Thanks to the discount I had last summer at Williams-Sonoma, I was able to buy myself this handy dandy vegetable spiralizer. After long days at work, when the idea of making dinner seemed more exhausting than the 6 hours I had just worked, my spiralizer came to the rescue. I would often come home and want nothing more than 10 zucchinis turned into “noodles”, topped with some quinoa or roasted root vegetables. At first I overdid it so much that at times I thought I was two days away from turning into a freaking zucchini noodle. Then when I moved to school in the fall and forgot it in my cupboard, veggie noodles became a thing of the past.
Fast forward to this spring and not only have I been reunited with my favorite kitchen tool but I’ve also been seeing constant “inspiralized” posts on Instagram and food blogs. I’ve thought that maybe zucchini (and vegetables in general for that matter) noodles are the new almond milk. The new peanut butter and jelly. They’re seriously all the rage.
As Americans grow up in a culture devoted to eating copious amounts of pasta, spiralized vegetables have kind of become a safe haven. You can spiralize a whole zucchini, beet, sweet potato or celery root and your plate will be piled high with noodles without leaving you feeling guilty and heavy. Not to mention, vegetables will give you more energy than any big bowl of pasta would. The low-carb factor of these dishes definitely reels people in but forget the nutrition for a second because the taste is really what has me throwing two thumbs up.
As my vegetable noodle love affair continues to grow, I recently had the opportunity to try an up and coming New York-based food product called Hungryroot. I’ve seen spiralized vegetable entrees popping up in raw and vegan cafes across the U.S. (especially at Café Gratitude) but when I heard of a company that makes them individually boxed with toppings and sauces, delivered to your door step, my stomach started growling.
Each box comes with long strands of noodles and toppings so that the one serving can be prepared in 7 minutes and thrown onto your plate in a matter of seconds. These dishes are perfect for that ravenous fellow coming home from work starving for something quick and easy to sauté in a pan! Out of the six flavors available, choosing 2 to sample from was a bit of a challenge. Especially when all of the vegetable varieties are right up my alley. Beet, sweet potato, carrot, rutabaga, celery root and turnip; each with a different complimentary sauce and topping. The beet noodles, for example, come with a homemade thai almond butter sauce (can you say YUM?) and toasted sesame seeds. Beets and almond butter? I hear angels singing in the background.
While each of the six dishes is compatible for vegetarians and plant-based foodies, you can add chicken to each meal for an added $2 (without the meat, each comes in at $10). When you’re given locally-sourced ingredients that happen to be non-GMO, gluten-free, organic AND under 500 calories, how can you really go wrong for that price? You can’t!
I finally decided to pick the rutabaga noodles with roasted mushroom pistou and the sweet potato with creamy cashew alfredo. I had the rutabaga noodles for dinner last night and by the time 7 minutes was up, they looked exactly like a big pan of spaghetti. Smothered in the most heavenly pesto sauce and doused in chopped hazelnuts, I was in paradise (even if I really was sitting on my couch). I’m a huge fan of any type of mushroom so the mushroom medley cup that I blended into the rutabaga was phenomenal! I devoured them within a couple minutes and immediately had to call my mom after to let her know how it was the best noodle dish I had tasted. “Mom, I’m not sure if I’ve ever had rutabaga before but I think it’s my new vegetable!” Along the lines of what I told her. I also said I just might have to make her Hungryroot the next time I visit Kansas. Watch out Mom!
My favorite part about the rutabaga noodles was cooking them a little over 2 minutes and adding a bit more extra olive oil than recommended, they ended up tasting very similar to a spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash was the first type of “veggie noodle” I ever tried in high school when I first became infatuated with healthy eats. These noodles brought me back to those days! Besides, anything covered in pesto will taste good to me. That’s just fact.
So as if I couldn’t get enough Hungryroot for one week, I immediately had to try the sweet potato noodles when I came home today for lunch! Because I ate the rutabaga one with added grilled chicken (which is all natural by the way… oh yeah baby) last night, I decided to leave the chicken out of this one.
I believe the creators of Hungryroot had me in the back of their minds when they invented this dish. My favorite carb and veggie combo has always been roasted sweet potatoes with brussels sprouts (with a side of wild caught salmon… mmm!) so the brussels sprouts slaw that came in the box was everything.
After sautéing the noodles for 2 minutes, I then poured 1/4 cup of water into the pan with the brussels sprouts slaw for another 5-6 minutes until I finally threw in the creamy cashew alfredo sauce after turning off the heat. I was surprised to see the ingredients in the sauce did not contain nutritional yeast like most vegan cheese sauces but rather this one had tahini sauce! As I scooped out the sauce with my fork onto the noodles, I literally licked the leftover sauce clean right out of the tub. I could have eaten it on toast alone or dipped in veggies. So creamy and delicious! With no dairy! Go you Hungryroot for making vegetables appealing.
Now if you’re one of those people who has a tough time eating vegetables, Hungryroot has got you covered. Each dish packs so much flavor by blending simple and minimal ingredients to deliver something you would find in a New York upscale restaurant. In fact, one of the three entrepreneurs behind Hungryroot, Franklin Becker, founded his own restaurant called The Little Beet in New York City. With menu options like raw organic oatmeal with homemade jam ($6) and the veggie pattie ($7) with lentils, celery, carrot, tamari and more how could you not be intrigued to try Hungryroot!?
Another fun trait of this company is that fans can head to their website and give the gift of vegetable noodles to their friends! Today while I was checking out the ingredients, I came across this cool opportunity to give one of my best friends from Cleveland the gift of Hungryroot. I recommend doing this because how good of a friend will you be if you give YOUR friends FREE food?! And free nutrient dense food at that!
If my friend sent me sweet potato noodles I’d be pretty freaking stoked…
Even though I was stoked when I got mine this week! Thanks again to my foodie pen pal, Rachel. Only a food blogger can get excited when food comes to their front door. Oh man.
For now, Hungryroot ships as far west as Chicago (lucky me and all the rest of you Chicagoans!) and as far south as South Carolina. But if you live further than these boundaries, have no worries. They will be shipping NATIONWIDE by September. If you order over $40 of meals now, you will get free shipping so I think we all should buy every flavor.
After face planting into these meals this week, I can tell you I’m definitely back on the “I want to spiralize everything” train.
Maybe I’ll just eat one a day and break on Sundays. Sounds like a good plan right?
*** Thank you to Hungryroot for sending me 2 sample meals. All opinions are my own. ***