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Fresh, Frozen, or DIY: Which Spiralized Veggies Are Best?

Fresh, Frozen, or DIY: Which Spiralized Veggies Are Best?

Whether you love them or hate them, there's no denying it—one of the most ubiquitous trends in our kitchens this year has been spiralized veggies. Regardless of the season or the recipe, the spiralizer has given cooks a way to substitute pasta or carb-heavy noodles with fresh, elegantly curled squash, beets, and other root vegetables.

And while we were working our way through nearly every kind of spiralized veggie there is, the veggie noodle went from nifty kitchen hack to full-on mainstream dish.

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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Leave it to Green Giant, one of the most recognizable names in the frozen aisle, to try and capitalize on the trend. While many retailers and supermarkets now offer pre-spiralized vegetables in their produce and deli sections—a purchase that can feel extravagant in itself—Green Giant took it upon themselves to launch an entire line of frozen spiralized veggies.

There are four different varieties—zucchini, butternut squash, beets, and carrots—and the brand is marketing this as a pasta substitute, with just six minutes of microwaving time before they're ready to eat.

The idea of skipping the time, prep and effort needed to put a fresh bowl of veggies noodles on the table sounds appealing enough. Especially if you have yet to invest in a spiralizer, which can be challenging. But then I took a look at the price tag: each of these frozen packages sell at $3.99 each.

New Year. New Food. Healthy eating starts here, with the Cooking Light Diet.

Is $4 for just over 3 cups of spiralized veggies worth it? And is it really cheaper than just heading to your store's prepared foods section? And what about quality—isn't the whole point of enjoying spiralized veggies the element of freshness? Maybe you should just spiralize the veggies yourself—it takes longer, but is cheaper, right?

With these questions in mind, we decided to test each and every route that you could possibly take for a simple lemon and garlic spiralized squash in our own test kitchen.

We decided to test spiralized butternut squash from three different sources—some from our very own spiralizer, prepared and packaged by a local supermarket, and Green Giant's frozen product.

We tossed each variety in a simple mixture: lemon juice and zest, diced rosemary, minced garlic, olive oil, and a pinch of parmesan cheese. And then we had a taste test, which you can measure against the cost of each kind of spiralized noodle and the difficulty of preparing the dish from start to finish.

1) Fresh Spiralized Butternut Squash

Total Time: 25 minutes

Total Cost: $4.93

Cost per pound: $1.49

Cost per 3oz serving: 60 Cents average

Difficulty: Hard

This was one of the first times I've ever created a spiralized veggie dish, and I was eager to try the old-fashioned approach. My goal was to have enough spiralized butternut squash for a single serving, so I picked up two medium-sized generic butternut squash—these retailed at $1.49 per pound. When calculating how the fresh squash stood up in cost in comparison to other options in the supermarket, you'll have to take into account that you're paying less because you're buying skins and other discarded bits that normally aren't sold with prepared options.

In the kitchen, I used a hand-operated traditional tabletop spiralizer as opposed to a fancy electronic one—I wanted to really see why exactly there would be a need to skip this step.

Only two minutes or so passed washing and peeling my squash, which was super easy. But once I approached the spiralizer with ready-to-go squash in hand, I felt a pang of fear and realized, for the first time, that I might have preferred to just get straight to cooking.

My first spot of trouble came into play when my squash wasn't cut properly to fit into the spiralizer—the ends were uneven, and I had to slice off the excess to get a flat surface to spiralize. The gadget requires a firm, steady, and patient hand—all things that I discovered I clearly lacked on first try. My first minutes were spent trying to keep the vegetable from falling, and then I realized that my veggie noodles were all different shapes and sizes because I wasn't applying equal pressure.

I took a minute to readjust, take a deep breath, and try again. I'm not going to lie: I gripped that squash with as much force as I could, and I ground the spiralizer like I was cutting through metal rather than a fresh vegetable. I even grit my teeth and let a grunt or two fly. It was more challenging than I thought it would be.

After spiralizing both squash, I just had enough for a single serving—I realized that I wasted a good amount in having to slice off the ends, and a few mistakes during the spiralizing itself meant I had to toss a few ugly chunks of misshapen squash. I timed myself with a stopwatch—from start to finish, it took me 10 minutes to successfully get through the butternut squash. If you are just as unfamiliar with the spiralizer as I am, I wouldn't be too shocked if you faced the same issue—but if you're more familiar with turning veggies into noodles, you should expect better results and more noodles for your buck.

