Video: How to Pick the Best Carrots for Spiralizing

Video: How to Pick the Best Butternut Squash for Spiralizing + My Save The Dates from Minted!

My Save The Dates from Minted! - Inspiralized.com

Another Thursday, another new video on the Inspiralized YouTube channel!

Last week, we talked about how to pick the best vegetables for spiralizing and today, we’re getting specific, with butternut squash.

I get a lot of e-mails about butternut squash – some find it tough to spiralize and I think that’s mainly because of the size and shape butternut squashes they’re using.

With this video, I’ll help you pick the best butternut squash for the spiralizer.

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Winter Kale, Sausage and Butternut Squash Lasagna

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From Lu’s lips to your screen: this is one of your top 5 best dishes. He also said this after plate #1, #2 and #3.

On Friday, two of my lifelong best girl friends came over to make vision boards. For those of you who aren’t familiar, a vision board is basically a collage of images, phrases and words placed on a piece of paper, cardboard, foam board or any type of canvas. This imagery is supposed to capture your vision – to represent you and your goals.

While we were vision boarding, I reheated this winterized lasagna for Lu’s dinner (he wasn’t partaking in vision-boarding, but still hanging out.)

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Spiralized Arroz con Fideos

Spiralized Arroz con Fideos

Spiralized Arroz con Fideos

I’m building a post for this week called “How to Inspiralize Your Favorite Meals,” featuring all of the recipes from my blog that are classic pasta, rice and noodle dishes, made healthier with the spiralizer.

Looking through all of my recipes, I realized there weren’t enough rice dishes for the roundup, so I’m trying to squeeze in one more before the post.

Arroz con fideos is a rice (arroz) dish with short pasta noodles (fideos), cooked with simple ingredients (pretty much just olive oil, pasta noodles, rice and chicken broth.)

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Black Bean and Butternut Squash Noodle Tacos

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Noodle Tacos

Fun fact: I wasn’t going to post a recipe today. The main point of today’s blog was to vote on the Inspiralized Community‘s September Recipe Challenge entrants.

More to come on that.

I had the post finished on Monday, was excited for everyone to pick the winner and then, I felt odd not sharing a recipe! I’ve gotten into my Sunday – Thursday groove and I wanted to end the blog week on a high note.

So, today, we need your votes and in return, I present to you: butternut squash noodle tacos. Fall-friendly and waist-friendly!

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Fall Harvest Butternut Squash Rice and Lentil Pilaf

Fall Harvest Butternut Squash and Lentil Pilaf

Fall Harvest Butternut Squash Rice and Lentil Pilaf

I’m going to be honest: today is all about the season 5 premiere of The Walking Dead.

Tonight, 9pm EST on AMC. The Walking Dead.

Who’s with me?! Okay, okay, I’m going to share a nerdy factoid with y’all today.

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Butternut Squash Pasta with Spicy Garlicky Broccoli Rabe and White Beans

Butternut Squash Pasta with Spicy Garlicky Broccoli Rabe and White Beans

Butternut Squash Pasta with Spicy Garlicky Broccoli Rabe and White Beans

Sometimes, if you overcook the butternut squash, the noodles break apart into little pieces. Sure, it’s frustrating. Ya, it doesn’t look totally like pasta.

But ya know what? It still tastes good!

Today on “how not to photograph spiralized pasta,” we have butternut squash noodles under a mound of quick-simmered white beans and garlicky broccoli rabe. Note to self for the future: the noodles are the stars, let them shine!

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Butternut Squash Noodles with Shredded Brussels Sprouts, Walnuts and Caramelized Onions

Butternut Squash Noodles with Shredded Brussels Sprouts, Walnuts and Caramelized Onions

Butternut Squash Noodles with Shredded Brussels Sprouts, Walnuts and Caramelized Onions

Now if this isn’t a bowl of autumny goodness, I don’t know what is.

It’s actually mind-boggling to me how people (mainly, kids, I guess) don’t like brsusels sprouts. Not only are brussels cute (they look like BABY cabbages!)  they carry such a distinct, lovely flavor that absorbs seasonings so well – olive oil, salt and pepper are all you need to transform them.

