Happy October! Fall is upon us. This means fall produce. So what is a girl to do who runs a food blog where spiralized zucchinis are her bread and butter? Rest assured, I’ve got a plan.
Even though you can get zucchini year-round, it’s time to give the other spiralizable vegetables some of the spotlight. Sweet potatoes are a great starting point. They’re healthy, colorful, and are so much more flavorful than regular pasta. Unlike roasting sweet potatoes, when you cook them in a skillet, they don’t turn out as sweet, which is best when making a savory dinner.
Before we get to the recipe, let’s talk about the “other spiralizable vegetables.”
Since spiralizing isn’t quite in the main stream just yet, I think it’s perfectly fine if I lead the trend and set an appropriate diction. Here are some other seasonal vegetables that can be spiralized or are “spiralizable”:
- Daikon Radish: These noodles are great because they are firm and can hold up to any sauce. However, they have a very bitter and soapy taste, so the right sauce needs to be used to flavor the daikon.
- Sweet Potatoes: They absorb liquid very easily, so they go best with a light, creamy sauce.
- Butternut Squash: This vegetable spiralizes very cleanly and offers noodles that definitely stand up to sauces. They are also moist, so a little olive oil, salt and pepper goes a long way here and lets the natural taste of the veggie come forward.
- Carrots: Like sweet potatoes, they asborb liquid quickly, so a cheesy or creamy sauce is best.
- Parsnips: These are a bit tougher to spiralize (they are hard to find in a size large enough), but are a savory root vegetable that goes nicely with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and freshly chopped herbs.
- Beets: These have a great consistency when spiralized and cooked – they taste best when paired with cheese or an oil-based sauce.
Back to the recipe. While sweet potato noodles are heavier in calories and carbs than zucchini noodles (obviously), they’re just the ticket when you need a warm and filling meal that doesn’t pack a big calorie and fat punch. It’s a cleaner way to eat pasta no matter how you break it down. Plus, sweet potatoes are high in iron, fiber, Vitamin D, C, B6 and they are a rich source of magnesium, which is an anti-stress mineral. Couldn’t we all use some destressing?
If that wasn’t enough to get you hooked, this butternut squash sauce is dairy-free and vegan, using almond milk to get the creamy consistency. The nuttiness of the almond milk brings out the flavors in the crushed pecans.
As for all of the other types of spiralizable vegetables… recipes coming soon, I promise.
Also… is it awkward that I haven’t mentioned the cute little critter in today’s pictures? Bob and Diane have a pet!
Roasted Butternut Squash Sweet Potato Noodles with Bacon, Crushed Pecans and Spinach
- 2 sweet potatoes peeled, Blade C
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups cubed skinless butternut squash
- 1 cup packed spinach
- 1/4 cup crushed pecans
- 4 strips of bacon
- olive oil for drizzling
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth low-sodium
- 1/2 cup light unsweetened almond milk
- Preheat the oven to 405 degrees. Once preheated, add the cubed butternut squash into a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Dust lightly and evenly with the cinnamon. Mix together to combine and roast for 35 minutes.
- While the butternut squash is roasting, put a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the tbsp of olive oil and the sweet potato noodles. Season with garlic powder. Cook for about 6-8 minutes or until sweet potato noodles cook through and are soft. Set aside.
- Place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the bacon strips. Cook the bacon until crispy and set aside on a paper-towel-lined plate.
- Once the squash is done roasting, add the cubes directly into a food processor. Add in the almond milk and half of the vegetable broth. Pulse until creamy.
- Place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the squash puree and the rest of the vegetable broth. Cook until the broth reduces and the puree is creamier. Add water or more vegetable broth, if not creamy.
- Once the sauce is done, add in the spinach and sweet potato noodles and mix to combine thoroughly. Let cook until spinach wilts.
- Plate the sauced noodles into a bowl and crumble in the bacon. Top with crushed pecans and enjoy!