Veg shaped into crazy, twirly strands – what’s not to like? The Hemsley sisters talk to us about the spiralizing trend and share two of their recipes
Just when you thought there was no kitchen gadget that still needed to be invented, along comes the spiralizer. Unless you’ve been living in a cupboard for the past year, you’ll know that veg (like courgettes) masquerading as carbs (like spaghetti) is a hot trend right now (say hello to ‘courgetti’). Replacing carbs with nutrient-dense veg is a great way to up your vitamin intake. And if you’re looking to shift a few pounds, slow-release veg is more filling and better at satiating hunger than carbs any day, especially when combined with lean protein.
Foodies, chefs and bloggers have taken up the spiralizing trend and run with it, and at the forefront are sisters and health food gurus Jasmine and Melissa (aka Hemsley + Hemsley). In fact, they swear by spiralizing so much, they launched their own version called The Hemsley Spiralizer (and it’s doing very well, thanks for asking).
Melissa says: “Spiralizing changes the way you look at veg, and is a fun way to make effortless meals with vegetables as the star of the show. You can replace refined carbohydrates in noodles and spaghetti with carrot, cucumber, courgettes, celeriac, squash to name but a few which are nutrient dense and leave us feeling lighter and more energised.”
Here are two of the Hemsleys’ favourite spiralizer-based recipes from their best-selling cookbook The Art of Eating Well.
Sesame Chicken Salad with Cucumber Noodles
“This Asian-inspired salad is refreshing and perfect for packed lunches and summer dinner parties. It’s made in 5 minutes and transforms any leftover roast chicken into a tasty new meal. This is the perfect way to use up leftover chicken or serve instead with a little fish or sliced seared beef. We love raw chopped pak choi, but you can substitute with Chinese-style cabbage or finely shredded English cabbage. Eat this within a few hours as the cucumber will start to get watery or make everything else up in advance and prepare the cucumber noodles just before serving. If you’re taking this for lunch, take your dressing in a separate jar.”
For the salad
• 2 tbsp black or white sesame seeds
• 2 cucumbers
• 1 small head of romaine or cos lettuce, shredded into ribbons
• 1 small head of pak choi or 150 g Chinese cabbage, shredded into ribbons
• 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
• a handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
• 250 g cooked shredded chicken
For the sesame dressing
• 5 tbsp sesame oil (not toasted) or extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
• juice of 1 lime or 3 tbsp lemon juice
• 2 tsp raw runny honey
• 1 tsp tamari or sea salt
• 1 finely chopped red chilli, to garnish
1. If no leftover chicken: Roast 2 large chicken thighs at fan 200°C/ Gas mark 7 for 25–30 minutes until cooked, then shred quickly with 2 forks to cool the meat quickly
2. Gently toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan until fragrant. Use a spiralizer or julienne peeler to make the cucumber noodles. Or use a regular vegetable peeler to slice the cucumbers lengthways into wide pappardelle-style ribbons.You might want to cut the long, spiralized strands in half to make them easier to eat.
3. Prepare the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients in a bowl or shaking them together in a jam jar. Add the lettuce, pak choi, spring onion and coriander to a bowl.
4. Pour over the dressing and mix everything together (hands are best). Plate up with some shredded chicken and top with toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
Beef Ragu and Courgetti
“Everyone is always won over by this comforting and simple recipe which is a rework of the classic spaghetti bolognese. Using courgette noodles aka ‘courgetti’ to replace the spaghetti in this dish reduces your intake of refined carbohydrates while consuming more vegetables – a win-win! This is a great sauce to make in bulk during your Sunday Cook-Off and freeze in batches. For a simple supper, spiralize a courgette while the sauce reheats on the stove and you’re done.”
Ingredients (use organic ingredients where possible)
Serves 4 people
• 500g minced beef (chuck/braising steak) or lamb
• 2-3 tablespoons of ghee/butter
• 2 large onions, diced
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
• 16 large tomatoes, roughly chopped, or 2 cans of chopped tomatoes (we like Biona)
• 2 bay leaves
• 250ml homemade beef/chicken stock or water
• 2 small glasses of red wine
• 2 large carrots
• Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
• 1 teaspoon of mixed spice or nutmeg
• 4 large courgettes
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter/ghee and fry the onions on a low heat until softened, not browned, then add the garlic, bay and any other herbs that you choose. Add the extra tablespoon of butter or ghee if needed.
2. Increase the heat and add the minced meat to the pan and brown, using a wooden spatula to break it up as you go.
3. Pour in the red wine to deglaze the pan, then the tomatoes, puree and broth/water.
4. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and then reduce to a gentle simmer for 1 ½ hours until rich and thickened, stirring occasionally. Even better after 3 or 4 hours.
5. Ten minutes before the end of cooking, add the grated carrots and season with sea salt and a good grind of pepper.
6. Meanwhile, use a spiralizer/julienne peeler on the courgette. Or use a vegetable peeler and then a knife to slice the courgette strips into spaghetti type strands.
7. Wilt the courgetti using a little butter and water in a pan. Or, to be more authentic in your service and to save time and washing up, just run some of the sauce hot from the stove through your spirals and the heat and salt in the sauce will soften them.
8. Stir the parsley through the ragu, check the seasoning and serve on top of a pile of courgette spaghetti with fresh parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to serve.
9. Alternatively stir half the sauce through a bowl of courgetti and then serve each portion with a little more ragu on top, a drizzle of olive oil and fresh parmesan.