This fall, I’m most excited for brussels sprouts. Hence, this recipe, using another great fall and wintertime veg: butternut squash!

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Vegan Butternut Squash Noodles and Toasted Almonds with Pumpkin-Sage Sauce

Vegan Butternut Squash Noodles and Toasted Almonds with Pumpkin-Sage Sauce

Vegan Butternut Squash Noodles and Toasted Almonds with Pumpkin-Sage Sauce

DUN DUN NUH NUHHH! It’s our first butternut squash noodle recipe of the 2014 fall season!

Y’all, it took me a solid 3 minutes to figure out “dun dun nuh nuhhh” - thankfully, I’m alone in my apartment or else people nearby would have thought I had escaped from an asylum.

Yes! Grab your teapots and leg warmers, folks, we’re spiralizing butternut squash! And that’s not all… we’re making a pumpkin-sage sauce. I mean, I probably can’t get more cliche than this recipe, but it’s sensational and it’s….. vegan!

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Easy Shrimp Butternut Squash Risotto

Easy Shrimp Butternut Squash Risotto

Easy Shrimp Butternut Squash Risotto

Often times, Lu and I have these grand ideas, like, “let’s wake up 30 minutes earlier so we can sit together and drink our coffee, instead of rushing to drink it while we get ready for work.” When the alarm goes off, we straight up snooze.

One of our ideas was, “let’s read in bed for an hour before lights out, instead of watching TV.”

As I’m writing this post, I’m staring at the Cooking Light magazine that I started reading in bed last night. I couldn’t force myself to read, but I was looking at all the pretty pictures. I was just exhausted, like every night. What’s the trick to getting your brain to focus the hour before you hit the hay?

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Roasted Red Pepper Butternut Squash Noodles with Chicken

Roasted Red Pepper Butternut Squash Pasta with Chicken

I probably eat four to five whole bell peppers a week on average, at least. That’s not counting any that are eaten while dining out or while making a meal at home.

At least once a week, I make a batch of roasted peppers. I put them in a container, let them steam and then take them out, peel their skins off and slice them into bite-size pieces. I dip them in hummus, I salt and pepper them, I put mustard on them, I wrap them with turkey slices. Any way possible, I’ll have them.

Long story short, I’m so obsessed with bell peppers that I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to post up a recipe. Time just flies when you’re having fun, don’t it?

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Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli with Butternut Squash “Rice”

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Chicken and broccoli, what a delicious combination. Whoever decided to slather chicken and broccoli in teriyaki sauce and combine the two together over rice was a dang genius.

This recipe is the type that you can make in a pinch, if you make your butternut squash rice in advance. It’s easy to whip up and has so much flavor. Plus, it doesn’t have the heavy carbs and calories that regular rice has.

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Pecorino Butternut Squash Noodles & Cauliflower Steak with Olive, Caper & Chickpea Sauce

Pecorino Butternut Squash Noodles & Cauliflower Steak with Olive, Caper & Chickpea Sauce

Pecorino Butternut Squash Noodles & Cauliflower Steak with Olive, Caper & Chickpea Sauce

Man, was the Superbowl a snoozer or what? The Broncos got crushed! Yea, I know what you’re saying: “Thanks, Captain Obvious.”

The weekend, on the other hand, was a blast. No snoozin’ there. We (Lu, me and friends) went to a Superbowl party on Saturday night that was hosted by Bud Light and I got to see one of my top 3 favorite bands perform live: Zac Brown Band! Zac Brown was followed up by The Foo Fighters. It was surreal, and I’m pretty sure I screamed like a little girl when Zac Brown performed Chicken Fried.

Totally shrieked in someone’s ear. Sorry, Lu.

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Lime Shrimp & Coconut Butternut Squash Rice with @ZICO

Lime Shrimp & Coconut Butternut Squash Rice with @ZICO

Lime Shrimp & Coconut Butternut Squash Rice with @ZICO

Isn’t this just the cutest bowl of rice you’ve ever seen? Don’t be fooled, it’s also absolutely scrumptious.

