Fresh low carb noodles made out of broccoli stalks! Paired with an Asian-inspired sesame-ginger dressing, it makes a wonderful healthy salad.
This ridiculously easy and fresh recipe is brought to you by your local spiralizer. Egads, I love that thing. It really is a fun gadget to use and now everybody is turning everything into noodles. Got some zucchini? Spiralize it! Got some rutabaga? Spiralize it! Don’t know what to do with all that cucumber, or those turnips or radishes? Yup, you got it. Spiralize those suckers too. In fact, turing vegetables into noodles has become so popular, I am shocked that my auto-correct has yet to recognize the word “spiralize” as a proper verb. It keeps underlining it in red as I type, admonishing me in its own not-so-subtle way that my grammar and spelling leave something to be desired. Well I can guarantee you that within a few years, “spiralize” will be officially recognized by Mirriam-Webster as new word in the English language. This is a trend that isn’t going anywhere any time soon!
A few weeks ago, I saw a recipe on Pinterest for spiral broccoli noodles and I was absolutely struck by the brilliance of it. The florets of the broccoli won’t spiralize very well (oh shut up, auto-correct, it IS a real word!). They’d simply spew little bits of green stuff all over your kitchen counter. But the stalks make excellent noodles and I love me some broccoli stems. In fact, sometimes I like the stalks more than the florets and I find myself snacking on them raw as I cut up broccoli for roasting. They have a lighter, more neutral flavour and they are so crunchy and delicious. I can hardly believe I used to throw the stems away! Or that I used to just get the broccoli crowns at the store, so I wasn’t paying for the added “useless” stems. Funny how times change. I hate food waste so once I found out how much I liked broccoli stems, I stared chopping them up along with the rest of the broccoli.
And now that I know I can make noodles out of them, I’m overjoyed. I hang on to the stalks when I cook broccoli now and keep them in the fridge until I have enough to make some noodles. Three or four is perfect. Most of the recipes I’ve seen use the broccoli noodles as a base for marinara sauce, which is all very well. But broccoli is wonderful with asian flavours and the idea of making a light noodle salad really appealed to me. I thought I would have to steam the noodles to get the right texture but I found I liked them just as they were, fresh and slightly crunchy. It went so well with the ginger and sesame flavours, and I had a hard time keeping enough of this to serve with dinner that evening. I could have eaten the whole batch. It also made great leftovers the next day. Broccoli stalk noodles are a total low carb win.
If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can still make this salad. Simply use a carrot peeler to shave thin lengths of broccoli stems. But I do recommend getting one (I use the Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer) because they are inexpensive and a great way to jazz up your low carb recipes.