Ali Maffucci, founder of Inspiralized.com, shares a pair of springtime recipes that will satisfy your need for in-season flavors and checks that “healthy” box, too! Her tips and packable meal details are below.
If you’re not familiar with spiralizing, let me introduce you! To spiralize means to transform your vegetables and fruits into noodles with a spiralizer, an easy-to-use, must-have healthy kitchen gadget! Once you have these noodles, what you make with them is where the magic happens. From Sweet Potato Carbonara to Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai, the options are limitless—and are always clean eating-friendly, too.
Spiralizing is not only a healthy way to eat your favorite pasta and noodle dishes, it’s also a quick way to prep vegetables for easy meals on the go. Two of my favorite summer spiralized meals that I love to pack for lunches are my Summer Spring Rolls and Italian Zucchini Pasta Salad. The summer rolls are totally portable and packable, using fresh ingredients like spiralized zucchini, avocado and cucumber. The pasta salad has the same crave-worthy ingredients in its pasta original (like cured meat, tomatoes, cheese, olives and Italian dressing), but it’s made with spiralized zucchini instead of pasta. You can pack both in your favorite containers and bring to work, but just be warned: your coworkers will be jealous! Get all the make-at-home details below.
Summer Chopped Chicken Salad with Spiralized Cucumbers and Salsa Verde
*Yields 4; Prep Time: 10 minutes; Cook Time: 20 minutes; Total Time: 30 minutes
- 8 to 10-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast or 1.5 cups cubed cooked chicken
- 1 large ear of corn, kernels shaved off
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 English seedless cucumber
- 1/2 heaping cup diced tomatoes (I use cherry tomatoes)
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 large handful of cilantro, lightly chopped
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, insides chopped
- 1/2 cup mild jarred salsa verde
- If you’re NOT using pre-cooked chicken (if you are, skip this step): fill a large saucepan two-thirds full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Salt it so that it tastes good, add the chicken breast and remove the pot from the heat. Cover and let the chicken sit until cooked but very tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the water and cut into it to check its doneness; if it’s still a little pink, return it to the water for another minute or two. Remove the chicken to a plate and let it rest for 2 minutes and then slice into cubes.
- While chicken cooks, cook the corn. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is shimmering, add in the corn and season with chili powder and salt. Cook until bright yellow and charred, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, spiralize the cucumber with Blade A, applying light pressure so that the ribbons are thin. Pat the cucumber noodles dry with paper towels and trim the noodles with kitchen shears so that they are easier to manage.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, cilantro, avocado, cooked corn and cubed cooked chicken. Pour in the salsa verde and toss well to combine.
- Pour the mixture into the bowls and serve.
Vegan Spiralized Summer Spring Rolls
*Yields 6; Prep Time: 30 minutes; Total Time: 30 minutes
For the dipping sauce:
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 cup peanut oil
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons chili oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
For the spring rolls:
- 6 rice paper wrappers
- 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced (1/8-inch thick)
- handful of fresh cilantro
- handful of fresh mint
- 1 large English seedless cucumber, Blade D, noodles trimmed; about 2 medium carrots, peeled and julienned; about 2 packed cups Boston or Bibb lettuce
- 1 large lime, quartered
- pepper, to season
- Make the dipping sauce. Combine all of the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until creamy. Reserve six tablespoons and save the rest in the refrigerator for future use (or freezer).
- Create an assembly line of the vegetables for the spring rolls (this just helps you keep organized).
- Fill a shallow dish with warm water. One at a time, dip a rice wrapper sheet into the water for 5 to 10 seconds. Remove and place on a flat surface, like a cutting board or plate.
- In the middle of one of the rice wrappers, lay two avocado slices (only do one if that’s all that can fit) down; a pinch of cilantro and a pinch of mint; cucumber noodles; carrots; and top with lettuce. Squeeze over with 1/2 lime wedge and season with pepper.
- Fold the bottom half of the rice paper wrapper over the filling. Holding firmly in place, fold the sides of the wrapper in. Then, pressing firmly down to hold in place, roll the entire wrapper horizontally up from the bottom to the top. Turn the roll so that the seam faces down and the avocado faces up.
- Continue with the remaining ingredients and rice wrappers to make four. Place on a plate and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate, if not serving immediately.
- Serve the spring rolls with the dipping sauce.