Using ZICO Natural Coconut Water, I infused the butternut squash rice with a light and healthy coconut flavor, mixed in some organic coconut flakes for texture and a hint of sweetness and then tossed it all with chopped cilantro for a taste so sensational, you’ll be scraping the bowl.

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Chorizo, Avocado and Butternut Squash Rice Stuffed Peppers

Chorizo, Avocado & Butternut Squash Rice Stuffed Peppers

Chorizo, Avocado and Butternut Squash Rice Stuffed Peppers

Avocado is one of the most talked about superfoods out there. I feel like if foods were personified (wow, haven’t used that word since the 7th grade) and could be friendly with other foods, then kale and avocado would be best friends.

Avocado has taken the place of dairy in sauces, replaced cream cheese on toast, has become a staple salad topper and of course, is the essential ingredient in everyone’s favorite appetizer: guacamole.

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Spiralized Mac and Cheese Two Ways: Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato

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Like with my zucchini spaghetti and meatballs, I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t Inspiralized mac and cheese yet. Doh! 

After multiple e-mails suggesting I recreate this classic kid-friendly pasta, I’ve finally done it – two ways! 

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New Post! Blueberry coconut chia pudding --> http://www.runningtothekitchen.com/2014/01/blueberry-coconut-chia-pudding/ …

Spanish Butternut Squash “Rice” with Ham

New Post! Blueberry coconut chia pudding --> http://www.runningtothekitchen.com/2014/01/blueberry-coconut-chia-pudding/ …

Okay, I’m officially obsessed with my Inspiralized rice. And so is Lu. The other night, it was an end-of-the-week, “what can we pull together for dinner?” sort of night. The fridge was looking bare (well, bare for me!), but I had plenty of spiralize-able veggies, including butternut squash.

I saw chorizo, olives and half a yellow onion and offered to make “Spanish Butternut Squash Rice with Chorizo.” Totally up Lu’s Latin-American alley- plus, as of late, he thinks my Inspiralized rice is “revolutionary.” Actually, he told me that it’s even more mind-blowing than zucchini noodles. I don’t know if I buy that, but I’m definitely going to post up more Inspiralized rice recipes, since they are just that good.

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Parmesan Squash Rice Risotto with Asparagus & Green Peas

Inspiralized Rice: Parmesan Squash Rice Risotto with Asparagus & Green Peas (Gluten Free)

Parmesan Squash Rice Risotto with Asparagus & Green Peas

Are you sitting down? Yes? Great, now let me introduce…. Inspiralized Rice

I didn’t think it was possible, but one spiralized recipe gone terribly wrong, and I discovered that spiralized noodles can be made into rice-like bits” that mimic the real thing. You’re going to want to Pin, Tweet, Instagram, and post this up on Facebook – everyone should know about Inspiralized Rice! It’s that good.

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Broccoli Breadcrumb Baked Salmon with Butternut Squash Noodles

Broccoli Breadcrumb Baked Salmon with Butternut Squash Noodles (on KitchenAid!)

Broccoli Breadcrumb Baked Salmon with Butternut Squash Noodles

Merry Christmas Eve! If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you’re putting milk and cookies out there tonight. 

If you’re an Italian American like me, Christmas Eve dinner is bigger than Thanksgiving. It usually includes a lot of fish. Like, seven different fishes.

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Baked Salmon & Sesame Butternut Squash “Soba” Noodles with Broccoli (at Against All Grain!)

Butternut Squash Soba Noodles with Sesame Broccoli and Baked Salmon

I’m a big fan of Danielle Walker’s cookbook and food blog, Against All Grain. Not only does she whip up some incredibly healthy Paleo and gluten-free recipes, she’s a mother and wife. Plus, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area (uhm, totally jealous about that). Her health story is inspirational, so make sure you check that out on her blog. It’s no wonder she’s on the New York Times Bestsellers List

Obviously, when she reached out to me and invited me to guest post on her blog, I was all sorts of giddy. I’m happy to make a recipe for her loyal readers but also, I’m excited to introduce her to my readers (in case you don’t know of her already!)

