I really love good food. I enjoy trying unique new restaurants, being inventive in the kitchen, and amping up old favorites. I also really love to find healthier alternatives to “normal” foods. (lettuce wraps, cauliflower rice, zucchini chips…YUM!) Combine healthy and delicious and you have a winning meal.
That desire to find good food that is healthy AND uses veggies as an alternative to starchy pastas and breads is why Inspiralized by Ali Maffucci is my favorite find of the season! Each recipe is unique and the photographs are gorgeous. Have you ever cooked with Chayote or Kohlrabi? Made bagels from potatoes or waffles out of sweet potatoes?? This cookbook shows you how to make veggies shine. You’ll never miss the pasta and your taste buds will thank you!
Ali Maffucci shares her story of Inspiralized on her website — it’s awesome to see where she came from and how her story has unfolded. When I first saw her images on Instagram I knew I was interested in trying her recipes. I also felt like we had a lot in common, including a passion and drive to make food that we love… healthy!
I recently had a conversation with a friend who was looking for advice about what to eat on her diet. She was getting so tired of chicken and boring broccoli. I told her to think like she could eat whatever she wanted: Make food fit your needs. Can’t have pasta? Eat that delicious sauce on a bed of spinach or with spaghetti squash! Deconstruct that sandwich or roll it up in lettuce or cabbage leaves. A healthy exchange of things you can’t have, with things you can. Don’t think of all the things you can’t have, think of all the food that you get to have! This mental trick works wonders for me. Inspiralized fits in with this mindset and you don’t have to change anything! Can you understand why I was so excited to find it?
I don’t want to divulge to much from the cookbook (because you really need it for yourself!), but I want to share just a few things with you. One of the best things that I have learned while cooking through this book is sautéing zucchini noodles. Silly maybe, but I had previously been boiling them. I just treated them exactly like I would pasta, which led to a watery mess. Sautéing them helps remove a lot of the water inside the zucchini and it cooks into this perfect noodle. You can hardly tell it’s not pasta! At this point, I think “give me the veggies” and I don’t miss the old stuff.
The recipes that I have made so far from this book are very different from each other. I wanted to use ingredients that I wouldn’t normally try and cook with some veggie variety. I made Spicy Jicama Fries, and Bacon Cacio e Pepe, which I have included for you later in this post.
The Spicy Jicama Fries were easy and delicious. They had amazing flavor and were done in just a few minutes. To make them crispier, Ali suggests blanching them prior to seasoning and cooking them. I’ve actually never cooked with Jicama before these fries. This vegetable is fairly mild and can be paired with lots of different flavors. They absorb really nicely.
The Bacon Cacio e Pepe was probably one of the best dishes I have made recently. Not only was it ready in about 15 minutes (total!) but it was light and filling– and boyfriend approved. That means that it is one I get to make again.
I made a few other recipes, but I will share them in later posts! And get ready… next time I am going to giveaway a copy of this cookbook to one of our awesome readers!!
One last thing, all of the recipes on her blog import into Plan to Eat really easily! Go gather these recipes and find some that look great to you. Let me know what you have tried and what looks tasty! She also has included nutritional information with each recipe– woot! woot!
*All of these opinions are my own.
Source: Inspiralized by Ali Maffuci
Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 10 Min
Cook Time: 15 Min
Total Time: 25 Min
- Cooking Spray
- 3 bacon Strips
- 1 large garlic clove- minced
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 medium sized zucchini- spiralized with blade C
- cracked black peppercorns
- 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese -plus garnish
- Heat large skillet over medium heat and coat lightly with cooking spray. When a bit of water flicked onto the skillet sizzles, add the bacon and cook until crisp. Drain the Bacon on a paper towel- lined plate.
- Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the skillet, still over medium heat, and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the zucchini noodles and cook, tossing, for 2-3 minutes or until the zucchini noodles are al dente. Generously season with pepper and add the cheeses, tossing to combine thoroughly until the noodles are coated with cheese.
- Divide between two bowls, topping each serving with more pepper and Parmigiano cheese, as desired. Crumble the bacon on top and serve.
Amount Per Serving