In a pan, I quickly sauteéd the noodles in olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, minced garlic cloves, and finished it off with a pinch of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

In a taste test, editors said that spiralized squash did resemble the same consistency and texture of a longer pasta noodle, and that the flavor profile was fresh as can be. It seems my hard work paid off.

2) Prepared, Ready-to-Eat Spiralized Butternut Squash

Total time: 12 minutes

Total cost: $2.75

Cost per pound: $3.99

Cost per 3oz serving: .75 cents average

Difficulty: Easy

The second time around, I used a container of pre-packaged butternut squash packaged by my local Publix that had already been spiralized for me. I was shocked to see just how affordable this turned out to be. While Publix sells a full pound of the noodles for $3.99, the container I picked up had two-thirds of a pound inside, more than enough for a single serving, and was just $2.75.

This method of making a spiralized dish was shockingly easy and pleasurable. Given how much trouble I had with getting my squash spiralized in the first place, I was happy to get straight to work on what was at hand—I effortlessly minced my garlic, chopped my rosemary, and threw the pre-cut squash into a pan with the rest of the ingredients.

After about five minutes of sauteing, my squash was in a bowl and ready to eat. Immediately, I noticed and appreciated that each strand was equal in length and uniform. However, these veggie noodles were much shorter than those I was able to make with my own spiralizer.

Another difference between the freshly spiralized squash and this dish was the color—while it's unclear if the squash was treated in any way before being packaged, this plate of spiralized squash was visibly more vibrant and appealing.

During the taste test, editors were surprised to find a noticeable difference in texture: the dramatic crunch of the freshly cut vegetable wasn't as pronounced as the first time around. But the flavor profile and overall taste of each dish was similar.

3) Frozen Green Giant Spiralized Butternut Squash

Total time: 8 Minutes

Total cost: $3.99

Cost per pound: $5.32

Cost per 3oz serving: just about $1

Difficulty: Easy

The moment of truth had arrived—could a frozen variety be just as delicious as a fresh plate of spiralized veggies?

Per Green Giant's instructions, I placed the package on a microwave-safe plate and nuked it for exactly six minutes. Looking at the package's nutrition label, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was, in fact, no additives—the only ingredient listed was butternut squash, and the label itself was squeaky clean.

Since the squash was supposed to be "ready to eat" after being microwaved, I did not put the squash into a hot pan—I simply tossed it with the other ingredients that I had prepared and served it immediately. Throwing the dish together was a complete about-face from struggling with cranks and blades on the spiralizer earlier.

But that's where the magic stopped. In a taste test among the other dishes, all those who sampled the Green Giant's dish immediately remarked that the consistency was completely off—one staffer even mentioned that the squash tasted more "mashed" than spiralized. There was little resemblance to a spiralized vegetable, let alone the two other dishes, with Green Giant's product, and what's more is that the flavors weren't comparable, either.

While we applaud the brand's effort to stay away from additives, maybe they should consider flavoring—nearly every editor involved said that this squash was completely bland, in spite of the lemon, garlic, olive oil, cheese and rosemary.

The bottom line:

I wasn't truly surprised to discover that Green Giant's frozen option was not the best option—but I was shocked to realize just how much effort goes into creating spiralized veggie noodles from scratch. If you're looking to save some money and time, and most importantly, frustration, then ready to eat pre-spiralized veggies in your local supermarket is by far the best option for you. But if you're familiar with the gadget and not afraid of a challenge, there's something to be said about spiralizing your vegetables by hand. Maybe it's because they haven't been sitting on a shelf all day, or that they haven't been treated in any way, but many of our editors said the quality of flavor in the hand-spiralized squash just simply couldn't be beat.

Healthy Quinoa Salad

This Healthy Quinoa Salad is packed with colorful vegetables and tossed in an easy peasy whisk-and-pour Mediterranean dressing. I cannot WAIT for y’all to try this superfood salad!

I’ve been all about light and healthy meals lately, and cannot wait to share my kale quinoa salad with y’all! It’s fast, fresh, and flipping delicious!

As written, this crazy nutritious salad is vegan and gluten-free, making it a plant-based powerhouse as both a main dish and a side!

