Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Healthy bolognese with sweet potato and courgette pasta

I'm loving my spiraliser

Tuesday already so today was another working from home day. I seem to be able to easily get up a good hour before I need to log on and start working, so I've been taking advantage of this time and going food shopping. Today, I wanted to try out my new spiraliser that I had bought from Amazon. I decided to buy the Cuisique Premium Spiralizer as it wasn't too expensive (less than £30) and seemed to get really good reviews on Amazon. As such, food shopping mostly consisted of ingredients for tonights meal.

Work went really well and by 10:30 I was quite chuffed at how much I'd actually done in terms of productivity and supporting other people - Not bad considering this is just the start of week 3! Breakfast was a banana and a malt loaf and as I'd got through another loaf, I bought another orange one to ensure I have the 3 different types :-) I think in terms of which one I prefer - I certainly like the 'Fruity five one' the most as it contains cinnamon which I love. It's the least squidgy and the most dry, but I prefer the taste. Then the orange one which is the most 'moist' and sadly, the original one is probably my least favourite but certainly still tasty. I think I might change my breakfast after I get through these three... so I've probably got another 1.5 weeks of malt loaf 'fun' and then I'll find something else to eat.

I wanted a really nice tasting dinner, so decided to actually make my bolognese sauce at lunch time so that it could really 'stew' and the flavours develop (God, kill me now... middle aged MasterChef type!). I think most people know how to make bolognese - I certainly don't usually follow a recipe and just chuck the same things together that I did as a student, plus a small bottle of red wine which I think I added after reading the bolognese recipe from the Hairy Bikers.

Bolognese recipe
500g lean beef mince
2 chopped carrots
1 white onion
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
small bottle of red wine
2 chopped garlic cloves
small pinch of oregano
1 squeeze of tomato puree

Whilst that was all well and good, it was the courgette and sweet potato pasta that I was the most interested in trying - I'm not overly keen on either courgette or aubergine, but I'm certainly coming around to them, as I love sweet potato, I thought I would combine the two and get a really colourful plate!

I managed to use the instructions to work out what I was supposed to do - I think the main learning curve was the fact you can fit the blades in different ways to ensure the spikes of the handle were directly under some of the spikes on the plastic blade.

Then came the fun part! spiralising! :-) As I was doing courgette and sweet potato spirals, I needed to get this courgette into a suitable state to be spiralised...

The instructions told me that I wasn't supposed to put things in that were overly tall, so I decided to chop the courgette up, into 3 pieces..

I was actually quite surprised as to how easy it 'stuck' to the spikes 

I didn't even need to press really hard and at once, I started seeing things happen - One thing I did realise, it wasn't really 'spirals' as more 'half moon' shapes to begin with. I think that was because I had quite a thin ended courgette. 

This was all I had left over after my first attempt - I guess the handle doesn't go all the way down as you'd have spikes on the handle, clashing with the spikes on the blade. So if you've not spiralised before, make sure you have slightly more of the ingredient you want to use as you'll have to throw some bits away.. 

Hey presto! Courgette pasta! I was dead chuffed that I was able to do this on my first ever attempt. 

Next came the sweet potato... 

Getting more confident, I decided 'what the hell?' and stuck the whole thing in as it was quite a small sweet potato in the grand scheme of things :-)

Believe it or not, the sweet potato worked really, really well - check out my spirals! :-)

As I'd never done this before I wasn't entirely sure how long to cook things for, however my Boyfriend suggested we continue to eat bits and work out when they were 'done'.. in the end it took about 8 minutes for them both to be cooked.

And here we have it... this is what we got from one courgette and one small(ish) sweet potato.

So how did it taste? BLOODY AMAZING! I think we were both chuffed at how well it turned out and I'm certainly going to try another recipe tomorrow night. If I can give any advice to spiraliser virgins, it would be to ensure you get all the water off the vegetable spirals before serving. By the time we sat down to eat, there was quite a lot of water at the bottom of our bowls and whilst that didn't stop it tasting brilliant, I think it would be better if it wasn't there - so maybe dry the spirals briefly with some kitchen paper or potentially just drain them better than I did.

Either way... What a fantastic way to be healthy :-)

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