As you learn to cook more using whole foods, you start to get bored of the normal knife work in chopping up a carrot, zucchini, etc. You crave different textures. That is where some unique kitchen gadgets step in and make life a little more interesting.
I was looking to purchase a spiralizer for veggies and was baffled by all the options offered online. A friend, who is also a veggie fanatic, had purchased several gadgets and offered to let me try them out.Top center is a Paderno Spiralizer.
Below it on the left is the Kuhn Rikon Julienne Peeler.
And below it on the right is the Brieftons Spiral Slicer.
I had a variety of veggies in my fridge to try out: carrots, zucchini, potatoes, and eggplant. You can also use turnips, rutabaga, squash, sweet potato, radish: basically anything firm enough for the slicers to cut into.
First I started with the Paderno. It is a little big and suctions to your counter top but I braced it against our wood block for added leverage and it worked great. Nice long spirals that you can cook as is or cut smaller. I heard you can also throw the spirals into the food processor to get a nice veggie "rice". The ends of the zucchini, plus an interesting looking core are left over. You can compost these, use them in a veggie broth, or as my friend does, throw them in your morning smoothie. The Paderno also had a larger grater for thicker spirals and a plain slicer to make thin cuts and it has a handy design that holds the extra plates so you don't have to dig through your cupboards to switch attachments. Nice.
The Paderno also recommended eggplant which was a huge failure. It was too mealy or wet or something and didn't work at all.
The Brieftons spiral slicer was a bit of a joke. It was supposed to make long, spiraled ribbons, but you had to separate the ribbons yourself and they fell apart most of the time. Waste of time. If you look at the photo on their box, it is obviously photo-shopped to look better, Ha!
Look at all these lovely veggies! Top left is zucchini and top right is red potato, both spiralized in the Paderno. Bottom is all carrots. Left is the Paderno. Center is the Kuhn Rikon julienne peeler which makes a fine cut which is perfect for salads or a garnish. On the right I just used a regular vegetable peeler. I use this method a lot for stir frys or for soups.
Results: I cooked the spiraled carrots and zucchini in a delicious cauliflower sauce for lunch and then my husband used the finer carrots on a salad at dinner and made oven fries with the potato. I LOVE curly fries!