If you’re simply vegetarian and are jonesin’ for some feta cheese on top of this crazy colorful salad, go for it!

I also love it with chopped avocado. Craving a kiss of sweetness? Dried cranberries make a crazy tasty mix-in as do candied pecans or walnuts. The mix-ins are endless so empty out that crisper drawer, raid your pantry, and get your booty in the kitchen! We have an epic quinoa salad to create!

Easy Veggie Noodle and Zoodle Recipes

Veggie noodles are a great alternative to pasta and a wholesome choice when you need an easy, low-maintenance dish. These recipes, from zoodles to butternut squash noodles, are sure to satisfy your next noodle craving — for fewer carbs!

Photo By: David Katz, David Katz

Shrimp Scampi Zoodles

Zucchini noodles stand in for pasta in this low-carb shrimp scampi makeover. And you may not even need a spiralizer (the special gadget that makes veggies into curlicues). Check your supermarket produce section: some stores sell spiral-cut zucchini.

Carrot Noodles with Spicy Peanut Dressing

Use a vegetable peeler to turn springy carrots into a fun "noodle" side dish. We sprinkle salt over the cucumbers to draw as much water out of them as possible, avoiding the dreaded, soggy salad syndrome.

Thai Green Curry Meatballs with Zoodles

Jeff uses store-bought zucchini noodles and frozen meatballs to cut down on time for his curry in a hurry. He sautés the noodles for just a few minutes to reduce the moisture and more closely mimic the texture of pasta.

Chicken with Ginger Beet Noodles

Spiralized beets add a rich pop of color to this healthy weeknight dinner.

Cheesy Zucchini Noodles with Bacon

Here's another great reason to whip out that spiralizer. This veggie-based dish with cheese sauce and bacon will totally hit the spot.

Turkey Bolognese with Voodles

Katie&rsquos wholesome dinner is ideal for nights when you&rsquore craving something indulgent but don&rsquot want to feel weighed down. Bonus? The Bolognese is so easy to prepare, you don&rsquot even need to brown the meat first!

Lemon-Basil Chicken with Zucchini Noodles

Skip the side salad! Instead, pair chicken breasts with fun zucchini noodles. A lemon-basil pan sauce helps bring it all together.

Butternut Squash Noodles with Prosciutto and Sage

With the help of a spiralizer, butternut squash becomes the noodles in this sweet-and-savory, satisfying dish that's impressive enough for a dinner party, but easy enough for a weeknight meal.

Whole30 Thai Curry Veggie Noodles with Chicken

This veggie-heavy chicken dish boasts tons of flavor -- thanks to red curry paste, almond butter and cashews. Crunchy cucumber noodles also make it just right for the Whole30 program (a lifestyle that encourages you to choose whole food over processed, and eschews sugar, grains, dairy and legumes).

Zucchini Noodles

Ree loves to make this one-pan meal on the rare nights she&rsquos dining solo. The entire dinner comes together in just 16 minutes &mdash and there&rsquos only one pan to clean up!

Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash Noodles

This easy, weeknight chili has an extra vegetable component: butternut squash noodles. These sweet and savory twirly bites add texture, flavor and color.

Asparagus Noodles with Pesto

Zucchini aren't the only vegetables that can become "noodles" &mdash use your vegetable peeler to turn in-season asparagus into a pesto-topped "noodle" that everyone will love.

Southwestern Sweet Potato Noodles

Hot chile pepper and fire-roasted corn lend a Southwestern flavor to broiled sweet potato noodles.

Zucchini Pickled Noodles

To cut down on pickling time, use a spiralizer to turn your veggies into noodles. The tangy zoodles make a great topping for burgers, grilled fish and fresh salads.

Healthy Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs with Zoodles

You can have fork-tender turkey meatballs that are golden yet moist, thanks to the air fryer! Pair with fun zoodles, your favorite jarred tomato sauce and an extra pinch of Parmesan for a delicious and wholesome meal.

low-carb paleo, keto, vegan and vegetarian-friendly alternative to pasta.

Spiralized veggies are not only filling and nutritious. They are easy to make and beautiful to see. Spiralizing is a great way to incorporate more veggies into your diet, go for low-carb options that will help you lose weight and stay healthy, and will also help you to stay on budget.

