We’ve got a lot of handy information in this post, so I’m going to get straight to the point.
When I first started off with Inspiralized, there was somewhat of an elephant in the room. I was blogging away, posting recipes using the spiralizer and some people would comment: I could just do this with a julienne slicer or a peeler.
So, I responded with this post: other ways to make zucchini pasta while you wait for your spiralizer.
Eek, disregard the unpainted nails and dim lighting.
Basically, I wanted to show that, yea, you can make veggie noodles using a peeler, a mandolin, a julienne, or even a knife – BUT, you won’t get those adorable, long pretty spirals like you do with the spiralizer. Plus, using a mandolin/peeler/etc is just downright time consuming.
Having said all this, I know that some of you who are reading this say “wow, that looks yum, but I’m not ready to invest $40 in something I’m not sure I’ll use or love.”
My response to that hesitancy:
A. You will use it.
B. You will not only love it, you will be obsessed with it.
C. Well then, let’s check out other ways you can make veggie noodles without the financial commitment.
Before we get to that, let’s talk about the recipe. I mean, you couldn’t get more summery if you tried – yellow summer squash, ricotta salata (finely shaved), garlic, basil and grilled tomatoes. Literally, I could eat fourteen bowls of this. It’s just fresh, flavorful and easy to make.
I’m really rocking the vegetarian-friendly recipes this week… maybe it’s because I knew I had to slow cook a 3.5 pound pork shoulder on Tuesday. Yea, that’s probably why.
The recipe explains how to use a grill pan or an actual grill to make the tomatoes, but if you don’t have either, just slice them in half, sear them on a skillet (still marinate them!) and cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until they’re cooked. No need to use the skewer in that case, obviously… unless you want to, be my guest (no soaking required there.)
And yes, you can spiralize yellow squash – they’re just like zucchini, a summer squash. The taste is sliiiiightly different and obviously, the colors are different and the outer skin of a yellow squash is a bit tougher than zucchini. I find yellow squash slightly sweeter than zucchini, but once it’s seasoned up, they both have the same texture and cook the same, it’s apples to apples. The only other major difference is that I don’t recommend eating yellow squash raw – it’s too nutty!
Okay, now for our topic of the day….
Vegetable Noodles Without the Spiralizer (eek!)
The two best alternative ways to turn vegetables into noodles is using a julienne slicer or small handheld julienne peeler (picture below left and right, respectively).
OXO Julienne Slicer
Click here to order via Amazon for $14.99
This julienne slicer is the best I’ve found yet. It’s got a great grip system, it’s not bulky and can store virtually anywhere in your kitchen. It actually has a plastic top that you can adhere to the vegetable that you’re julienning for even better traction. It’s definitely the most efficient way to get vegetable noodles – and the safest.
OXO Julienne Peeler
Click here to order via Amazon for $14.99 or just get the julienne peeler for $9.99 by clicking here. I recommend you get the colorful set – I have their peelers and use them on tough vegetables and they’re very durable.
This julienne peeler is already my go-to when I make matchstick carrots or mangos for salads and sandwiches. It’s reliable and sturdy. However, it’s obnoxious to use to make vegetable noodles, because it’s tough to grip the vegetable and use the small peeler at the same time. While not as efficient as the julienne slicer, this kitchen gadget is perfect for making small batches of noodles.
Nutritional Information & Recipe
Yellow Squash with Ricotta Salata and Grilled Tomatoes
- 2 bamboo skewers
- 1 dozen cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 garlic cloves finely minced
- 1 large garlic clove minced
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 yellow squashes julienned or spiralized (Blade C)
- 1.5 tablespoons chopped basil
- 1 oz shaved ricotta salata
- Soak 2 bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes (if using a grill.)
- While skewers are soaking, place the tomatoes in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, balsamic and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Let marinade for 10 minutes.
- While tomatoes are marinating, spiralize or julienne your squashes. Set aside.
- Once skewers are finished soaking (if applicable), place 6 marinated tomatoes on each skewer.
- If using a grill:
- Heat up a grill to medium/high heat. Grill tomatoes for 3-4 minutes or until they are cooked. Set aside on a plate, covered with tinfoil.
- If using a grill pan or skillet:
- Place a large grill pan or skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is heated, add on the skewers. Cook for 2 minutes, flip over and cook another 2-3 minutes or until tomatoes are cooked. Set aside on a plate, covered with tinfoil.
- Once the tomatoes are cooked, place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the other tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil heats, add in the garlic, red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add in the squash noodles and basil and toss for 2-3 minutes or until al dente.
- Divide the squash noodles into two bowls and top each with a tomato skewer and the ricotta salata. Top with freshly cracked pepper.