I am curious about … spiralizing

I know, I’m late to the whole spiralizing movement.  It was only a month ago that I had a my first plate of zoodles (pre-spiralized courtesy of Whole Foods).  Fortunately, sometimes I’m a quick study and it only took that first plate to convince me that spiralizing needs to be part of my culinary repertoire.  And — who knew? — there’s a whole spiralizing (and peeling, coring) attachment for Kitchen Aid mixers!  Placed an order immediately and as soon as it arrived my husband and I started experimenting with what we could spiralize: apples, cucumbers, squash — the usual suspects.  And then I found it.  A recipe for baked curly (aka spiralized) chili cheese fries.  Seriously.  Even better:  the chili is vegetarian so between the baked curly fries and veggie chili I could seriously up the cheese factor with way less calorie guilt.  I  love finding non-meat/veggie heavy options for meals and this choice gave me a way to add in my new spiralizing adventure — sweet!

After searching the web for a variety of recipes, I mixed a couple together to come up with something I thought would be healthy and killer good.  Since we think chili tastes better if it has a chance to hang out for a while before you eat it, I made the chili first. Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • chopped garlic (i just squeezed in a bunch)
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 can of beans in chili sauce
  • 1/2 package of Beyond Meat feisty crumbles
  • 1 14.5 oz can of chopped tomatoes with peppers (we like spice, but you could use just plain chopped tomatoes for a milder flavor)
  • 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • salt and cayenne pepper to taste
  • corn starch mixed with water for thickening

Start by sauteeing the chopped onions in oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat, then add the garlic when onions are translucent.  When you can smell the garlic, add in the spices and just let them toast a bit in the oil.  Then add in the Beyond Meat feisty crumbles.  I add them in frozen, but just be careful that they don’t splatter!  Next, add in your beans, chopped tomatoes, and tomato sauce.  Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down, put a lid on it, and let it all simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Give it all a stir when you lift the lid up. If you like your chili thick, like we do, mix about a tablespoon of cornstarch with warm water until it forms a paste.  Then, spoon this paste into the chili and bring it back up to a boil to thicken.  Taste for seasoning; we like to use cayenne pepper (again, more spicy is more better in my house), but you can use black pepper or no pepper — whatever works.

I put the chili in the fridge and then about an hour before dinner I heat it up and start on the curly fries

For the curly fries:

  • 2-3 Yukon Gold potatoes, skin on
  • olive oil
  • garlic powder
  • shredded cheese of your choice
  • salt
  • pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Wash the potatoes and spiralize them.  I use a thicker spiralizer blade, but if super skinny curly fries are your thing — go for it!  Cut the spirals into manageable sizes.  Toss the spiralized potatoes in a big bowl with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  I just eyeball the amounts, you don’t want them drowning in oil — just coated.  Same thing with seasoning.  Then arrange the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper separating them as much as possible.  Bake them for 25-45 minutes; checking them every 15 minutes or so. While the fries are cooking, pull that chili out of the fridge and heat it up. The fries won’t get super crunchy, but you want them brown and, honestly, if I’m not sure how done they are I just pull one off the sheet and try it!  Once I think they’re done, I sprinkle some shredded cheese on top (we use a mixture of regular cheddar and cheddar with jalapenos) and then pop them back in until the cheese melts.

To serve, just heap up a pile of cheesy curly fries and top them off with a scoop or two of chili.  Utterly delicious and reasonably healthy.  Could a girl ask for more than that??



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