spiralized sweet potato “noodles” with baby spinach, fresh basil, and organic uncured turkey bacon

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So here’s the part where I guiltily admit that I haven’t posted an entry in 7 months. Too busy to write about food? What could I have been doing!? Well, talking/writing about food! As a full time inpatient pediatric clinical dietitian AND a part time online nutrition coach, sometimes by the time I cook and eat, I just don’t have the energy to write about it. But tonight I was extra motivated by the arrival of our newest kitchen gadget… the spiralizer!

Let this post serve as both a quick recipe idea and a gentle warning about buying cheapie versions of kitchen gadgets. I’ve been eyeing spiralizers for some time now, but have been making do with my mandolin when I want to make zucchini noodles, or zoodles, because the spiralizers I’ve seen at my local kitchen gadget store are around $50. (Check out this helpful article for some background info if you’re unfamiliar with the recent spiralizer craze). But when my husband got an email deal for $10 spiralizer, we just couldn’t say no! The suspiciously inexpensive Mamazura SpiralMaster was ours just two business days later.

In theory, you can really spiralize any semi-firm vegetable or fruit: zucchini, beets, sweet potatoes, broccoli stems, carrots, apples, butternut squash, turnips… you get the picture. For the first trial, we decided to branch out and use a veggie other than zucchini, which I’ve kind of zoodled to death over the past year. So sweet potatoes won the vote.

The recipe I chose was inspired by this one, but I don’t eat pork so I swapped out the pancetta and made a few other small changes, the biggest change being not actually making noodles. First, I washed and peeled two medium sweet potatoes and spiralized them per the package directions (or rather my husband with his superior arm strength spiralized them… and by that I mean shredded them into an unrecognizable orange mess). This particular spiralizer couldn’t seem to produce long ribbons, no matter how far around you contort your wrist, and we ended up with what looked like a pile of shredded carrots. It also created unsuable torpedo-shaped leftovers of sweet potato core (pictured below for comedic value) which I guess I’ll slice up and bake into fries this week at some point.

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Once you have your graveyard of dead sweet potato shreds in front of you (or long delicately curled ribbons, depending on your device), heat about 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté a diced white onion until translucent. Then add a large minced clove of garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes, cooking for about 2 more minutes. Then add in 4 slices of chopped uncured organic turkey bacon and cook until starting to crisp. Add the sweet potato “noodles” and season with salt and pepper. Then add 1/4-1/2 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth) and a handful of chopped fresh basil. After the liquid has reduced completely, cook for about 3 more minutes or until the sweet potato thingies are cooked through. Finally add in 3-4 packed cups of baby spinach and cook until wilted.

What came out of my pan at the end of this was truly a sweet potato hash and not noodles in any way. In the end, a mandolin probably would have done a better job. But it was tasty! And I will battle the spiralizer again, maybe with a different object of more uniform diameter. Some suggestions for swaps: instead of turkey bacon, you could do grilled shrimp as a pescetarian option, or crispy tofu or chickpeas for a vegetarian option, or even a fried egg on top. Also, this would be pretty good with some shaved parmesan on top. Honestly the only reason it’s not on here is that I forgot to pick some up at the store and wasn’t going to go back out in a heavy thunderstorm to get some!

The morals of this post: don’t forget the parmesan in a thunderstorm, and don’t skimp on your spiralizer.

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