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The Active Pursuit Of Joy

I believe in compassion, kindness, and self-love. I seek joy through generosity to others and myself. I love swimming, biking, books, music, and cooking delicious food for my loved ones.


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Maple-Sesame Butternut Squash Noodle Salad

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At Christmas, my Mom gave me a ‘veggetti’, a small, handheld kitchen gadget that allows you to make noodles out of zucchini, carrots, or other tube-shaped vegetables. A lot of things happened between Christmas and now, and I never really got around to using it. Last week I attempted a zucchini/spaghetti squash lasagne, and I saw the merit to zucchini noodles. I took to the internet to investigate what other vegetables might make tasty noodles, and-behold- I found the inspiralized blog. I was so excited to see the world of potential before me, but, there was just one problem… I had the wrong tool.

(source: www.foodfitnessandfamilyblog.com)

Sunday night, I attempted to make beet noodles for this amazing recipe I found on inspiralized, and I succeeded, to a certain extent, with a lot of mess and some grated fingers. After tasting the awesomeness, I decided that I needed to go out the next day and purchase a real spiral vegetable slicer. I needed to eat it again, and it would be infinitely easier with the right tool for the job.

Today’s recipe isn’t the delicious beet dish I made on Sunday. That’s a recipe for another day. Instead, today is about the first thing I made with my spiral vegetable slicer (which I got from Kitchen stuff plus for $29.99!): Maple-Sesame Butternut Squash noodle salad. This recipe was closely inspired by this one that I found on the Inspiralize blog. Ali, who writes that blog has mad skills, and I think she'll be inspiring my cooking for awhile!

(source: amazon.com)

The spiralizer is super cool, you guys. You can make noodles out of SO many vegetables, or thinly sliced vegetable chips, or spiral curly fries… The possibilities are seriously endless, and I’m psyched to own one! For a nice overview of the spiralizer and all the exciting options it holds, check out this Huffington Post article.

Ok, on to our recipe!

Salad Ingredients (serves 4)

  • Half a container of baby arugula
  • half a pint of blueberries (the original recipe called for pomegranates, which I would have preferred, but I couldn’t get any right now. Boo.)
  • ¼ cup of mixed nuts
  • 1 asian pear, spiralized
  • The long part of a butternut squash, spiralized

Dressing Ingredients (serves 4)

  • one tsp high-quality olive oil
  • one tbsp sesame oil
  • one tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

To begin, preheat your oven to 400. Then, cut the bulbous end off your butternut squash (the end that has the strings and seeds in it) and set aside for another use. Peel the long end that you’re going to be working with until it is nice and orange.

Load your butternut squash onto the spiralizer, and apply a fair bit of pressure, and start to turn the handle. I choked way up on the handle, because butternut squash is hard, so it was easier to get traction that way without damaging the handle. With a little elbow grease, this made gorgeous squash noodles!

When you get all the way through your squash (it got tough for me with about a ¼ inch left, so I just left it), break apart the noodles and spread on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray, and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then cook for about 10 minutes, or until the noodles still feel al dente.

While your noodles are in the oven, prepare the rest of your salad. Place the arugula, blueberries and nuts in a bowl, and spiralize your asian pear. Make sure you slice off the top and bottom of your pear, load it in the machine, and go! Nice and simple. Toss it in the bowl. I actually squeezed a bit of lime juice over the asian pear, which isn’t in the recipe, but I wanted to keep it from browning so it would stay pretty in the pictures.

Then, make your dressing. Combine all the ingredients, and stir well.

When the squash comes out of the oven, add to salad, toss whole mixture with the dressing, and serve!

I actually made a quick chicken breast with a spicy thai marinade to go with this salad, but I just used a jar marinade, so I didn’t include that in this recipe. But, if you want to make it a main, rather than a side, I’d recommend some protein.

As a housewarming gift, my lovely friend Pippa gave me a beautiful individually sized bottle of champagne, and I decided that this delicious meal was worthy of that gift. I sat at the table, lit my candles, poured myself some champagne and had a rather fabulous dinner for one. I couldn’t have been more pleased! Hope you guys enjoy it too!

Nutritional Information (When Making Four Servings)

(without the chicken)

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The Active Pursuit Of Joy

I believe in compassion, kindness, and self-love. I seek joy through generosity to others and myself. I love swimming, biking, books, music, and cooking delicious food for my loved ones.

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