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Smoked Chorizo and Butternut Squash Noodle Skillet with Avocado, Kale and Fried Eggs

Smoked Chorizo and Butternut Squash Noodle Skillet with Avocado, Kale and Fried Eggs

Smoked Chorizo and Butternut Squash Noodle Skillet with Avocado, Kale and Fried Eggs

Chorizo. Just the word itself sounds sexy.

Smoked chorizo (of the Spanish type) is my jam. On Saturday mornings, while Lu does a little cleaning (he’s the best!), I cook up a big batch of eggs, kale, avocado, onions and chorizo, seasoned lightly with smoked paprika. We can’t wait to dig in. 

Before I even wash my face or put contacts in (settling for my smudged Warby Parkers), I’m crumbling chorizo and scooping out avocado meat. By the time my eyes have fully opened, we’re already sitting in our kitchen, stuffing our faces and sipping coffee.

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Spicy Garlic Lump Crab Butternut Squash Pasta with Feta & Parsley

Spicy Garlic Lump Crab Butternut Squash Pasta with Feta & Parsley

Spicy Garlic Lump Crab Butternut Squash Pasta with Feta & Parsley

Once, my mother and I ordered champagne and lump crab meat at an airport. I actually forget where we were going, but we felt special. There’s something about lump crab meat that’s fancy

I like to think that this spiralized butternut squash pasta dish is regal. The feta and parsley look stunning on top of the orange noodles and the flavors… well, the flavors are fit for a King (or in my case, a Queen!) 

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Orange-Cranberry Glazed Butternut Squash Noodles with Honey Roasted Pecans

Roasted Butternut Squash Noodles with Orange-Cranberry Sauce & Honey Roasted Pecans

Orange-Cranberry Glazed Butternut Squash Noodles with Honey Roasted Pecans

And another first for me… cranberry sauce! If you haven’t noticed already, I’m not big on canned or frozen veggies and sauces. I think that food is immensely more enjoyable when made as freshly as possible. That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with canned goods…. I often used canned diced tomatoes to save time! However, when you’re preparing a Thanksgiving feast, it’s all about quality and making the time to take pride in your preparations. It’s all about waking up at 4:30am to roast your turkey or making batches of baked goods the night before.

During the Thanksgiving holiday, we’re reminded of how important friendship and family time is. What goes best with friends and family? Food! Stirring a simmering sauce with your spouse or licking the mixer spoons with your kids can go a long way. These types of moments bring us together and make holidays special.

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Butternut Squash Noodle Turkey Bolognese Stuffed Acorn Squash with Melted Gruyere

Butternut Squash Noodle Turkey Bolognese Stuffed Acorn Squash with Melted Gruyere: Two Ways!

Butternut Squash Noodle Turkey Bolognese Stuffed Acorn Squash with Melted Gruyere

I tell ya, it’s not easy naming recipes. There’s just too much that I want to convey in each recipe. Simply, this dish is a gluten-free version of a spaghetti stuffed acorn squash. But, it’s much more than that.

It’s roasted butternut squash noodles tossed in a fresh turkey bolognese sauce, stuffed into a roasted acorn squash and topped with gooey melted gruyere cheese. Remember when I said cheese was my exception

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Roasted Asparagus & Mushroom Butternut Squash Noodles with a Poached Egg

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I’ve completed another item on my “50 Things I Need To Cook Before I Turn 30” list. Okay, I don’t have an actual written list perse, but I do have a mental one. High up on that list was “poach an egg.” I don’t know why it’s taken me 26 years to poach an egg, but it has. 

To showcase my new skill, I’ve made a healthy bowl of butternut squash noodles, topped with roasted asparagus and mushrooms. The best part about eggs on top of pasta is that they become like a natural carbonara – all you need is a fork to pop the egg and the yolk runny-ness becomes a creamy and tasty sauce.

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