Which Spiralizer?

There are many different spiralizers on the market. This 5-Blade Spiralizer is one of the top sellers on Amazon, with over 17,000 reviews and 4.5 stars.

Or, you can opt for a smaller option like the SimpleTaste Spiralizer. It&rsquos not as sturdy as the other options, but a good alternative if you don&rsquot have much storage space.

Another way to go, if you just want to test a recipe out, and you aren&rsquot sure about the investment, is to use a julienne peeler. It takes a bit longer to cut vegetables with it, but you can achieve a similar result, and see if you like it.

You can have a look at all my favorite spiralizers here to find the best one for you!

The Best Spiralizer Recipes

What can you make with a spiralizer?

You can pretty much turn every pasta or noodles recipe into a delicious spiralized version. And the great thing about turning veggies into spiralized vegetables is that you&rsquoll normally get a low calorie, healthy version of the original dish, without losing on taste.

Here you can find some of my favorite easy spiralizer recipes!

And if you need more tips on how to use your spiralizer, simply jump at the bottom of the page or click here.

1. Butternut Squash & Sage Spaghetti with Zucchini Noodles

Full Recipe on Eat Yourself Skinny

This butternut squash and sage spaghetti are, of course, made with zucchini noodles. It&rsquos healthy, delicious, and can easily be made in just 30 minutes using a few simple ingredients! A perfect spiralizer recipe you can cook at any time, but especially as a great fall dinner.

2. Asian-Inspired Zoodle Flu Buster Soup

Full recipe on Cotter Crunch

This Asian inspired paleo zucchini noodle soup is light yet rich in anti-inflammatory properties. A soothing delicious and nutritious soup, it&rsquos one of my favorite veggie spiralizer recipes!

3. Spiralized Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole

Full recipe on A Saucy Kitchen

Although spiralizer recipes are incredibly healthy, they can also be indulgent. This mouthwatering spiralized sweet potato enchilada casserole is loaded with veggies, black beans and soaked in a simple homemade enchilada sauce.

4. Spicy Sesame Zoodles with Crispy Tofu

Full recipe on Pinch of Yum

This zucchini spiralizer recipe is super easy to make &ndash soy sauce, peanut butter, sesame oil, garlic, zucchini, and tofu. It&rsquos a great vegan spiralizer recipe!

5. Kale and Falafel Bowls with Spiralized Butternut Squash

Full recipe on Inspiralized

I love falafel, they are so easy to make and are full of protein. Add some kale and spiralized butternut squash for the perfect dish. And if you love butternut squash, check out my roasted butternut squash salad. Delicious!

6. Sweet Potato Noodles Salad

Full recipe on Pinch of Yum

Amazingly good real food salad with a short ingredient list! Cilantro, spiralized sweet potato, roasted corn, pepitas, and a homemade chipotle garlic dressing. Super yummy!

7. Burst Tomato Zucchini Spaghetti with Avocado Sauce

Full recipe on Pinch of Yum

A great healthy recipe ready in 30 minutes! Burst Tomato and Zucchini noodles tossed with a simple and creamy, vegan avocado sauce.

8. Spiralized Sweet Potato & Black Bean Quesadillas

Full recipe on Cookie And Kate

These hearty quesadillas are filled with spicy spiralized sweet potatoes, black beans, and melted cheese. They go well with a creamy avocado dip on top! Perfect for a busy weeknight dinner.

9. Noodle Free Pad Thai

Full recipe on Minimalist Baker

I love how colorful this dish is! And it&rsquos also super delicious. Ready in 30 minutes, this is the perfect low-carb alternative to your favorite pad thai recipe.

10. Zucchini Noodles with Pesto

Full recipe on Cookie and Kate

Pesto is one of my favorite sauce, and these fresh, raw zucchini noodles tossed with basil pesto and cherry tomatoes are perfect for a light, healthy lunch or dinner.

11. Carrot Celeriac Spiralized Salad

Full recipe on Cotter Crunch

If you are after something light and healthy, this marinated vegetable spiralized salad is perfect! This salad is paleo, vegan, and whole 30 friendly plus you can make it in under 30 minutes. Made with celeriac (celery root) is an extremely versatile vegetable and rich in nutrients! And if you don&rsquot have celery root you can use turnips instead!

