I'm in love. With a kitchen utensil. Not even kidding. Here's how it all began...
As I alluded to in a recent post, it is currently exam season and I've got my French listening exam coming up soon. As a result, I have been binging on a bunch of French YouTube videos - on topics ranging from French culture to politics to literature. All that good stuff. Once in a while, however, I end up watching videos on le végétalisme (veganism) and looking up recipe videos. Not exactly exam material, but at least I'm still absorbing some vocab, right? Culinary vocab, at least...
Anyway, I was browsing through all these French vegan recipe videos when I came across this one! The food vlogger makes spaghetti from cucumbers. I thought I'd seen it all, but this was something else. Using an appliance known as a spiral vegetable cutter, she was able to turn long vegetables such as carrots and courgettes and cucumbers into what look like spaghetti/noodle strands. I was enamoured with the idea. But because I can be a bit of a cheapskate sometimes, I wasn't ready to invest in a spiral cutter just yet. Thankfully, I came across an alternative way of creating vegetable spaghetti, using what is known as a julienne peeler. I ordered one almost immediately and have been using it almost every day since. It's like being able to indulge in pasta as much as you want without the consequences of overdoing the heavy starch. This little utensil has revolutionised my kitchen. In this recipe, I've used one whole courgette, but it works just as well with a couple of carrots or cucumbers too.
A real tour de force of nutritious vegetables, bright colours and most importantly, taste. If I had to make one little modification, it would be to throw the veg "spaghetti" into the pan towards the end of the cooking time, rather than at the beginning as I did, just so it doesn't wilt as much. I've reflected this adjustment in the instructions below.
- 1 ripe plantain
- 1 courgette (or two large carrots)
- 1 tomato (diced)
- 1/2 red bell pepper (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 4 button mushrooms (optional) (chopped)
- 1/2 tbsp palm oil / olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Cut the ends off the plantain and discard. Chop the plantain into three large pieces (skin left on) and boil in some water for about 10-15 mins or until the plantain is soft all the way through (check by sticking a fork through it). Drain the water and leave to cool before peeling off the skin and cutting the plantain into chunky rounds.
Peel the courgette or carrots into long strands using a julienne peeler. If using a courgette, stop peeling once you reach the seeds at the centre (the centre is too soft and mushy for 'spaghetti' strands - just cut it up into small pieces and throw it in with the rest of the meal so you don't waste it).
Heat the oil in a large pan and add all the chopped vegetables. Stir for a minute or so until they are cooked through. Add the vegetable "spaghetti" strands and keep stirring until they soften. Season with season salt and pepper. Add the chunky rounds of boiled plantain and combine with the veg and "spaghetti".
Serve hot with more freshly ground pepper over the top. Enjoy!