Spiralizers seem to be all the rage at the moment, however they’re hardly student-budget friendly, and lugging a large gadget like that on the train up to uni does not appeal. I wouldn’t even know where to begin; there are so many varieties and some of them look frankly terrifying.
So I wondered if it would be possible to recreate the effect of a spiralizer using something I would already have in my kitchen, such as a vegetable peeler, or grater.
Courgette seemed to be the most obvious vegetable to use, so I went with that. I washed it and picked up my vegetable peeler. I peeled in long strokes, pushing down with more force than normal, in order to get thicker strands. Here is the result:
This doesn’t look much like normal courgetti however I think it looks quite appealing.
Next, I attempted different grating methods. I found it was most successful when I held the courgette vertically, and grated it in long strokes. Holding it horizontally felt more natural but it only made short strands. Here’s how it turned out:
I think it looks pretty good! Not as tubular and thick as real courgetti, but considering I didn’t cough up £25 to make it I can’t complain.
With my two varieties of courgetti I decided I would make a stir-fry.
Ingredients to serve 3/4
- Two courgettes (£0.80, Tesco)
- Two peppers (£0.99 for a pack of 3, Tesco)
- 3 loose carrots (£0.24, Tesco)
- Broccoli (£0.49, Tesco)
- Unsalted cashew nuts (£2, Tesco). You can easily leave these out as they make it slightly more expensive (but also a lot tastier!)
- Honey (£0.99, 340g, Tesco)
- Soy Sauce (£1, Amoy at Tesco, reduced from £1.19 until 20th October)
- Peel or grate the courgette as above, depending on what you fancy, or try a bit of both. Although I used two courgettes there was some left over as I favoured the firmer green exterior to the soft white interior of the vegetable.
- Peel the carrots and chop into thin batons. Wash and chop the peppers into similarly long and thin shapes.
- Using roughly one quarter of the broccoli, cut into florets and rinse under the tap.
- Place about 50g of cashew nuts in a baking tray and under the grill for a few minutes. Keep watching them as they will burn easily! Turn them when they have gone brown on one side. When both sides are brown take them out of the grill and roughly chop into quarters.
- Heat up a wok with a little oil, along with some soy sauce and honey. Start by adding the carrots and peppers. Keep it moving constantly and add more soy sauce and honey. I don’t really use specific quantities – just add a dash of each every few minutes. Next add the broccoli and along with it some more honey and soy sauce. Finally add the courgette and chopped cashews for the last few minutes. It will take around 10 minutes to cook so spread out the vegetables accordingly. Serve with a slice of garlic bread and you have a delicious and healthy lunch! If you want to serve it for dinner simply replace the garlic bread with some wholewheat rice or noodles.
Total cooking time: roughly 10 minutes
Preparation time: roughly 5/10 minutes
Price per portion: roughly £1.40, but it depends whether you already have soy sauce and honey (I would say they are store-cupboard essentials!)
I found the experimentation of this recipe really fun, and I want to try out other ways of making the perfect courgetti without buying any expensive gadgets, along with using other vegetables, such as carrots.
The courgette did slightly lose its shape when it was in the wok, so it probably requires very little cooking time. It could also be used for cold salads and not cooked at all – simply add a dressing – then it would retain its shape better.
All in all, this is a very tasty stir-fry, and it’s hard to believe that it’s almost entirely vegetables!