12. Rainbow Noodle Salad

Full recipe on Salt and Lavender

Another colorful dish for you to try! This spiralized rainbow noodle salad is healthy and made entirely of vegetable noodles with a creamy avocado and lime dressing. Delicious!

13. Rainbow Power Salad with Roasted Chickpeas

Full recipe on Pinch of Yum

This is what I call beautiful food in a bowl! One of the tastiest spiralized recipes I have tried! And I love the crunchy roasted chickpeas!

14. Golden Turmeric Noodle Miso Soup

Full recipe on Love & Lemons

This vegetable noodle miso soup is perfect on a cold winter&rsquos day! Healthy and healing, it&rsquos made with lemon, ginger, and turmeric.

15. Creamy Garlic Roasted Pepper Pasta

Full recipe on Pinch of Yum

This creamy garlic roasted red pepper spiralized zucchini pasta is simply delicious! With garlic, almond milk, roasted red peppers, and courgetti.

16. Butternut Noodles with Creamy Garlic Mushrooms & Lentils

Full recipe on Wallflower Kitchen

A base of spiralized butternut squash with creamy mushrooms, lentils, and sage. This recipe is healthy, grain-free, and high protein!

17. Zucchini Sweet Potato Noodles Minestrone

Full recipe on Love and Lemons

Perfect for the colder evenings! You can prep this soup in advance and reheat it when you are ready to eat it. The veggies stay firm and the broth just tastes better and better.

18. Crispy Spiralized Baked Fries

Full recipe on Gathering Dreams

Another one of my favorite veggie spiralizer recipes! Not as low-carb and skinny as some of the other options, but sometimes you just need something delicious. And these spiralized potatoes are exactly what you need!

19. Creamy Spinach Sweet Potato Noodles with Cashew Sauce

Full recipe on Pinch of Yum

Creamy spinach and sweet potato noodles are the main ingredients of this dish. Topped with a creamy cashew sauce this plate is divine. Gluten-free and vegan, it&rsquos perfect if you are on a low-carb diet!

20. Raw Avocado Pesto Zucchini Noodles

Full recipe on Simply Quinoa

These avocado pesto zucchini noodles are the perfect way to lighten up a classic dish. Packed with flavor, I promise you won&rsquot miss the actual pasta!

21. 15-Minute Garlic Lime Cashew Zoodles

Full recipe on Salt and Lavender

These spiralized zucchini noodles are ready in just 15 minutes! They are a quick and easy vegan meal option, ideal for lunch of dinner when you have very little time.

22. Peas and Pesto Potato Noodles

Full recipe on Inspiralized

If you want to eat fewer carbs than pasta, but still looking for something to fill you up, these spiralized potato noodles are the perfect compromise! I have to say this is one of my favorite spiralizer recipes!

23. Spiralized Thai Salad

Full recipe on Salt and Lavender

This spiralized Thai salad made with spiralized carrot, cucumber, and cabbage is fresh, healthy, and has the most delicious cilantro-lime-peanut dressing.

24. Garlic Parmesan Mushroom Zoodles

Full recipe on The Flavours of Kitchen

This 15-minute garlic parmesan mushroom spiralized zucchini recipe is one pan and just made with 6 ingredients. An easy and delicious low-carb dinner for the entire family!

25. Zucchini Pasta with Lentil Bolognese

Full recipe on Minimalist Baker

No matter how you want to call them: zucchini noodles, zoodle, or courgetti, spiralized zucchini are one of the most versatile spiralized vegetables. And this lentil bolognese sauce is the perfect protein-packed sauce, for this low-carb pasta alternative.

How to use a spiralizer

1. Clean your vegetables

Wash your vegetables and peel them (if you want to). Cut off both ends to make them flat and even.

2. Chose your blade

Select the best blade for the job, based on vegetables and recipes.

Please, please be careful! No matter what spiralizer you use, the blades are always really sharp. Avoid cutting yourself (yes, I&rsquove been there&hellipI&rsquove done that&hellipspiralized finger isn&rsquot fun!).

3. Place the vegetables on the spiralizer

Make sure the spiralizer is firmly and securely in place on your table or kitchen worktop. Place the vegetable on the spiralizer, and make sure the vegetable is aligned with the central blade.

