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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Zoodles: An Epic Fail!

'Zoodles' are all the rage these days in the food blogosphere. If you are not familiar, zoodles are an exceptionally noble concept intended to replace carb-rich pasta with straight up vegetable noodles made from zucchini. Again, great idea, but **dare I say it** an epic fail according to those who gather around my dinner table on a regular basis. And I am dismayed to admit that agree wholeheartedly.

In an effort to look like one of the 'cool kids' amongst other food bloggers, I jumped on the zoodle bandwagon by purchasing a spiralizer from my favorite online retailer (you know the one, starts with 'a' ends in 'mazon'). I opted for the simple version for a variety of reasons: it was reasonably priced, it was small so it could be tucked away in a drawer and not take up valuable cabinet space and it had great reviews. Win - win - win!

When the magical box arrived at my doorstep, I was pumped. We purchased both green and yellow zucchini at the farmer's market and were off to the zoodle races. Everyone in my house was excited to give it a try because they look so fun and are a great healthy meal option.

I enlisted assistance from my 5th grader who is generally very curious about how things work combined with a great liking to goof around the kitchen. After spiralizing a couple of zucchini, she gave up in frustration.

I had been preoccupied with making the 'sauce,' which was a wonderful blend of tomatoes cooked in olive oil and garlic with shelled edamame added to incorporate some protein.

I took over the zoodle making process. Not fun. The zucchini didn't twist well and the zoodles were reminiscent of veggie scraps intended for the compost pile, not the dinner plate. The blade popped off, so I had to use the other side (days later, I still haven't tried to fix it). I nicked the knuckles of both my index finger and my thumb on the spiralizer blade. The cut on my index finger required a bandage, which was another ordeal because the aforementioned 5th grader uses an excessive amount of bandages making it difficult to find one.  

Back to the spiralizing. The device I purchased seemed to have a lot of waste. There were a couple of inches of zucchini that couldn't be spiralized unless you are willing to bloody your knuckles more than I had already done. After making enough zoodles, I blanched them for 2 minutes in boiling water to warm them, drained and plated with the tomato-edamame sauce topped with parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice. 

My dish didn't look too bad, but...

Feedback was less than stellar. To say the general reaction was 'meh' would be complimentary. Too bland was the general consensus (even with garlic, salt and extra lemon juice). And 'noodles' made from zucchini just do not compare to glorious gluten containing pasta. 

We may give the spiralizer another try, but it looks like it is something that will likely end up in the donation pile.

Let me know what you think about your spiralizer experience (or if you are planning to join the spiralizing fun and just haven't had the opportunity yet). I'm curious if I am the only one that has had a less than positive experience.  


Lavender and Lime ( said...

Love your review! I was tempted to purchase one, as we often do the zoodle thing (new word for me) but when I saw on the video how much wastage there is I didn't bother to buy one, and now I am so glad I didn't. I love the vegetable noodle idea, but just jullienning them works for me :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your review! I've been contemplating buying a spiralizer for ages now in order to make zoodles. To be honest, they're so expensive and I probably wouldn't use it enough to get my moneys worth. I've found an easier way to make zoodles is to grate the zucchini on a box grater. As Tandy suggested above I'm going to try julienning next time! :D

Jess @

Pam said...

Bummer. I've thought about trying out the zoodles but I know my kids would not be a fan.

Cathleen said...

I did the exact same thing!!! Except for when the spiralizer came to my door.. I kind of didn't open it :p I guess I was anticipating a reaction from my boyfriend somewhat akin to what you experienced at your dinner table.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Thank you for the review, Cali! I have been very tempted to be one of the cool kids too after seeing so many beautiful photos in the blog world. I'm glad I haven't gotten one yet and think I'll resist temptation and just continue to make Jamie Oliver's delicious Zucchini Carbonara with real pasta :) Thanks too for your sweet words regarding our future new grand child!

Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks said...

OMG - I love everything about this post. Your epic fail and straight forward honesty is honest and refreshing! I am soooo not a cool kid and am also not quick to jump on any food-trending bandwagon. For that reason do not own a spiralizer. I thank you for saving me the $19,95 and free 2 day shipping. Your photos make this dish look delicious though! I wonder if the spiralizer would be better suited to making pretty salads rather than pasta out of zucchini?

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

What a fun post - too bad though that you did hurt yourself in the process of trying out the spiralizer. It has been the rage in Europe for what seems to be the longest time but I have never been tempted to buy one really - I cook a lot of pasta with a lot of veggies, so there is probably no real need to use one...But your dish looks wonderful and colorful and delicious!
Great honest review!
Have a good week,

Cocoa and Lavender said...

Cali, I am so relieved to hear/read this. I thought I was being an "old poop" for not wanting a spiralizer. I smiled and actually laughed a few times, although am sorry you hurt yourself! :) Thanks for an honest. Review! David

Natalie @ Obsessive Cooking Disorder said...

No such thing as wastage - eat the ends haha! One of our chefs in my med school cooking elective used a spiralizer (granted it looked expensive and fancy) and it didn't seem to waste too much, but it was definitely huge and not storable in a tiny kitchen. We ate the zoodles raw with an asian dressing and it was tasty - maybe try that (not a fan of boiled veggies personally)

Even if you feel meh, It looks great though haha.