network recipe, the calorie comparison would then be:

Food Network Recipe (3 oz of spaghetti): 650 calories
Inspiralized Recipe (12 oz of zucchini noodles): 382 calories

382 calories. That’s still pretty good, considering all the deliciousness that’s in this pasta (a garlicky tomato sauce, pancetta, onions and lentils).

IMG_6730 copy

Let’s say that we’re hangry. We want a giant bowl of zucchini noodles, not just 12 oz. It’s Saturday night and we want to treat ourself. Go ahead and spiralize about 2.5-3 zucchinis.

What’s the comparison now?

Food Network Recipe (3 oz of spaghetti): 650 calories
Inspiralized Recipe (3 zucchinis): 445 calories

Honestly, even Lu had a hard time eating this bowl of pasta (it’s huge!) We had a funny conversation afterwards, after he tried the regular spaghetti version (after eating the Inspiralized one).

IMG_6746 copy

Lu takes a bite of the regular spaghetti, original recipe.

Lu: Oh. man *eyes roll in the back of his head*
Ali: What do you think?
Lu: I mean, spaghetti’s just so good.
Ali: I know, and I’m not trying to say zucchini pasta’s better, though. I’m Italian, that’d be sacrilegious!
Lu: Yea, but to be honest, I don’t miss regular spaghetti. It’s awesome, but there’s no point when you have zucchini noodles.

IMG_6766 copy

This is a classic conversation. Zucchini noodles will never BE regular spaghetti. But, your taste buds adjust when you substitute in spiralized veggies and then when you DO have a bowl of regular spaghetti again, you’ll find yourself saying, “It’s just not worth it – it’s delicious, but zucchini noodles do the trick.”

IMG_6761 copy

Plus, when you look down and your skinny jeans are finally fitting, you’ll be the winner. And as a disclaimer, I don’t count calories. Ever. I do it now to prove a point, but I eat clean, whole food, healthy meals without stressing over numbers or a scale. Lululemon’s Wunder Unders are often (okay, always) my best friend.

Are you convinced? What are your thoughts?

IMG_6758 copy

IMG_6723 copy


New to spiralizing? Grab your FREE eBook with our 20 Most Popular Blog Recipes!

Have a spiralizer and not sure where to start?How about making our fool-proof, most popularly made recipes from the blog? In this printable PDF eCookbook you’ll find photos and full recipes of our readers’ favorites to get you started!

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Leave a Comment

Want to share a photo of what you’ve made? Be sure to click the 'Choose file' button below to add your photos!

The maximum upload file size: 300 MB. You can upload: image. Drop file here


Sarah says:
I am very happy that I found your blog - the recipes are so inspiring :) I bought a spiralizer just before I found it and I have to say, my first bowl of zucchini noodles, which was plain ol' zucchini and bottled sauce (I was hungry) :) were so - good- reminding me of my happy noodle days gone by. They may not be just like pasta noodles but to those of us not eating wheat having them was such a wonderful thing (preaching to the choir I know). I'd tried rice noodles and they just didn't work for tomato sauce. Zucchini does. Today I had no plan for lunch so I made zucchini noodles with garlic and curry powder, and popped on left over enchilada chicken - it's chilling out in my fridge at work for lunch! Can't wait to try this one as well!
Anonymous says:
You've sooo inspired me. Can't wait for my spiralizer to arrive tomorrow. I can't decide which recipe to try first.
Aw, yay! Thank you so much for the kind words.
Ali says:
I am SO happy I found your site (through your guest blog on Against All Grain). I bought my spiralizer a year and a half ago (tragic) and was afraid of what I'd find in the box, that it would be difficult to use or just a pain to clean. I am HOOKED and cannot wait to try everything you've posted. I can finally eat and not blend as much as I do!!! Best of luck to you, it seems like great things are happening :) I've already messaged a ton friends to follow you and buy their own!
Thank you so much Ali - that is so sweet of you to send me this message! I'm so excited to have you on board and glad you found me through AAG! Welcome :)
Meg says:
Look Great! I wonder what the vitamin/mineral comparison is like for those of us not counting calories. :)
I'm sure it's just as impressive!
Reba says:
I just stumbled upon your blog while looking up recipes for the spiralizing device that we have at home at the minute. I tried zucchini this way for the first time yesterday after the gym - it was so quick and easy adn tasted exactly the same as spaghetti to me (I have a hard time eating carbs, I gain weight easily so try to avoid them). It was delicous! I was actually so excited that when I called my Dad to wish him a happy birthday I couldn't help but mention it and also spoke with my mom about it later. It makes me excited to try all different types of recipes with it - I don't believe mine is as sturdy to do the likes of carrots, sweet potatoes, etc but I will have to purchase another one so I can just spiralize everything! Thank you for the recipes!

Latest on Inspiralized

Subscribe to Inspiralized

Subscribe to one or all of our newsletters for amazing
recipes, inspirational content + our most popular recipe PDF.

  • Weekly Recap
  • Kidsletter
  • Products + Sales

made the roasted veggie green enchiladas 🥑 from @thedefineddish cookbook and despite only buying one can of diced green chiles instead of four, it was amazing! 👏🏼 perfect cold day dinner 🥶 looking forward to cooking more from this cookbook! has anyone else made anything from it? what should we try next?? 👇🏼

#thedefineddish #defineddish #enchiladas #vegetariandinner #vegetarianmeals

we’re flying back to new jersey on friday and already starting to miss it here in florida ☀️ the weather’s nice, but I’ll most miss all the time spent with our family together 🙏🏼 for the past (almost) 2 years, we’ve spent a lot of time in florida with my family and that’s been the silver lining of the pandemic 🙏🏼 right now, my grandmother is here and that time is extra special. I don’t think I’d ever have the chance to be with her for this amount of time otherwise, and I am so, so grateful for it 👵🏼💓 photos by @karlakorn 📸 ...