4. Spiralize!

This is the fun part: turn the handle and watch your veggies transforming into noodles! Collect all your spiralized vegetables in a bowl, ready for your delicious recipe!

What vegetables can you use with a Spiralizer?

There are plenty of vegetables and fruits that can be spiralized. Zucchini is the most common vegetable used in recipes. It&rsquos soft and easy to spiralize and with its neutral color and taste, it&rsquos easy to substitute it to pasta in many recipes. But there are plenty of other options too!

Here are just some of my favorite vegetables and fruits you can spiralize, but feel free to try others and use your imagination!

  • Zucchini (Courgettes)
  • Cucumber
  • Beet
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Parsnip
  • White Potato
  • Sweet Potato
  • Onion
  • Celeriac
  • Pear
  • Apple

Whatever veggie you pick, use the tastiest and freshest ingredients you can find!

Here are the top tips to make sure you don&rsquot spiralize the wrong veggie:

  1. Make sure the vegetable or fruit has firm and solid flesh. If it&rsquos too juicy, it won&rsquot work!
  2. You need vegetables at least 2 inches long, or you won&rsquot be able to turn veggies into noodles.
  3. You need the vegetable to be at least 1.5-2 inches wide, or the spiralizer blades won&rsquot cut through it. If you are spiralizing carrots or other &ldquonarrow&rdquo vegetables, make sure you pick the widest you can find.

How to store spiralized veggies (courgetti, zoodles, and anything else&hellip)

1. Dry your spiralized veggies

Zucchini noodles &mdash and other vegetables with some water weight &mdash can get soggy. After you spiralize, dry them off with a paper towel or spiralize into a colander and let them drain while you do the rest of your prep. You might also try salting them (like eggplant), or if you&rsquore cooking them, just toss them in the sauté pan.

Carrots, parsnips, and other root vegetables tend to be a bit crunchy. This makes them perfect for lunch because you can dress them in advance &mdash no need for a separate salad dressing container. If you&rsquore eating them right away, let them sit for a bit to soften.

2. Store

Preparing spiralized veggies on the go can be time-consuming, but my tip is to spiralize the veggies once on Sunday when I have a bit more time. Then store them in the fridge in a paper towel-lined airtight container or plastic bag.

They will last for 4-5 days.

The paper towel will absorb all the excess moisture and your veggie noodles will be ready for the next meal!

My top spiralizer tips

Guilt-Free Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Noodles Pasta Recipe How to Make Zucchini Noodles

For the full Guilt-Free Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Pasta Recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions, please visit our recipe page on Inspired Taste:
How to make our 20-minute zucchini pasta recipe with garlic, tomatoes, basil, and parmesan cheese. We&rsquore in love with this recipe. There&rsquos fresh zucchini, tomatoes, basil, parmesan, and lots of garlic. Plus, it only takes 20 minutes to make. Make this with 100% zucchini noodles or swap half of the zucchini for regular spaghetti for a heartier meal..
There are a few options for what spiralizer to buy and many get good reviews. The model we have used in our video is from Paderno..
Thanks for watching! If you enjoyed this video, we&rsquove got lots more. Visit our YouTube Channel at to see them and Subscribe to keep up to date with new video uploads. Joanne and Adam.

Video taken from the channel: Inspired Taste

45 Easy Seafood Recipes to Try for Dinner Tonight

The best seafood dishes are healthy and impressive, from salmon to shrimp to tuna.

You know you should be eating more seafood, since some types of fish have high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Most Americans, however, fall short of the recommended two servings per week. But with these seafood recipes, it&rsquos easier (and tastier!) than ever to get in a serving any night of the week &mdash whether you&rsquore featuring frozen seafood, canned fish, or fresh fillets from the fishmonger.

You don&rsquot have to be pescetarian or observing Lent to enjoy the tasty &ldquomeats&rdquo of the sea. From salmon burgers to white wine mussels to a fish chowder bake, these recipes just how delicious and versatile things like salmon, shrimp, clams, tuna, and tilapia can be. So get inspired by these recipes and experiment with cooking both frozen and fresh fish at home. After all, there&rsquos a whole world ocean out there.

Spiralized Sweet Potato & Sausage Soup Recipe

Where do I start with this soup? It’s creamy, flavorful, and fun! We love slurping the spiralized sweet potato in this soup, but the rest of the soup is equally fabulous. With just the right balance of creamy and fresh, this soup makes everyone happy.

With all the fun zoodle recipes going around, we thought it would be great to try making a spiralized soup! If you don’t have a spiralizer, don’t worry! You can still make this soup. Just julienne your sweet potatoes instead, or make wide noodles using a peeler. Or, if you want to go traditional, simply cut your sweet potatoes up in plain old cubes (they’ll still taste great!) – you may just want to add them earlier so they cook all the way.

My husband was skeptical about another kitchen gadget, but when I concocted this delicious soup (and some curly fries), he admitted it was pretty neat. Honestly, sometimes the shape and texture of veggies makes the difference between eating them and not. So if this helps you twirl a few more veggies into your families’ meals, why not?!

Making spiralized soup

This soup comes together so quickly! You’ll be ready to eat in less than 30 minutes, easy.

First, cook your ground Italian sausage. I have read recipes where you’re instructed to squeeze Italian sausage out of sausage casings, but I was able to find ground sausage in a package just like ground beef at my local grocer. Yay for time saved and gross jobs avoided. Once cooked, just set the sausage aside on a paper towel-ed plate (aka: a plate with paper towels on top) and set aside.

In a large pot, add olive oil, onion, and spices. Sauté for a few minutes until the onions are starting to go translucent. Then add in your chopped carrots and minced garlic and let those cook for a couple minutes.

Now it’s time to make this soup soupy! Add in the broth and diced tomatoes, as well as the cooked sausage you set aside. Bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes, until the carrots are softening. Then add in the spiralized sweet potatoes and let everything boil for a few minutes, until all veggies are tender to your liking.

Add four giant handfuls of spinach (it will look like it’s taking over, but when spinach boils down it’s so much smaller!). Once this wilts, add in your cup of half and half. We used half and half rather than cream to cut down on fat, but it’s still nice and rich! Bring this all up to a simmer just to make sure it’s heated through and then remove from the heat.

Dinner is served!

Serve garnished with parmesan cheese, parsley and/or lemon wedges, if desired. I enjoyed the extra tang of lemon in mine. And of course parmesan is always a winner for me. I didn’t need to add any salt to this soup, even with reduced sodium broth. Plenty of salty and flavorful things already in it!

Some variations: use chicken rather than sausage, or try it vegetarian! The flavor of this soup would be delicious even without the meat, in my opinion. Add in some white beans for extra protein, fiber and vitamins. Swap the spinach for a couple handfuls of kale. The possibilities are endless!

10 Easy Meals To Make When Quarantined

As the entire world tries to overcome the spread of coronavirus, people are turning to home-cooked meals like never before. Our new reality: Restaurants are closing, people are avoiding takeout (because who knows who was just preparing your food), and many grocery stores are wiped out. So, when it comes to mealtime, we’ve gotta get flexible and work with what we’ve got.

By now, hopefully, you’ve loaded up on plenty of canned goods and frozen foods. It’s time to put those to good use! So, here are some meal ideas that you can easily whip up in a few minutes, using just the basics.

Egg Beaters With Frozen Spinach

I’m not sure about your neck of the woods, but where I live, there’s a shortage of eggs to the point where they’re limiting purchases to one carton per customer. Who would have imagined a reality like this? If you can’t get your hands on fresh eggs then stock up on cartons of egg beaters. For breakfast, cook up some egg beaters with a side of sauteed spinach (use frozen). If you’re trying to cut back on dishes, you can even skip the skillet, mix your ingredients in a mug, and pop it in the microwave for a minute or two!

Healthified Pancake Donuts

I’ve always been a fan of boxed mixes, and they’re definitely coming in handy right now. If you have some pancake or muffin mixes hanging out in your pantry, whip up the batter and then pour it into mini donut molds. Bake and have your kids get involved with decorating! I like to lightly coat the “donuts” with maple syrup and then dip in powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. They’re not necessarily the healthiest, but they’re a fun breakfast treat on rare occasions.

Cheesy, Veggie Quesadillas

Corn tortillas are a staple in our freezer, reserved for emergency nights or my kids’ crunchy cravings. Layer them with cheese and whatever frozen vegetables you have around (cook the veggies first). Pan fry your quesadillas with olive oil spray for the quickest bite. These make a great breakfast or lunch!

Frozen Cauliflower Rice

If you follow me on Instagram then you may have seen my Live video where I made my usual cauliflower fried rice but used … drumroll, please … frozen cauliflower rice! I was worried it would be wet and mushy, but holy yum, nope. It was insanely perfect. You have to do this. Follow my original recipe HERE, but instead of busting out the food processor to create rice-like bits of fresh cauliflower, just use a bag of frozen cauliflower rice. Plus, swap the other fresh veggies with frozen ones and voila!

Frozen Zoodles With a Protein Topper

Speaking of prepped frozen veggies, did you know they sell pre-spiralized, frozen zucchini noodles (AKA zoodles)? Simple sautee those babies in a frying pan with some olive oil, a pat of butter, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Once they’re fully cooked, make and add whatever protein you have on hand. I always keep salmon fillets in my freezer, which would pair perfectly with these zoodles. But chicken, steak, or even tofu works too!

Curried Tomato Chickpeas Over Rice

Here’s a super easy and filling meatless meal. Start by chopping and sauteeing an onion. Over medium heat, add a can of drained chickpeas and let that cook for several minutes. Next, add one can of diced tomatoes, curry powder (to taste), salt, and pepper. Once that’s fully cooked, plate it over white rice. It’s filling, healthy, and easy!

Crockpot Chili

Chili is super easy to throw together … especially if you have a crockpot. Just throw in 2 cans of crushed tomatoes, one or two bags of frozen veggies, and some meat. For flavoring, I love adding a few bottled jalapeños, a splash of the jalapeño juice, and a great taco seasoning. Here’s a delicious one:

  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Put your chili on low for about 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Pasta With Sauce and Cheese

I always have gluten-free pasta and bottled marinara sauce in the pantry. Plus, I keep mozzarella cheese in the freezer. If you have those three ingredients then you can throw a basic dinner together in minutes. Cook the pasta, stir in the sauce, top with cheese to melt, serve with some veggies, and bang — dinner in 15 minutes! If you have kids, teach them how to whip this up alone and make them clean up. Win-win for all.

Toaster Oven Pizza

Kids craving pizza, but all the nearby pizza joints closed? No problem! This hack is a super quick and easy lunch idea. Top some gluten-free bread with a spoon of marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. Just pop your cheat “pizza” in the toaster oven for a few minutes and enjoy. Serve with a side salad or the zoodles I mentioned above!

Fancy-ish Tuna Salad

As long as you have a can of tuna in the pantry — and a few extra add-ins — then you can make your own tuna salad. Check out my recipe and serve on a bed of greens. Jazz the plate up with lightly steamed green beans, black olives, and a creamy mustard vinaigrette.

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Nealy is the founder and director of The Flexible Chef. She inspires people to eat and to live well, and ultimately to crave a healthy lifestyle. Nealy has been a leader in the wellness industry for two decades and has founded projects including luxury yoga retreats, cooking programs, and women’s empowerment courses around the world.

50+ Zucchini Recipes That Are Easy, Healthy and Delicious

Repeat after me: There is no such thing as too much zucchini! Well, that's almost true &mdash if you've ever grown zucchini in your yard's veggie patch, you know that a single zucchini can grow up to an inch each day. That one plant can give you more than enough to share among family and neighbors alike. It's a good thing that there are so many different ways to use up this luscious summer favorite whether in an al-fresco dinner salad, charred on the grill, or stuffed into a sumptuous loaf of our favorite zucchini bread. Like many other fresh vegetables, zucchini is a great addition to any meal, snack, or dessert to keep heavy carbs off the plate.

Even if you don't grow this hearty vegetable in your garden, you'll find that zucchini is extremely budget-friendly and one of the freshest grabs in your supermarket's produce section. It's in season all summer long, from June to September, right before more fall-forward options are served on your Thanksgiving table. Zucchini can be prepared in many different ways, used in just about any dish you have in mind: Fried zucchini fries, zoodles in a fresh pasta salad, grilled atop a crunchy flatbread.

This water-packed summer squash is also quite good for you, too: 1 cup of zucchini packs in 1g of much-needed dietary fiber at less than 20 calories. Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, says zucchini is also loaded with potassium and vitamin C (about 30% of your daily intake's worth). "You can fill up on a ton for very few calories &mdash a sneaky weight-loss ally!"